The Foundation of Holiness: The Character of God Above the Power of God

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Leviticus as it was written and recorded by Moses the servant of the Lord. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters seventeen through twenty of this Old Testament book. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the LORD God who delivered the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt speaking unto them through Moses His servant concerning their obedience and holiness before and towards Him. If there is one thing we must recognize and understand when reading the Old Testament book of Leviticus it is that it is a book that does in fact begin and open with laws concerning the offerings and worship before the living God, however, it is a book that primarily deals with the obedience and holiness of the children of Israel in the sight of the living God. The entire book has at its very core and foundation a call to holiness and a call to right living before the living God. We cannot and dare not read the words which are found within this book and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that when the LORD God delivered the children of Israel out of their slavery and bondage within the land of Egypt, He didn’t deliver them to be a people who lived as they saw fit. It is important for us to understand and comprehend this, for one of the main and underlying reasons for the children of Israel coming unto the mountain and encamping before the mountain was, yes, so the living God could reveal Himself unto them when He descended upon the mountain in thick darkness, in clouds, and with a consuming fire atop the mountain, but there is so much more to the revelation at the mountain than simply the living God revealing Himself. In all reality, when we think of the living God revealing Himself unto us we tend to think of it in terms of His power, in terms of His judgments, upon His might and His strength. When we think about the revelation of the living God we tend to think of it in terms of great signs and wonders appearing, as if the living God desires to be known according to the manifestation of His power alone. I would dare say that if you are one who desires to know the living God based on His power alone you are one who has and will potentially have a very shallow relationship with and knowledge of the living God. If you are one who desires to know God according to His shows and displays of strength and might, I would dare say that your interest and desire in the living God is incredibly shallow and you are running the risk of not knowing the living God at all. I would like to be bold right now and declare that the living God does in fact manifest His power, and He does in fact show His strength, however, that is not the only way the living God desires to be known by His people and those whom He has called unto Himself. In order to illustrate this point even further, I would like to draw and call your attention to the words which we find in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters of the Old Testament book of Exodus—both the description of the Lord’s presence upon the mountain in the wilderness, as well as the LORD speaking and revealing unto Moses His laws, His statutes, and His commands. What’s more, is that I would also like to invite you to consider the nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings and the narrative and account of Elijah at the same mountain. Consider if you will the words which are found within these chapters beginning with what is found in the nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus:

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about,s aging, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go no up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come put o the mount. And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives. And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quirked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LOD break forth upon them. And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sarnia: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them. So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them” (Exodus 19:10-25).

“And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. AN altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, and thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon” (Exodus 20:18-26).

“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD they God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within that gates: for in six days the LORD mad even and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s” (Exodus 20:1-17).

“…And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beer-Sheba, which belonged to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD< take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and behold, there was a cake baked on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the words; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the. Mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind and earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:3-13).

If and as you read the words which are found within these chapters you will encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible power and strength of the living God as He descended upon mount Sinai in the wilderness in the sight of the children of Israel. It would be there at the mountain of God in the wilderness the living God who delivered and brought them forth from the midst of the land would reveal Himself unto them in the midst of thick darkness, clouds, and a consuming fire which burned upon the top of the mountain. What’s more, is that the presence of the living God was accompanied by thunders and lightnings which flashed and sounded before the children of Israel as they gazed upon the mountain. It’s worth noting that what we witness and behold in the wilderness at the mountain of God in the sight of the children of Israel was altogether different from the displays of strength and power the living God displayed—not only within the land of Egypt, but also at the Red Sea. It was in the land of Egypt the living God manifested His judgments in the midst of the land upon Pharaoh, upon his rulers, and upon the people and land of Egypt. Within the land of Egypt the living God executed His judgments upon both land and people alike in order that He might show and manifest His power in the midst of both Israelite and Egyptian alike. A series of ten plagues would devastate and decimate the entire land of Egypt and would completely and utterly leave it in ruins before the final and most deadly plague of them all would enter into and come upon the land—namely, the death of the firstborn son of all those in the land of Egypt from the house of Pharaoh, to the houses of his rulers, to the houses of the servants, to the houses of the Egyptians themselves, and even upon cattle and beast alike. When the children of Israel emerged and came forth from the land of Egypt they came forth with a strong hand as the living God had executed judgments upon the land of Egypt, and upon Pharaoh and his rulers. The display of might and strength which was manifested in the midst of the land of Egypt would be followed by a demonstration of strength and might at the Red Sea as the living God caused the waters of the sea to be divided to the right and to the left, thus allowing the children of Israel to pass through the waters unto the other side safely. What’s more, is that not only did the children of Israel pass through the waters journeying along the path which lie beneath the waters, but when Pharaoh’s horses and chariots sought to follow the children of Israel through the path beneath the waters the LORD caused the wheels of the chariots to come off, and thrust the Egyptians in the midst of the waters to be thrust into chaos and confusion. As if that weren’t bad enough the living God caused the waters of the Red Sea to return to their place, thus destroying and killing all those Egyptians who were in the midst of the waters. Pause for a moment and think about and consider the fact that in the land of Egypt the living God executed judgments upon both the land and Pharaoh alike, and at the Red Sea the Lord executed judgment against the actual armies of Pharaoh which pursued the children of Israel into the wilderness. There upon the other side of the Red Sea—not only had the living God decimated and devastate the land of Egypt, not only had the living God brought death upon the firstborn of all those within the land of Egypt, but now the living God had one more divine work which would be accomplished, which was the destruction of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and armies.

