The Way of Holiness
Gracious Lord, I want to rejoice in the gift of this new day. Release praise from within me as I look to You.
Consider: "Sanctification is not natural morality, but supernatural conformity to the moral and spiritual likeness of Jesus Christ" (James I. Packer). Our God is Jehovah-m'-Kaddesh, the One who sanctifies (Lev. 20:8)!
Aaron is one of the heroes of the Exodus and its sequel. A born orator, he served as Moses' spokesman before Pharaoh. Alongside Moses, he was God's instrument in performing miracles and calling down the plagues on Egypt. At Sinai he was among the chosen few who witnessed the Lord's glory (Exod. 24:9-11). He was consecrated as the first high priest. Yet his obituary is a dramatic anticlimax (22-29). The high priest who had entered the awesome Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement is forbidden entry to the Promised Land! Why? The place-names Meribah and Kadesh (1,13,24) provide a clue. The name Kadesh means holy place, and Meribah quarrelling. Aaron quarreled with God's command (12). Therefore, he had to face the sanctions of God's holiness (13).
Aaron met the strict requirements of ceremonial holiness inherent in his priestly office, but sadly he trifled with the moral holiness God demands. The ritual holiness required of Aaron is now obsolete, but the claims of moral holiness remain. The divine imperative "Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy" continues to have validity (Lev. 19:2). Indeed, Jesus intensifies it (Matt. 5:48). This means that the call to holiness is more exacting for us than it was for Aaron and Moses!
Disciples being made holy is the focus of Jesus' high-priestly prayer: "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17). Sanctification is a work of God--but he calls us to collaborate. One way of doing so is to engage prayerfully with Scripture. By meeting God daily in his Word, we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus and are transformed into his likeness (2 Pet. 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:18). Why not make your quiet time today a Kadesh, a holy place? Instead of quarreling with the Lord's will, submit yourself gladly to it.
"Without holiness no one will see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14). How can you collaborate with God in his sanctifying work in your life?
Holy One, enable me to reorder and recalibrate my life so holiness will happen.
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