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Yeshua Explored

Kadosh

todayJune 21, 2021 47

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I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy. (Leviticus 11:45)

Of course we are called to be holy, this is a persistent theme throughout the Bible and we have had much teaching on this subject, though most of us would be honest enough to admit that practice has rarely matched theory. What I want us to think about instead is the Holiness of God Himself. The Hebrew word is Kadosh. The Paul Wilbur song of the same name simply states Who He is, the Lord of hosts, Who was and Who is and Who is to come.

I believe that many in the Church today have lost sight of this. Here are a few pointers, as listed in Hebraic Church: 

  • Celebrations/events are planned and advertised with catchy slogans promising what God is going to do there, so you must not miss the blessing. We simply can’t treat our Creator as if he’s just another celebrity coming to do His act. Of course, He is gracious enough to turn up at these places despite our efforts, simply because He always wishes to bless individuals. It’s just a shame that these ministries take the credit for this!
  • TV evangelists / faith preachers. Do I really need to say more?
  • When unusual natural disasters occur the default response of the mainstream Church is to assure the world that this has nothing to do with God. Have they not read their Bibles and seen how God has often used the elements as warning signs to His people? Or do they believe that God has turned into a polite civilised Englishman?
  • The ready acceptance of our churchmen to follow a “scientific” narrative when explaining the world rather than the unchangeable Word of God.
  • The shameful treatment of the Jewish people, something that still runs as a niggling undercurrent through the UK Church. To deny a continuing relationship of Jews with their God is to deny God’s covenants with mankind, which is tantamount to calling Him fickle, or a liar.
  • The current accent on ‘God is Love’, categorising Him as purely one-dimensional and denying a full understanding of our multifaceted Creator. The widespread lack of Old Testament knowledge is responsible for this inexcusable ignorance. Isn’t it better to acknowledge Him as a person and not a philosophical abstract and instead describe Him as God Who loves.

What about the Jewish experience? To answer this, we open our Bibles in the Hebrew Scriptures, in the Book of Exodus, chapter twenty, the Ten Commandments or, to be more precise, the “Ten Sayings”. This makes sense when we look at the first “saying”, as Christianity and Judaism are at odds as to what this actually is!

The Rabbis declare the first “saying” as the contents of Exodus 20:2:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

This is a saying, a declaration, it is not a commandment. This is why the Christians disregard this and simply take this as a prelude to what they say is the first “commandment”, Exodus 20:3.

Why is this relevant? It is because, to the Jews, it is a declaration of Who God is. Everything else flows from this. The sheer fact of this dwarfs all that follows. You can imagine the scene, at the foot of Sinai. The Hebrews are actually hearing God’s voice, and these are the first words they hear:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Can you imagine their reaction? Awe doesn’t do it justice, or any word that we can dig out of our reserve of superlatives. Perhaps a mighty booming voice, or perhaps a still small voice? Whatever, the Source of these words would be unmistakeable.

Just consider the first part, expressed in the Hebrew words, Anoki Adonai Elohekha. The first word takes the meaning “I am”, but this very word is mainly used in the context of a royal command. Its literal meaning is Because I Am and is used over a hundred times in Scripture. Remember, It is God Himself speaking here and we’re not to forget that. It underlines all that follows and puts a Divine seal on the sayings that follow. These aren’t ordinary instructions, these are part of God’s Word of life for us!

Remember God’s answer to Moses from the burning bush (Exodus 3:14), when He was asked to identify Himself. I am that I AM (or I will BE).

God just … is. He is the Creator, the Source, the Sustainer, the Redeemer. He doesn’t need a whole bunch of words to describe Himself. He is God, everything and everyone else just revolves around that awesome fact. 

This is an extract from the book, Shalom, available for £10 at https://www.sppublishing.com/shalom-239-p.asp

Are we as holy as we think we are? 

Written by: Miriam Emenike

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