Having witnessed, experienced and beheld such wonderful and incredible displays of strength and power the living God would now bring the children of Israel unto the mountain in the midst of the wilderness where He would not demonstrate and show His judgments and His power and strength over the land of Egypt, nor the horses, chariots and armies of the land of Egypt. It would be there at the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness the living God would reveal Himself unto the children of Israel—this time, however, He would not do so with devastating plagues within the land of Egypt, nor the destruction of their enemies which pursued them into the wilderness, but through thick clouds, a consuming fire, darkness, thunders, lightnings and the loud noise of a trumpet. The revelation in the wilderness was vastly different from the revelation which was found within the land of Egypt, and the revelation in the wilderness was vastly different than the revelation at the Red Sea. In the midst of the land of Egypt, and even at the Red Sea the living God showed forth and demonstrated His power, His might and His strength upon Israel’s enemies, while in the midst of the wilderness the living God sought to reveal Himself as that one who spoke unto them from heaven. The thick darkness, the clouds, the consuming fire, the thunders, the lightnings and the noise of the trumpet waxing louder and louder were all manifestations of the presence of the living God before the children of Israel and upon the mountain of God, for the children of Israel could not look upon the living God. The LORD God declared unto Moses that he could not see His face, for no man could see the face of the living God and live, and it is with this in mind we must understand that the consuming fire, the thick darkness, the clouds and all the other manifestations upon and atop the mountain were direct results of the presence of the living God upon the mountain. What’s more, is that the entire mountain shaking violently under the weight of the presence of the glory of the living God was a tremendous manifestation of the living God having come down upon the mountain in the midst of and before the children of Israel. There in the wilderness the LORD God of the Hebrews was in the midst of the fire, and He was in the midst of the quaking of the mountain, and He was in the midst of the thunders and the lightnings. In the wilderness when Elijah lodged in a cave at Horeb the mountain of God in the midst of it, the Lord was not in the earthquake, the Lord was not in the fire, and the Lord was not in the strong wind. When Elijah was at this very same mountain—perhaps even in the very same place the Lord brought Moses when He passed by and before him—the prophet heard a still small voice, and recognized that the living God was in the midst of the still small voice. Elijah was brought unto the mountain of God in the wilderness where the living God could speak unto him—much like the children of Israel were brought unto the very same mountain in order that the living God might speak unto them.

