October 29

God Distinguishes, So Should We

Leviticus 10:8-11 Then the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying: “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink…that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.”

Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean….

Part of the responsibilities of Israel’s leaders was to help make clear to His people the differences between the holy and the unholy, the clean and the unclean. It is still up to God’s leaders to do that for His people, and is becoming an increasingly important responsibility. God makes many distinctions: male and female, married and not, sacred and profane, wisdom and folly, righteous and wicked.

In one of his latest moves to build his kingdom on the earth, the enemy is focused on tearing down God’s kingdom and threatening the stability of our culture by breaking down distinctions that are God-created. We rightly rejoice when ungodly distinctions disappear, such as prejudice between races and the subjugation and exploitation of women in some cultures.

But as priests in the kingdom of God, we must all do our best to maintain distinctions where He does. Genesis 1:27 says that when God created humankind, “male and female He created them.” Many try to live somewhere in between and ask us to honor that; we can love, but we cannot honor that. Sexual relations are still reserved for the married, which is in turn reserved for a man and woman. We do no one any good to be guilty of the sin of the priests rebuked in Ezekiel 22 (above) by equivocating or waffling on difference where God has clearly placed it.

Even the non-Christian writer George Orwell was able to look into the future and see this turnaround in a control-driven government that supported such doublespeak as “War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.” We’ve entered a spiritual 1984 where sin has become “righteousness,” rightly distinguishing has become the “sin of intolerance,” and distinctions built into nature itself are under futile but viscous attack.

To honor the Lord, we must be faithful priests to our God. We must enter into our prophetic call as individuals and as a church, and keep the distinctions that God has created. We must first settle these issues in our own hearts and understanding (and our current culture may make this a challenge for many). Then must work in our churches and culture to keep alive God’s distinctions, especially where they are under attack.

The French have it right in the area of gender: “Vive la difference!” We need to join them in celebrating every other godly difference.

Prayer: Father, show me where I might be failing to make distinctions where You make them. Forgive me my pride in thinking that my thoughts could be more advanced than Yours. Give me wisdom to be the godly priest You want me to be.

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