Jehovah-Mekoddishkem

9/14
((from Jessica))

Jehovah Mekoddishkem, the God who sanctifies you… the Lord who makes you holy.

Only two times in the Old Testament does God describe Himself using this specific title.

“You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you.” Exodus 31:13

“Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you.” Leviticus 20:8

Mekoddishkem derives from the Hebrew word meaning “to sanctify” ,”holy” ,”dedicate”. When Jehovah (the existing one, the Lord) is combined with Mekoddishkem, it can be translated as “The Lord who sets you apart.”

So what does it mean to be sanctified, to be made holy, to be dedicated? Why did the Lord use this title to describe Himself to the Israelites? What exactly was God asking of the Israelites in Exodus and Leviticus?

I had been simmering over these thoughts for about a week, praying over wisdom as to what to write and how to accurately describe and honestly talk about the ways God desires to sanctify us as individuals ( me… you… us… His bride), when the lyrics of Micah Tyler hit me square in the heart’s ears.

My kids were in the backseat of our KIA, arguing over who was going to sit by which grandparent at dinner, and I honestly can’t remember if  they stopped or continued arguing because in that moment, the highway stretched before me and the lyrics were penetrating all kinds of deep-soul places.

From the bottom of my soul, I found myself belting out the words.

I don’t wanna hear anymore, teach me to listen
I don’t wanna see anymore, give me a vision
That you could move this heart, to be set apart
I don’t need to recognize, the man in the mirror
And I don’t wanna trade Your plan, for something familiar
I can’t waste a day, I can’t stay the same
 
I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different
In me

It wasn’t the first time I had heard the song, but I guess you could say…it was the first time the Lord moved my heart as I sang its tune.

That you could move this heart, to be set apart

Why?

[So] The whole world can see
That there’s something different

That’s it! That’s it! That’s it!

Jehovah Mekoddishkem
wants us to be different!

Rewind to the Israelites…

Sure, He was asking them to honor the Sabbath and sure, He desired for them to obey His rules and follow His commands, but I think He was asking more from their hearts than rigid obedience.  I believe He was asking them to honor Him by staying committed to living differently from the Nations; I believe He was asking His people to remain pure to the standards He had set out for them; and I believe He was asking for them to live in such a consecrated, set-apart way that their lives would shout to those around them, “Hey! We’re with HIM–the Great I Am and the Creator of the universe!” Essentially, I believe He was calling His people to live devoted lives that proclaimed His fame and glorified His name.

His people were to be different because He was different. Unlike any wooden-carved, iron-welded, hand-shaped god, Israel’s God stood apart from the rest. He was holy, hallowed, and to be honored in a way that depicted His superiority. 

But how in the world is Jehovah Mekoddishkem calling us to be set apart in 2017? What is He asking of me? What is He requiring of you? And what are we to be declaring to those around us?
The reality is, if we have accepted Christ as our Savior and accepted His atoning sacrifice, we have been sanctified by His blood. The work of Jehovah Mekoddishkem was not limited to the OT. No, no. Brothers and sisters, Jehovah Mekoddishkem was at work on the hill of Calvary.

Hebrews 10:10 states: “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
First, we have been set apart and called holy because of His sacrifice. We have been consecrated by His blood, and He has made us pure by His death. We have been made holy because of His holiness.

Secondly, He has called us out among the Nations and in essence said, “Proclaim my fame and share my NAME!” We have been set apart not to sit in our safe little pews where we sip coffee, chat about theology, and organize social events on our community calendar. No. He has set us apart and called us out to live and serve with a KINGDOM PURPOSE!

“…and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” Romans 6:18 

And because He has sanctified us by His blood and called us to live as a city of lights on a hill, Jehovah Mekoddishkem is committed to our holiness.

So how does He do it?

I believe He uses His Word to continue to sanctify us. 

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17 

I believe He uses Himself, the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, to continue to sanctify us. 

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 

And I believe He uses anything and everything in this present world to continue to sanctify our hearts. 

As the lyrics declare:

I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different
In me

I believe that Jehovah Mekoddishkem has a specific plan for you and for me–a plan to proclaim His fame and shout His name to those around us. I believe He has a uniquely designed “sanctification curriculum” that He uses to change us from the inside-out, making us holy and preparing us to make much of Him.

I don’t know how Jehovah Mekoddishkem is changing you and what He is using in your life; do you?

Is it that difficult co-worker in the cubicle beside you? Is it the depleting bank account? Is it the sibling you need to forgive? Is it the baby you are fostering? Is it the monotonous job you are working? Is it the demands of life? Is it your little ones begging for snacks at your feet? Is it that addiction in your life you’re fighting? Is it your prodigal child? Is it your difficult marriage? Is it that dysfunctional small group? Is it an inability to control your schedule? Is it your waning health?  Is it the difficult moral dilemma you are facing? Is it the heavy course load you’re carrying?  Is it the empty womb? Is it the loss of a loved one?

Whatever it is, I pray God will give you the eyes to see the works of His sanctifying hand. I pray you will find opportunities to embrace and use those difficult situations to proclaim His name. And I pray that whatever you are facing, you will use it as a banner to shout to the watching world: “I’m living, thinking, and believing different because I’m with HIM!”

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