What we must recognize and realize concerning the experience and encounter at the mountain, however, is that even greater than the consuming fire, even greater than the thick darkness, even greater than the violent quaking of the mountain, even greater than the thunders and lightnings—all of which frightened and caused the children of Israel to withdraw and shrink back in fear before and in the sight of the living God—the greatest revelation at the mountain was the character and nature of the living God. With this being said it’s necessary that we understand that when I speak about the revelation of the character and nature of God, I am speaking to that reality of His holiness and that which calls His people to be holy even as He is holy. It would be very easy to get caught up in the external manifestations and wonders which took place before the children of Israel in the midst of the wilderness as they stood at the base of the mount and think that such a reality was the direct revelation of the living God. The truth of the matter is that the true and underlying revelation of the living God is never ultimately and finally in displays of power, nor is it in displays of strength. Furthermore, the revelation of the living God is never solely in wonders and manifestations which awe and wow the senses as we look upon and behold His glory and presence. I would dare say that the greatest revelation that was found in the midst of the wilderness as the children of Israel stood and camped at the base of the mount was not the consuming fire, was not the thick darkness, was not the thunders and lightnings, nor was it the mountain quaking violently under the weight of the presence and glory of the living God. The greatest revelation at the mountain was the revelation of the character and nature of God as it was revealed through His laws, His commands and statutes. It would be through His laws and statutes the living God would not only reveal unto the children of Israel how to worship and approach Him, but it would be through His laws and statutes He would reveal unto His people how they were live their lives before Him—not only in the midst of the wilderness, but also in the land in which the living God was leading and bringing them. We allow ourselves to get so caught up with external evidences and manifestations of the glory and presence of the living God, and yet we neglect and fail to realize that the greatest revelation of the living God is not in strength, is not in might, is not in wonders, is not in the fire, the wind and the earthquake as we so often desire and need. I feel compelled to state to you who are reading these words that if you need and if you rely on the fire, if you rely on the wind, and/or if you rely on the earthquake to truly experience the living God then not only might your relationship with Him be incredibly shallow, but I would also seriously question your relationship with Him. The living God never created us to be dependent upon external manifestations and wonders in order that we might know and worship Him. The living God never created us to rely solely on these external manifestations to truly experience Him and His presence and glory within our lives.

Would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider the perhaps the greatest revelation and manifestation of the living God is not through wonders and external manifestations, but rather through His character and nature as revealed through His call for holiness and obedience in His sight? We tend to spend a great deal of time looking for and thinking about the living God in terms of external manifestations and wonders, and yet we fail to recognize and understand that the living God—above everything else—desires to reveal and make Himself known according to His word, according to His name, and according His laws which demand and require our obedience before and unto Him. I am convinced that this is what is so absolutely incredible and wonderful about the opening verses of the twentieth chapter, for the opening verses of the twentieth chapter of the Old Testament book of Leviticus brings us face to face with the awesome reality of that which the living God requires and demands of us. The greatest revelation of the living God is and has always been His character and His nature, and our greatest response to the revelation of Himself is our walking in obedience and holiness before Him in His sight. This is perhaps what is so absolutely critical and vital to consider when thinking about and reading the words which are found within the Old Testament book of Leviticus, for not only does this book open up with the revelation of the offerings which were to be brought before and unto the living God, but there is also judgment upon those who did not acknowledge the authority and holiness of the living God, and who thought they could offer strange fire before the Lord in His holy sanctuary. The death of Nadab and Abihu demonstrates and reveals the reality that the living God takes holiness and obedience to His statutes and commands very seriously. What’s more, is that with the revelation of the character and nature of the living God comes the undeniable expectation that we walk in holiness and obedience before Him in His sight. This reality is evidence within this Old Testament book when you find the living God instructing the children of Israel to be holy even as He the Lord their God was holy. We must recognize that the living God desires and expects us to walk in holiness before Him as we deliberately and intentionally chose to walk in obedience to His commands and statutes. Even more than this, we must understand that the command and statutes which the living God revealed unto the children of Israel were given unto them that they might be set apart and separated from the nations round about the land in which He was bringing them, and even set apart and separated from the peoples and nations which were present in the midst of the land. When the children of Israel came forth out of the land of Egypt they weren’t yet a separated and set apart people, for that would not come until they encountered the living God at the mountain, received the pattern for the Tabernacle and sanctuary of the living God, and encountered His statutes, commands and laws.

