What a spiritually challenging set of readings we have today!  Our Leviticus chapter (20) details the detestable things the nations were doing which God’s nation, being formed in the wilderness, were to completely avoid.

 In contrast to the other nations they are told to “Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.” [v.7] They are told “you shall not walk in the customs of the nation(s)… the LORD your God … has separated you from the peoples … You shall be holy to me  that you should be mine. ” [v.23,24,26] Consecrate is defined in our dictionary as that which is “set apart as sacred.”

Then we completed reading Psalm 119: what a wonderful prayer this is that we can take into our hearts and make it our own. “Great is your mercy, O LORD … my heart stands in awe of your words … Great peace have those who love your law (word) … I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you.” [v.156,161,165,168] Let us all have peace (of mind) in our godless world.  Also let us sense ever more clearly how our Lord and his Fathersees all (our) ways” and join David in saying, “I long for your salvation, O LORD … Let my soul live and praise you” [v.174, 175]

 David is still asleep; remember what Peter said about him in his preaching at Pentecost! He declared “the patriarch David … both died and was buried … David did not ascend into the heavens” [Acts 2 v.25,34] We, like David, long for  God’s “salvation” – and like him, may our aim in life be to “be holy to” the Lord.

In Luke ch. .3 we read the prophecy of John the Baptist. He declares, “he who is mightier than I is coming … His winnowing fork is in his hand … to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” [v.16,17]  John is referring to prophecies such in Isaiah 41 v. 15,16.

Their fulfilment awaits his second coming and when that occurs (how soon now?) may our Lord say to us you shall be (are) holy to me“!   Our anticipation of this is beyond wonder, but we are in awe of the fate of “the chaff” – this is surely about those who could have been “wheat” – but failed to grow in the right way.  May we “be holy” and be embraced by him as his wheat, to be planted in the kingdom, to be with our Lord as he “bring(s) forth justice to the nations and “has established justice in the earth.” [Isa. 42 v.1,4]

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