Though I have had read through the Bible several times in the past, this year is the first time, my son Jeremiah and I, are reading through the Bible together. Recently, we came to the portion in Leviticus where it reads,
(1) And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,
(2) Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
The word Holy in Hebrew is קָדֹושׁ [qadowsh, qadosh /kaw·doshe/] which means “sacred,” “sanctified,” or set apart for a special purpose. In the Greek it is the word ἅγιος [hagios /hag·ee·os/], which also means “saint,” or “sanctified.”
When a child of God is called to be holy, we are asked to separate ourselves from things in this world that would make us profane, or “un-holy.” God doesn’t save people for the sole reason of giving them a home in Heaven. He saves them so that they can bring glory to Himself, the One who paid for our sins.
I remember getting our family ready for church one morning and my little daughter was all clean and ready, while I still needed to finish shaving and dressing. I asked her not to go and play outside because I wanted her to be nice and pretty for Sunday School. Did this mean that she was to remain still, and not do anything? NO! But she was to constantly remember to not go and get herself dirty, because her father had plans for her. God, my Heavenly Father, is the same way. He wants me to stay away from things that can soil and pollute my life so that He might be able to use me. God wants me to avoid anything that could get in the way of our fellowship.
Someone once said, “I don’t do good works in order to get saved, I do good works because I am saved!” Holy living is not as much as a “do’s and don’t do’s” as it is a continual walk and fellowship with Jesus Christ. I continue to walk with Christ and anything that might try to get between me and the LORD is removed.
During the early fifth century, some Christian believers felt that the only way we could truly be holy is if they separated themselves from the rest of the world. One individual, named Simeon, lived up on the top of a pillar to get away from everyone. Now, does this call to holiness mean that I must hole up somewhere in a monestary, and avoid people? Absolutely not! I enjoy being with people. I personally enjoy going online and playing a popular game, but there are things that I do stay away from. I don’t go near liquor because alcohol can cloud my thinking. I don’t go to movie theaters or watch television programs that promote the world’s values, because my value system must originate from God’s Word. And if there ever comes a time that I find something in my life that hinders my fellowship with Jesus Christ, I will rid myself of that as well.
The Old Testament book of Leviticus is not an easy read, but it can be boiled down into one command: be holy!