Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.Exodus 31:12-13
When people have the opportunity to meet the President or the Queen of England, they would never go in front of those people with mud on their clothing or immediately after doing their chores in the pig barn. They would take a shower and wear clean clothes out of respect for that person. If you have children, you make sure that they bathe and have clean clothes when they go to visit grandparents or other people. We make sure that we are clean on the outside, but God wants us to be clean on the inside too!
Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.Matthew 23:26-28
Qadesh means to pronounce clean, to set aside, to consecrate, to hallow or to make holy. God is holy. He has never sinned and He never will. Because He is holy, He expects His people to be holy.
In the Old Testament, God gave His people rules and regulations to keep them holy. When Jesus came He did the work on the cross to save us and then continues to sanctify us.
But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—Colossians 1:22
There are several references throughout Scripture that command us to be holy.
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”1 Peter 1:15-16
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12:1-2
I like that passage from Romans. It is a reminder that I am a living sacrifice. The problem with living sacrifices is that they crawl off the altar. So, even though it is God who sanctifies us and makes us more like Him, we have to be willing.
As a survivor of trauma this one can get difficult. Often we feel dirty, definitely not holy. We can struggle to even “face” God because of what has happened. At least, that is how it was for me. I blamed myself for what happened to me for years! But, it wasn’t my fault and God didn’t label me as unholy because of what happened to me.
I also had to come to terms with the reality that God didn’t cause this to happen, but He did allow it. And He never makes a mistake. What that meant for me was that He allowed this to happen for a reason. I may never know the reason, but He doesn’t make mistakes.
God is holy. He wants us to be holy. Jesus came to do that.