Good Morning, Brothers and Sister!
Today we will remember God’s past faithfulness as a reminder that God is still faithful to us and always will be!
We have considered several names of God already, and today we are going to consider another one, “Jehovah Mekoddishkem” (yeh-ho-vaw’ M-qadash), ‘the Lord Who Sanctifies You’. We find this name of God in Exodus 31:13 and Leviticus 20:8! Here is Exodus 31:12-17 in the English Standard Version of the Bible.
And the Lord said to Moses,“You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death.Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever.It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”
I’m also going to read Leviticus 20:6-9:
If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people. Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you. For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him.
Let us pray…
God is the God who sanctifies us. You may have heard that big word before, sanctify. We talk about how believers, followers of Jesus Christ, are being sanctified by God, specifically, through the indwelling Holy Spirit who works through the scriptures to conform us to the image of Christ. But you may not be familiar with the meaning of the word sanctify. It means to make worthy of the dwelling place of God. The words sacred, sanctuary, and sanctify are similar. When God sanctifies us, he makes us sacred, we become holy ground, the temple of God, the saints in and among whom God himself dwells! His act of sanctifying us is to make us more worthy of His presence, to set us apart for worship, to clean us up and form us into the image of Jesus Christ!
God did not wait until the New Testament to tell His people that He was going to dwell among them. Indeed, the tabernacle, and later the temple, was the symbol of God making his home among His people. We no longer have a tabernacle or a temple because God has declared that we are his dwelling place. That’s right, you and I are the temple of God! And since God is “Jehovah Mekoddishkem”, and God is indeed the same yesterday, today, and forever, God is at work even now sanctifying all of His people!
In the Exodus passage which we just read, we find that God is very serious about sanctifying his people. He insisted that they keep the sabbath, that is the seventh day of the week, holy. They were not to work on that day, nor to profane it in any way, for it was a sign of their faithfulness to God. Anyone who broke the Sabbath was put to death! Wow, God takes his Word seriously! And he does set apart his people, sanctifying them, just as he set apart the sabbath to be a holy day of solemn rest!
Now, we no longer set aside the sabbath day for rest. For Jesus rose again on the first day of the week. So we enter into His rest by worshiping on the first day of the week, on Sunday. But the principle is the same, God sets aside a day for rest that we might be holy. He sanctifies us, setting us apart from the rest of the world, marking us with this sign of our relationship with him, that we do not work on one day in seven, except in the case of mercy, for Jesus taught us that we are to do works of mercy on the Lord’s day.
In the second passage, Leviticus 20, we see that God is very serious about not using mediums or anyone connected with the occult, who communicates with demons or tries to use or obtain supernatural power. We must stay away from all things demonic! He also forbids us from cursing our parents! For then we would deserve the death penalty! Wow, God is really serious about our holiness! He calls us to be holy! God calls us to keep his commandments, and then he pronounces his name saying, I am “Jehovah Mekoddishkem”, “the One Who Sanctifies You”!
How does God sanctify us? By warning us against wandering with threats of punishment? Yes, indeed! For God never changes! He is not just a God who woos us with his love and his promises of goodness toward those who love him and obey his commands, he also pronounces curses and judgment on those who reject him!
So what do we do? Do ought to continually cry out to God for holiness, for he is “Jehovah Mekoddishkem” the “Lord who Sanctifies us!” We know that apart from Jesus we are all sinners worthy of death. But in Jesus Christ we find forgiveness and peace! But woe to that man or woman who thinks they can have Jesus living inside of them without having to give up their sins! For God is unchanging. He is “Jehovah Mekoddishkem”, and if he dwells among us, he will sanctify us! For this we who are being saved give great thanks and praise! God is our salvation and he is sanctifying us, preparing us to spend eternity with him! What great joy that truth brings to we who belong to Christ! Let us thank God together for being “Jehovah Mekoddishkem”, the Lord Who Sanctifies Us!”