Knowing God by His Names ~ Sanctifier 8
Knowing God by His Names – 8
Jehovah Mekadesh (Me-kaw-dash)
The LORD Who Sanctifies You
* Key Verses: Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. (Ex. 31:12-13 NAS)
‘You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. And you shall keep My statues and practice them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you’. (Leviticus 20:7-8)
* Today’s Focus: Track with me as we journey through and see the Lord revealing to us more of who He is, the name Jehovah-Mekadesh (The LORD who sanctifies you) truly expresses the character of God, and His desire for His chosen people. This is not in any way a complete study of sanctification, the topic is very vast, but our desire is to see Him as our Sanctifier.
God has ‘sanctified’ the 7th day – sabbath and ‘set it apart’ (Gen. 2:3) for holy use. We are to stop our normal routine, pausing for a period of time, (not neglecting responsibility, because in due time we will return to it). Interesting, David says of God in Psalms 23, ‘the LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want, He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet (still) waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake.’ We need to learn to be still and quiet, many people are not still enough to hear God. We see a progression when God approached the people on receiving Him, ‘Hear O Israel…’ (Deut. 6:4-5) then numerous times in the New Testament… ‘If you have ears to hear’. Are we listening? Are we setting ourselves apart, to focus on God, and allow Him to focus on… us, (I know can be scary at times). If we do not choose this for ourselves, He may take us and ‘make us’ – can you picture God saying… ‘can you hear Me ….NOW!’
God too sanctifies His people meaning, He ‘sets them apart’ to be holy and peculiar people for Him. Remember what David said, ‘He guides me in the paths of righteousness for HIS name sake.’ Leviticus 11:44,45 ‘be holy for I am holy’. God is holy. He is set apart because there is NONE like Him. We too are called to be set apart – NOT like the world. The word holy, or sanctified is ‘qadash’ in Hebrew, meaning to behave, to act holy, to dedicate oneself, to consecrate – to withdraw someone from ordinary use. It is the sovereign act of God, calling us from the ‘norm’ – setting us apart, that He might accomplish His purpose in and through us.
1 Peter 2:9 ‘but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people’. We are to look different, sound different, be different. We are not to blend in so well that there is no distinction between our lifestyle, and choices than those in the world. We are to remain spiritually separate from the world. I am not talking about, cutting or coloring our hair, or piercing our body parts, wearing clothing that calls attention to us, so we do stand out. We are to allow our ‘inner man’ to come through. The inner ‘regenerate, justified, sanctified man’. God on the outside as well as God on the inside. When Christ comes into our hearts, holiness enters our lives because the Holy One has invaded our innermost being. This week in preparation for this study, I looked at regeneration, justification and sanctification. This alone took me to many verses, chapters and much teaching that to be honest – made my mind sore. I broke down pages of notes, in short this was my summary, we come to God, receive Christ’s atoning work , (regenerated) clean and able to stand before a holy God, (justified) we now are set apart for His purpose, (sanctified).
It is not easy to be holy in an unholy world. God does not ask or expect us to accomplish this on our own. There are many philosophies out there, saying that God created man, patted us on the head and shoved us out into the world and said ‘go and be good’. This is NOT His intent. To be good is not the goal, nor have we been shoved out and left alone. The Lord desires relationship with His creation, and because He is a righteous and holy God, we too are required to be righteous and holy. Due to the ‘fall’, mans image and relationship with God is distorted. We find in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy God giving instructions to help us remain separate. Many of these laws were for our good, for our health, both body and soul. He presents man with rules, and procedures to accomplish this in us, with all of humanities down fall and weaknesses, He then sent His Son…Jesus… once and for all! Relationship restored! We have two options, be separate and be holy or compromise and become corrupt, and jeopardize our relationship with the Living God.
One thing I have noticed among a few of the saints is the interpretation of holiness…. instead of the meant meaning ‘set apart’ they refer to it as ‘set aside’, out of sight, out of mind, not bothering anyone. Think on that, ‘set aside’ accomplishes nothing for the Kingdom, the word picture is ‘off to one side and quietly watch as life passes by.’ Jesus says in John 10:10 ‘I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.’ Here is a verse that should cause us to stand and cheer… (raw-raw, go-go, live it so everyone will know- just kidding)
‘when you were dead in your sins ….God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that stood opposed to us, He took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of the triumphing over them by the cross.’
Oh to gain a true understanding of all that God has for us, to walk in it, appreciate it. (hm…..) As we minister to the Lord, living our lives before the throne of God, we take it as something special. We do our best, using all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We do not want to be found with a ‘Cain Spirit’, when Cain saw Abel’s offering, Cain said ‘let me do something too’, but he didn’t offer from his heart, he didn’t offer his best. (Gen. 4)
Pursuing sanctification is NOT self-confidence, reliance or even duplicating someone else’s experience in God, there are no short cuts to spiritual maturity. We are a ‘work in process’. Time and obedience are the greatest commodity on our growth chart. Philippians 1:6 ‘being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you, will carry it out until the day of Christ Jesus.’
Holiness and sanctification can be intimidating, simply put, we are living the qualities that God has instilled in us, His Spirit, His word, His life, His love.
1. Are you actively pursuing holiness? Are you set apart? if so, from what, and how is your life different from those who do not know Christ?
2. What is the purpose of the Sabbath? Let’s break it down even more, do you personally pursue Sabbath time with God?
3. What did you learn about your relationship with Jehovah-Mekadesh, the One Who sanctifies you?
4. Personalize the following verse, place your name in the blank… Leviticus 20:26…
Thus you _____________ are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you _____________ apart from the peoples to be Mine’.
What does this mean to you, does it challenge you, inspire you?
5. How important is holiness in your life? (see Hebrews 12:14)
In Him, DeDe