February 24, 2016

Exodus 31:12, 13; Leviticus 20:7, 8

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

This name of God combined with Jehovah is one I have rarely heard – Jehovah-Mekoddishkem.  But the characteristic of God it represents is so important!  Translated from Hebrew it means, the LORD who sanctifies you, or the LORD who makes you holy.  This name is found two times in the Bible, in Exodus 31:12 &13 and Leviticus 20:7 & 8:

      And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak also to the children of
      Israel, saying, ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign be-
      tween Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know
      that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.’”

      Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy:  for I am the LORD your God. 
      And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them:  I am the LORD who
      sanctifies you.

According to Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary, Mekoddishkem is derived from kaw-dash’, “A primitive root; to be (causatively make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally)….”  Eerdman’s The New Bible Dictionary says this in the article, Sanctification, Sanctify – in the Old Testament :

      God’s exhortation, “Be…holy, for I am holy” [Levitcus 11:44, 45], re-
      quired a moral and spiritual response from the people, a reflection of
      His moral excellence of righteousness, purity, hatred of moral evil, lov-
      ing concern for the welfare of others in obedience to His will; for the
      Holy One of Israel was actively engaged for the good of His people…
      as well as being separated from evil….His holiness was both transcen-
      dent [the exaltation of God above the universe and His distinction from it]
      and immanent [presence of God in the world, in oppostion to trancendence]
      …and theirs was to be correspondingly characterized.

Jehovah-Mekoddishkem the LORD who makes you holy.  I remember the early morning prayer times of which I was a part with a group of ministers and lay people.  It was held three times a week for seven years as we gathered to pray for revival.  Sometimes we met in the Nazarene church.  There, as we knelt before the altar rail, I would look up at the cross on the wall.  Above it was a bold sign – “Holiness To The Lord”!  I thought that sign should be posted prominently in all our churches!

Too often this important aspect of God is not emphasized enough in Christianity – even in evangelical circles.  The author of Hebrews reminds us in Hebrews 12:14:  “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”  Since God is holy, He demands His children to be holy!  But here is wonderful news – and it is proclaimed in our second featured scripture, Leviticus 20:7 and 8:  “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy: for I am the LORD your God….I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”  While God requires sanctification in His sons and daughters, it is He Himself who accomplishes that sanctification within us! (See March 13, 2013 post – A Little Help Here, Please!).  How does He do that?  In II Peter 1:3 and 4 it is written:

      His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,
      through the knowledge of Him who called us to glory and virtue, by which
      have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through
      these you may be partakers of the divine nature….

What has God given us?  What gives us the transforming knowledge of Him?  It is the Word of God – the Bible, of course!  Jesus showed us this truth as He prayed in the garden just before He went to the cross.  In John 17:17 He beseeched the Father, “Sanctify them by Your truth.  Your word is truth.”  Sanctify them – make My followers holy – by Your word !  Is it any wonder, then, that Paul pleads with us in Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly….”  For if the word dwells in you richly – reading, studying, meditating, memorizing – holiness will be manifested richly in your life!

Dear Christian, may the Lord God be Jehovah-Mekoddishkem to you – and in and through you, to His greater glory!

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