Monday 5 June 2017

Holy God (Elohim Kedoshim)

This is the second out of two devotionals written for our church camp (8-12 Jun 2017).

Joshua 24:15b, 19, 21, 23
“... as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins.” But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve the Lord.” “Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.”

Joshua and his family was committed to serving God but he questioned the people’s ability to do so. It required them to dispose of all other gods in their possession and give themselves wholly to the holy God. ‘Yielding your hearts to the Lord’ is not just the outward act of throwing away physical idols and gods, it is more importantly the cleansing and complete submission of our hearts to God. He has to be our top priority, our main focus in life. Anything else that takes His place in importance inadvertently becomes an idol, and it would need to be cast off too.

Leviticus 11:42, 44a
You are not to eat any creature that moves along the ground, ... it is unclean. I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.

In addition, worshipping the holy God meant that the Israelites had to keep themselves holy by avoiding any food that would make them unclean. However, it is not only the external things we consume that defile us, so can the thoughts and desires from within us.

Mark 7:21-23
For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come - sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.

So if wholehearted worship is what we want to model to our children, let us do some spiritual spring cleaning and throw out anything that has taken God’s place in our hearts or that makes us unclean. Only by keeping ourselves and our children pure would we then be able to pass on a legacy of true religion to the future generations.

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

  1. What are the things you need to dispose of, both for yourself and your family?
    • ‘gods’ that have become more important than serving God (eg fulfilling your own or your children’s needs and wants, keeping up with societal expectations)
    • anything unclean you or your family members are consuming (eg clothes, films, social media)
    • any thoughts and desires which may defile you before God

  1. What steps do you need to take to ensure that you and your family worship God only and keep yourselves holy and pure?

O holy God, forgive me and my family for worshipping ‘idols’ and placing them above You, for the unclean things that we consume, and for our defiling thoughts and desires! Cleanse us and give us the ability to keep ourselves holy and pure. Remove the wrong thinking and temptations which lead us away from worshipping You and You alone. Please come and take Your rightful place as King and Lord over our hearts and our lives, for our generation and the generations to come!

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