Holy vs. Common

The following is from a devotional I receive via email. It is in line with the post I made yesterday, so I’m sharing it with you:

Stand at Attention!

“Distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean” (Lev. 10:10 NIV). Go deeper: Leviticus 9-10; Mark 11:27-12:12; Psalm 29

We have lived in two cities each with a huge military contingency—San Diego, CA, and El Paso, TX—one Navy city and one Army town. In El Paso, I taught school on the post, and I couldn’t even pass the Ft. Bliss post gate without the appropriate sticker on my car. When the MPs saw it, they saluted, and I drove on through. In the military there are procedures to follow and rank to be respected. That’s the military way, and every buck private learns in short order that the military way is to be strictly followed.

We cherish an image of our loving heavenly father. It’s warm and it’s good and it’s comforting. He is indeed all those things and more. God does, though, have standards and protocols that we’re expected to respect. Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, neglected to obey God’s dictated plan of sacrifices, and they paid with their lives for their disregard of the holy. God admonished Aaron and his other sons with words we could heed today, you must distinguish between the holy and the common (Lev. 10:10). 

God’s house; holy communion; marriage; store house tithing; corporate worship—on and on the list continues—are all things God expects us to respect. This is a day of the casual, and that’s not all bad. We can become too casual, though, with the things of God and treat them with mundane and run-of-the-mill superficiality. 

Psalms 29 is a great contrast to Nadab and Abihu and perhaps the 21st century worshipper. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness (Psalm 29:2). The Message translation shouts: Stand at Attention! That says it all. Pay attention to God’s customs and commandments. It’s not our duty; it’s our responsibility.

Who’s your commander?

The Word in Real Time © copyright Kathy Slamp,Vessel Press/Vessel Ministries.

Dear Heavenly Father,

May your desires become my desires. May I learn to “present my body as a living sacrifice to you.” I want to do what is right and pleasing to you. I want to obey, which your Word says is even better than sacrifice. In this world, “there is a way that seems right to a man,” but man’s way is often not the right way and leads to sin and death. I understand there is a right way to talk, dress, act, look, live. Though I am in this world, I am not to be part of this world. Your Word tells me to “be holy because I am holy.” Through the power of your Holy Spirit, I can…and by your grace, I will. Thank you for working to transform me into the person you would have me be for your glory.

In Jesus’ name, amen.