What Holiness Requires

It’s easy to read the story of the Israelites in the wilderness and wipe my brow in relief.

There was no “choosing-your-tribe-day” in the desert.

And there was never a “sign-up sheet in the foyer” for those who were willing to

“risk their life”

in order to move holy objects from one place to the next as they wandered.

No.

When you were born,

you received your name.

If your father was Kohath, you were a Kohathite.

If your father was Merari, you were a Merarite.

If your father was Gershon, you were a Gershonite.

You get the pattern.

There was no denying your roots in Biblical times.

Your tribe had a purpose.

And your name did too.

The Kohathites, for example,

were sent into the Holy of Holies after everything was covered up by Aaron and his sons.

There job was then to move everything out (very carefully) and

carry it to the next place God’s presence would come to rest on their wilderness journey.

Come in, but don’t look.

Carry this, but don’t touch.

The rules were stern and the stakes were high.

Holiness wasn’t something to take lightly.

And just as sin separates us from God today,

disobedience separated the Israelites from Him back then.

It’s tempting to read quickly through these pages of the Old Testament,

trying to move closer to the pages of Jesus.

These stories cause fear.

His story offers hope.

But the longer I read,

the more I realize just how closely I need to pay attention.

Slow down.

Take note.

Listen.

In Leviticus and now in Numbers,

God may have been speaking to Aaron and the Israelites,

but He was also speaking to me.

“Be holy, because I am holy.  And be careful.  You’re carrying things too.”

The things He’s called me to carry may not be gold lampstands or bowls and pitchers for the drink offering,

but they still matter.

And I believe they’re holy too.

My marriage.

My children.

My family.

My friendships.

My job.

When I view these things as sacred,

something begins to change inside of me.

Moments matter.

Words do too.

If the veil has truly been torn from top to bottom,

inviting me into the Holy of Holies,

why should I expect new curtains to go up,

separating certain parts of my life from His presence?

The truth is:

Everywhere I go,

He goes.

And every step I take is on Holy Ground.

“Take off your shoes, Tammy.”

(Maybe Kentucky really is the perfect place for me to live.)

Death was the penalty for Israelites who overstepped their bounds.

Broke the rules.

Allowed their unholiness to defile that which was holy.

Why do I think God, who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow,

would expect anything less of me?

My death may not be physical……

yet.

But isn’t spiritual death more frightening?

To be separated from God –

forever –

because I disregarded His call to holiness.

In all things.

My to-do list is long today,

but if I forget the most important thing,

I might as well forget them all.

Be Holy.

Because He is.

______________________________________________________

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.

And what does the LORD require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

I have this verse hanging in my house.

Because I don’t want to forget.

I may not be a Kohathite,

charged with carrying holy things from one camp site to the next,

but I am a Child of God.

And I’ve also been called to carry holy things.

God had expectations for the Kohathites.

And He has expectations for me.

Thankfully, Jesus’ blood covers my sin,

but I’m still responsible for my actions.

(Today’s reading was from Leviticus 26-27 and Numbers 1-5)

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