As I sit here this morning and think about and consider the words which are written and found within these chapters of the book of Leviticus, I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that when the living God was speaking unto the children of Israel and instructing them to be holy and set apart and separated unto Him as His people—not only did He instruct them to look back upon their time in the land of Egypt, but He also wanted them to look ahead to the land in which He was bringing them. The obedience which the living God demanded and required of the children of Israel was not only to be different than the land from which He had brought them out of, but it was also different from the land which He was bringing them into . If you begin reading with and from the opening verse of the eighteenth chapter of this Old Testament book you will find the following words written and recorded by Moses the servant of the Lord: “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, He shall live in them: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 18:1-5). Please don’t miss the absolutely incredible truth that is found and contained within these verses, for when commanding the children of Israel to walk in obedience to His ordinances, His statutes, His commands and His laws—not only did He command them to be different from those within the land He had brought them out of, built He also commanded them to be different from those within the land He was bringing them in to. For four-hundred and thirty years the children of Israel lived among the people of the land of Egypt, and undoubtedly watched and observed their behaviors, as well as their worship of various gods. What’s more, is that when the children of Israel would enter into the land of Canaan they would undoubtedly behold the practices of the people and nations which were present within the land. Before the LORD God of the Hebrews even brought them into the land which He swore on oath to their ancestors and forefathers, He instructed them to be separate from the people in the land which He brought them out of, as well as to be separate from the people in the land in which He was bringing them unto. YOU CANNOT LIVE AFTER THE PATTERN WHICH YOU OBSERVED IN THE PAST! YOU CANNOT LIVE AFTER THE PATTERN WHICH YOU WILL OBSERVE IN THE FUTURE! In all reality, that which the living God was demanding and requiring of the children of Israel was to separate themselves from their past within the land of Egypt, as well as to separate themselves from that which they would experience when they entered into the land of Egypt. DO NOT TAKE WITH YOU WHAT YOU OBSERVED IN YOUR PAST, DO NOT ADOPT THAT WHICH YOU BEHOLD IN YOUR PAST! DO NOT TAKE WITH YOU FROM WHERE YOU HAVE COME FROM, DO NOT ADOPT FROM WHERE YOU ARE GOING! There was to be a clear line of demarcation drawn in the sand between the children of Israel and that which they observed and beheld within the land of Egypt, as well as that which they would observe within the land of Canaan. The children of Israel were to indeed be separated and set apart as holy unto the LORD, and they were to walk in obedience and faithfulness in His sight for all generations as the LORD their God was holy.

One thing I find to be so absolutely intriguing when considering these words which are before us in this Old Testament book is the amount of times the living God declared unto the children of Israel that He was the LORD. This is incredibly important for us to think about and consider, for any discussion concerning the call to holiness and obedience before the living God must also include an understanding concerning who He was. In fact, I am absolutely and completely convinced that there is a main and underlying reason why when the living God was revealing unto the children of Israel his commands and His statutes He also made the emphatic declaration that He was the LORD their God, for when revealing unto them His laws and statutes, that which He was doing was declaring unto them who He was. What I mean by this is that it was absolutely impossible to separate the laws and commands of the living God from His nature and from His character and from who he was, and any discussion concerning His laws and statutes needed to include His name. It’s almost as if the living God was declaring unto the children of Israel—not only that He was holy, but also that He was holiness. What I mean by this is that if you want to truly understand holiness you must needs understand holiness in terms of it being who the living God. This is of utmost importance, for not only is holiness who God is, but holiness must also be who we are as the people of the living God. Holiness must be who we are as the people of God, for holiness is who the living God is. The living God has called and instructed us to be holy even as He Himself is holy, and we must recognize and understand that any discussion of holiness before and unto0 the LORD must also have His name attached to it, for there is within holiness and obedience before and in the sight of the living God a manifestation of His name and who He is as the living God. We must recognize and understand this, for time and time again when the living God was revealing unto the children of Israel His laws, His statutes, His commands and His decrees, He declared unto them His name and who He was. When the living God appeared unto Moses in the midst of the burning bush in the wilderness He revealed Himself as THE I AM THAT I AM, and even instructed Moses to return unto the land of Egypt and declare unto the children of Israel that I AM had revealed and made Himself known unto them. This reality must be carefully observed, for even when the living was revealing His laws, His statutes, His commands and His decrees, He was revealing them in direct connection to His holy name, and who He was as their God. With each command and decree the living God spoke unto the children of Israel He was not only revealing His name unto the children of Israel, but He was also revealing His nature unto them. Oh that we would understand that it is absolutely impossible to separate the name and the nature of God from each other, and that any discussion of one must also include a discussion of the other.

