February 10, 2007

Teachers of Distinction

Leviticus 10:8-11

"You must distinguish between the holy and the common ... the unclean and the clean." Leviticus 10:10


At classy hotels inspectors run white gloves along the edges of pictures and door casings and behind furniture--everywhere. Any dirt found will disqualify a room. That's how five-star hotels keep their distinction.

When the priests taught God's instructions to Israel for life in God's presence, they helped the people maintain their distinction. They were to be a people dedicated to serving God in a way that wasn't natural to sinners. We may think that gathering in God's presence for worship is not much different from going to a football game; we just do different things at each event. But taking worship in God's presence for granted leads to unclean hearts and lives. Cleanliness is next to godliness.

Israel received special instructions for sacrifice and worship--and even for work in the fields and vineyards. Israel's cleanliness in work and worship kept her close to God. Still, worship in the tabernacle was special. For that reason the psalmist says, "He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue" may dwell in God's sanctuary (Psalm 15:1-3).

This has not changed since the days of Moses. Only those who are cleansed according to God's instructions, whose sins are covered by the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, are clean enough to be servants of the Lord.

O Lord, keep us clean in heart, mind, and soul so that in our worship and our work we may glorify you truly. In all our actions may we be your faithful servants. For Jesus' 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.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!