Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The “Holiness” Law

We all know the Law of Gravity. Simple. What goes up, must come down. Right?

In this universe, the all-respected and adhered-to ‘religion’ of science tells us that there are certain ‘laws’ that have been proven to exist and that’s just the way it is. Like Gravity.

Keeping that in mind, I’ve been reading the Old Testament lately. Started from the beginning and reading through, even the genealogy chapters and such. I want to know what’s in there and explore why. I read a chapter, then write down questions or observations I have, and sometimes even some revelations.

So I’ve been reading about God’s covenant with Moses and the people of Israel, specifically about the building of the Tabernacle, the place God would meet with His people.

It’s quite the specific blueprint God gives. From measurements and materials to design and décor, Moses is told exactly how to build this sacred house and who would be allowed in it and how they would be allowed to enter it and what they were to enter it for and what would happen if they didn’t follow His instructions.

Death. Usually. Death was the penalty for not following the instructions.

Geesh, you might exclaim under your breath. So many hoops to jump through. Perfection is required or lights out forever? Really? Isn’t that a little… extreme?

From our worldview where nothing is sacred and breaking the rules is deemed funny or heroic, I guess we would label it extreme.


God did not give the Tabernacle blueprint as a test to His people to see if they could follow rules, obtain perfection or entertain Him with all their hoop jumping. He gave the instructions because they were necessary if God was ever going to dwell among His chosen people, His beloved, His bride.

Why necessary? Because of His holiness.

God’s Holiness is like the Law of Gravity. It isn’t something He decides to do or be in order to make our lives difficult. It is what He is. And the fact is that Holiness has no choice but to kill sin and anything sinful. That’s just the Law of Holiness. That’s what Holiness does. It’s the effect of Holiness on sin.

Instead of thinking of God as a rule-wielding brut in the sky, try thinking of Him as the Perfect Lover. He loves His beloved so much, but as things stand, He is unable to dwell with her because of His holiness and her sin. He’d actually kill her if He got anywhere near her. But instead of shrugging His shoulders and giving up, He makes a way where there seems to be no way. In the Old Testament, that meant giving strenuous and specific instructions for the Tabernacle and all that took place there. This, however, only gives Him access to some of His beloved. So He forges a new covenant in Jesus, whose sacrificial actions bridged the cosmic chasm allowing the Lover to be one with His Beloved. It’s not that the Law of Holiness went away or changed, or that the beloved stopped being sinful. But Jesus gifts us His righteousness so that our sin’s atoned for, and therefore we do not die in the presence of Holiness.

Thank God for His blueprints. We’d do well for ourselves to follow them.

(photo by