Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 12, 2016

“Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.”

Today’s devotion comes from Nehemiah chapter 10.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah+10&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“28 Now the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons and their daughters, all those who had knowledge and understanding, 29 are joining with their kinsmen, their nobles, and are taking on themselves a curse and an oath to walk in God’s law, which was given through Moses, God’s servant, and to keep and to observe all the commandments of God our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes;  30 and that we will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons.  31 As for the peoples of the land who bring wares or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or a holy day;  and we will forego the crops the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.”  Nehemiah 10:28-31.

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In today’s Scripture, we see the commitment of the people to separate themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God.  Verse 28.  And, we see two examples:  “we will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons.”  Verse 30.  “As for the peoples of the land who bring wares or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or a holy day”.  Verse 31.

We tend to want to be like everyone else.  We see Christians wanting to be like non-Christians, free to do everything that they want.  But, we also see Reformed people embarassed by their Reformed Doctrine, wanting to hide it or minimize it so as to be like those who embrace everyone and everything.   
 
But, we are different than others.  We are separate from others.  We should not try to be like everyone else.  We should not walk and behave as everyone else.  

“17 “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.
“And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.
18 “And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.”  2 Corinthians 6:17-18.

“14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers;  for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?  15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God;  just as God said,
“I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  2 Corinthians 6:14-16.

“So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;  and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.”  Ephesians 4:17-19.

“I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;  I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.  But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.  For what have I to do with judging outsiders?  Do you not judge those who are within the church?  But those who are outside, God judges.  Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”  1 Corinthians 5:9-11.

In conclusion, there is hope in our sovereign God!  God chose His elect “out of the world”.  God has set us apart from the world and into the truth of His word.

Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy;  and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.”  Leviticus 20:26.

But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself;
The Lord hears when I call to Him.”  Psalm 4:3.

“6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world;  they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.  … 15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.  16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  17 Sanctify them in the truth;  Your word is truth.”  John 17:6 and 15-17.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, 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;  you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  1 Peter 2:9-10.

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before Him;  and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;  and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.”  Matthew 25:31-33.

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