“For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”” Leviticus 11:45
The morality that is commanded by God is not arbitrary. While reading through the laws of defilement and purification and of dietary restrictions, I couldn’t help but criticize the seemingly arbitrariness of all the laws. We now know that there are no health problems associated with eating pork or shellfish, or sanitation issues dealing with certain discharges, so we cannot find the purpose of God’s dietary and defilement laws in health issues. So what is the reason God gives for the Laws he gives the nation of Israel? The law was given so that we might be holy just as God is holy. What this means is that moral laws don’t necessarily need to make sense for them to be valid, because the holiness of God’s people is sufficient enough reason for any commandment. With the New Covenant of Christ, there is no longer a need for dietary and defilement issues to set us apart as holy. However, the tendency today is still to see morality as arbitrary standards that don’t make sense in our cultural climate. Waiting to live together until you’re married does not follow with standards set by our culture. Working through a marriage and sticking with it even when it doesn’t bring about your own happiness doesn’t make sense in today’s culture. Forgiving criminals that harm us, forgiving people in general doesn’t fit in a culture built around self gratification. Christian morality, if followed completely is seemingly arbitrary to the standards of the world around us. And it is arbitrary if we forget that the purpose of morality is our holiness because God is holy. Brothers and sisters, we need to live moral lives, not to toot our own horns, not for the sake of piety, but for the sake of God’s holiness and uniqueness in the world.
Lord Jesus, make us holy as you are holy and give us a passion for your uniqueness amongst the nations!