Thursday, January 26, 2012

Names of God: Jehovah-mekoddishkem

It's time for another post in the Names of God series. We have done a little study on the names Elohim, El Elyon, El Roi, El ShaddaiEl OlamAdoniaJehovahJehovah-jirehJehovah-rapha, and Jehovah-nissi.
Today we will discover what we can learn about the character of our God as we look at His name, Jehovah-mekoddishkem.

We are introduced to this beautiful name of God in the book of Exodus.

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death. So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”
When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.
~ Exodus 31:12-18

Jehovah-mekoddishkem is God's name for Himself that means the LORD who sanctifies you. So what exactly does that mean to us. When we look at the context of this passage of Scripture in which God reveals this name we discover that this is the time when Moses is on the mountain top alone with God. This is when God is giving the children of Israel the Law, the Ten Commandments.

The children of Israel have spent the last four hundred years as slaves in Egypt living under the bondage of slavery and under the rules of a godless Pharaoh. Now they have been redeemed by their God. Now they are free, but they are not free to live to themselves... they have been set free to serve the I AM.

Then the LORD said to Moses,
“Go to Pharaoh and say to him,
‘Thus says the LORD,
Let My people go, that they may serve Me.
Exodus 8:1

The children of Israel were no longer to look, talk, or act like slaves of Egypt. They were redeemed to be set apart. That is what sanctified means. They were being set apart and prepared and dedicated to represent and serve the One True Living God. They were going to be consecrated and taught by God how to be holy and majestic and to be a people of honor. They were no longer to be slaves... they were now sons. They were to be sons who greatest desire was to honor their Father.

Does this sound familiar child of God through Christ Jesus His Son?

But you are A CHOSEN RACE,
so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him
who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 
for you once were NOT A PEOPLE,
but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD;
but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.
1 Peter 2:9-10

The children of Israel did not do a thing to earn their sanctification. They were slaves who had nothing. They did buy their freedom. They could not purchase their own redemption. If you read the preceding chapters of the book of Exodus you also see that the children of Israel grumbled and complained the whole way into their freedom and even as they were walking in it. So they did not become good out of the appreciation of their new freedom. They did nothing to sanctify themselves. They had no ability within themselves to make themselves holy. God had to do it all. Thus He is Jehovah-mekkodishkem, the LORD who sanctifies you.  

I didn't earn my sanctification either. I didn't earn my salvation. I was a slave to sin in bondage to my flesh and Satan held the cords of control. I was bankrupt and broken. I could not set myself free. I could not pay my way out. I had to be redeemed. It would be my Jehovah-mekkodishkem that came to my rescue.

By this will we have been sanctified
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ
once for all.
Hebrews 10:10

I was not sanctified by my ability to keep the Law. I was sanctified by my ability to be good enough. The children of Israel were not sanctified by their ability to keep God's Law either. Go back and look at the context.

The LORD who sanctifies you reveals this name of Himself as He teaches us of the sabbath.

You shall surely observe My sabbaths;
for this is a sign between Me and you
throughout your generations,
that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. 
Therefore you are to observe the sabbath,
for it is holy to you.
Exodus 31:13-14

Now why did God say that observing the sabbath would be the sign?

Why not, you shall not commit adultery and this is the sign that you are sanctified? Why not, you shall obey your parents  and this will be the sign that you are sanctified? Why not, you shall never take my name in vain and this will be sign? Why not you shall not make an idol and this will be sign?

Why on earth would the sign be the sabbath?

Oh precious one, God is trying to get a very huge point across to us today... just as He was to the children of Israel then. The point that He alone can sanctify.

The sign that we belong to Him is our ability to rest in Him.
To trust in Him.
To depend on Him.
To believe in Him.
Our sanctification does not come as a result of our work... it is a gift received only by the grace and mercy of God.

For by grace you have been saved
through faith;
and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; 
not as a result of works,
so that no one may boast. 
Ephesians 2:8-9

Oh how thankful I am that God did not make the sign of my sanctification my ability to keep to perfection the rest of the Law. I fail often. I fall often. I miss the mark. But when I do I know that I am His because His Spirit calls me to repentance and to rest in His forgiveness and calls me to remember to trust and to love and not to fear and to start over because I have received mercy.

This is what makes my God, Jehovah-mekkodishkem, different from all other gods... mercy for no reason other than that He loves me. Then out of my overwhelmed relief of His poured out without measure grace I willingly desire and choose to honor my Father by obeying the rest of His commands. So that my set apart life might display His majesty and be used by Him to bring the rest of our family home.

My freedom did not come through my ability to work, from ability to get it all right. My freedom game from resting in Him...

Precious one are you tired? 
Are you tired from working to get it right?
Are you ready to rest in Him?
In Him alone will you find freedom...

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