Jehovah-mekoddishkem: The Lord Who Santifies You

04.15.08

    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 (qadash) you.  Exodus 31:13 (NASB)

    It was a bad day.  I was tired, my hair looked awful, and my emotions had a mind of their own.  I could deal with the emotions and the exhaustion, but the hair?  I can think of many other issues I would rather have than bad hair.

    I went to the bathroom and started looking around.  My eyes rested on the baseboards.  OK, I can deal with emotions, exhaustion & even bad hair....but dirty baseboards?  On that day it exceeded the threshold of Things I Can Handle.  The tears came.  Every muscle in my body became tense, and my blood pressure rose.  "What am I ever to do about the baseboards!?"  Like I said, my emotions were not listening to reason.  I felt I had every cause in the world to be dramatic about baseboards at that moment.

    I don't know if you are a clean freak, but I am.  I don't like for things to be dirty.  My Aunt Deborah (my twin) loved having me visit growing up because I couldn't help but pick up a rag and go to town.  Cleaning calms me.  There is nothing better than a clean, organized house.  It is one of those things that must exist in order for my world to work right. 

    I wonder if that's how God looks at us when we have unconfessed sin.  Does he look at us and want to cry because we're dirty?  Does our communion with Him depend upon us being clean? God made US in HIS image...not the other way around.  Which I think is a bit of the problem...while we are trying to make HIM like US, He is trying to make US like HIM.  The word for sanctify and holy is the same in both Exodus 31:13 & Isaiah 8:13:

    "It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy (qadash). And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread."

    The word is qadash.  It is used to describe both what God does for us (Exodus) and who God is (Isaiah).  It means to be pure, clean.  He is holy.  He is trying to make us holy...like Himself...in HIS image.  Who knew?  We cannot make God in our image because He exceeds our small minds.  C.S. Lewis says, "That is one of the reasons I believe Christianity.  It is a religion you could not have guessed.  If it offered us just the kind of universe we had always expected, I should feel we were making it up" (Mere Christianity).

    When I pray for my friends who don't know the Lord, I pray that they would be stumped in their search for sanctification.  I pray that they will recognize their need for a Savior, and their inability to conjure it up on their own.  I pray that their sin would so disgust them that they will look for something to make them clean.  I pray for intense discomfort and uneasiness.  Much like my reaction to the dirty baseboards (how histrionic I am), I pray for their complete aversion to their dirty souls.

    The human race has come up with all sorts of answers to this problem of uncleanness.  We have built beautiful wellness centers and resorts that are strategically positioned in stunning places.  We have invented dry cleaners and all sorts of cleaning products.  We have offered classes that promise peace and tranquility.  We have created luxury vehicles and built breathtaking mansions.  Our material world is infested with things that attempt to clean us up.  You can bet your friends are diligently searching for it.  I believe it is a desire that God intended...this search for cleanliness.  The world groans with the efforts of being clean.

    You can search the mountains. You can drink from the purest springs.  You can spend oodles of money on spas and resorts.  Dasani cannot satisfy your thirst for purity.  All the resorts in the world will not give you peace.  Clorox will not clean your soul.  Unless you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will still be filthy.  Cleanliness will not be an option for you.

    Please hear this:
    There is no solution to this problem of uncleanness outside of Jehovah-mekoddishkem, our sanctification, and through the shed blood of His son Jesus Christ.  Those who don't know the Lord will find something that will give them temporary relief, which is why we as Christians cannot keep silent.

    So get out your spiritual sponge and go to work...on your knees.

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