February 20, 2007

For God's Sake, Be Holy!

Leviticus 19:1-18

"Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy. " Leviticus 19:2


No matter what you think, you are something like your parents. You may even walk and talk like them. Imitating them may be a good thing, if their behavior is commendable.

God is not only good; God is also holy. There is no other like him. God's people everywhere are anything but divine, and yet God teaches them to be holy--not because they can be holy if they try, but because God is holy. God wants his people to imitate his holiness.

This is a terrible teaching for those who want to pursue only their own ideas and wishes. For others, this teaching is simply impossible. Mere creatures can't be anything like God, can they? The truth about us and God is something like the truth about us and our parents. It's impossible not to reflect God in some way because we are made in God's image (Genesis 1:26). But because of our sinful nature we reflect God badly. We live as if God has nothing to do with us, as if his interests oppose ours. Even so, sometimes we find ourselves being loving and just. How out of character for someone who doesn't want to reflect God!

Don't worry so much about yourself, your looks and desires. The Lord knows what you need. "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33).

Lord, I want to be holy; help me overcome my unholiness. By your Spirit help me to reflect your holiness each day as you make me more like Jesus. For his sake, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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