Saturday, July 09, 2016

Devotional Thought : Leviticus 18:3, 24

You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices … Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Leviticus 18:3 & 24

Seven times in this chapter it is repeated that the Israelites are not to behave like the nations who inhabited Canaan before them (v. 3 x 2, 24, 26, 27, 29, and 30). Likewise Christians are called to be holy and live differently to those around them. Yet holiness isn't some kind of super-spirituality. Rather it indicates uniqueness and separateness which comes from the way we conduct ourselves and not through isolation.

When Jesus prayed for his disciples and future disciples, his prayer was not that we segregate ourselves from the world but rather that God would protect us from evil (John 17:15). There would be little need for protection if we lived in a cocooned environment.

Unfortunately the Israelites weren't able to retain their distinctiveness. They adopted the practices of the pagan nations around them even while continuing to worship God. When there was a new king who followed God's ways exclusively, they introduced reforms but these were only adhered to outwardly (see Jeremiah 3:10 for example). Renewals rarely transformed people's hearts. Even in our day it is easier to blend in with the culture rather than cultivate a God-honouring life-style.

In Romans 12:2 Paul writes: 'Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind'. To be effective renewal must start in our thinking and outwork so it effects our daily life.

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quietspirit said...

An interesting concept to live like God wants us to, not as the world does. People of God have set priorities; people of the world have a different set. I choose to live for God. It is sometimes difficult to do but He gives us strength.

Susan said...

Yes indeed, I choose to live for God too. Thanks for dropping by.