With all of that being said, it is absolutely necessary that when we consider the words which are found within these chapters, there is a tremendous amount of language that centers around how the children of Israel were to conduct themselves in the land in which they were going. We must acknowledge the fact that the living God would and could not bring the children of Israel into the land which He was bringing them without separating and setting them apart. What’s more, is that the living God would and could not bring them into the land without giving them very specific guidelines concerning how they were to live their lives in the midst of the land and peoples which He as bringing them. There would be the temptation to worship the gods of the land which the inhabitants of the land worshipped, and there would be the temptation to adopt their idols, their images, and their methods of idolatry and immorality. Before the LORD God of the Hebrews brought them into the land which He swore on oath to their ancestors and forefathers, He wanted to ensure they were a people which were not only called by His name, but also that they were a people who were living separated and set apart from the nations and peoples within the land they were inheriting as a possession, as well as the nations round about the land into which He was bringing them. There were certain practices and certain behaviors the people and nations within the land He was bringing them observed and practiced, and before the living God even brought his people into the land He warned them concerning their behaviors and their actions in order that His people might be separated and set apart as holy unto Him. This would include strong commands concerning their abstaining from uncovering the nakedness of their relatives—regardless of whether it be brother or sister, mother or father, aunt or uncle, and the like. As you read these words you will notice a strong warning against sexual perversion and sexual immorality—not only with close relatives, but also with those who belonged to others such as the wife of another man, or the husband of another woman. The LORD God was very clear and very specific concerning His people abstaining from incestuous relationships among His people, concerning sexual immorality and adultery with that one who belonged to another, and even sexual immorality outside the confines of marriage and commitment. As you read the words which are found within these chapters you will quickly encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that the living God was serious about adultery, fornication and sexual immorality, and He warned against such transgression and iniquity, and even declared that such acts were worthy and punishable by death. This is what makes the the account of the woman caught in the act of adultery so absolutely incredible, for this woman was caught in the very act which the Law of Moses commanded her to be put to death for committing, and yet Jesus the Christ delivered her from her accusers and those who would condemn and pass judgment upon her.

The words which are found within these chapters not only brings us face to face with the clear distinction and difference that must exist between the people of God and the people of the nations of the earth, but there were very specific commandments and decrees which the living God desired to speak unto and reveal to His people. Within these chapters we find the living God speaking unto and revealing unto the children of Israel concerning the dangers of sexual immorality, the dangers of incestuous relationships, as well as the dangers of fornication and adultery. Within these chapters we find the living God calling His people to be holy even as He Himself is holy and was the LORD their God who delivered them out of the land of Egypt. What’s more, is the living God warned them against sacrificing their children unto the fires of Molech as sacrifices, which was abominable in the sight of the living God. The LORD gave very clear and present instructions and warnings before and unto His people concerning their children, and warned them against allowing their children to pass through the fires of Molech, for such was not commanded by the living God. Within these chapters we also find the living God speaking unto the children of Israel and instructing them to honor and to k eep the sabbath—and not only to honor and keep the sabbath, but also to reverence His sanctuary. These chapters open with the living God speaking unto and declaring unto the children of Israel that they were not to kill any ox, or any bull, or any ram, apart from the door of the tabernacle and apart from the sanctuary, and any who did such an act would be guilty of shedding blood in the midst of the camp. The Lord was very specific concerning the shedding of blood, and even the consumption of the blood, for the life of the flesh was in the blood. As we read the words which are written and found within these chapters we must acknowledge and come face to face with the absolutely incredible truth that the living God demanded and required absolute and complete holiness from His people, as they were to be separated and set apart unto Him from the people and nations which were present in the midst of the land in which He was bringing them. I am absolutely convinced that when and as we read the words which are found within these chapters we must come face to face with the wonderful reality that we have been called to be holy in the sight of, and holy before the living God. What’s more, is that we must put a distinction between that which is clean and that which is unclean, that which is holy and that which is unholy, and that which is pleasing and that which is displeasing in the sight of the living God. Any revelation of the living God must be a revelation of His character and nature, and must include a revelation of His holiness, for it is absolutely impossible to separate His holiness from His nature, and to separate his holiness from His name. The living God who has delivered us out of our bondage, slavery and oppression demands and requires us to walk in obedience and holiness before Him in His sight and presence.

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