A Holy People
All who remain in Zion
will be a holy people—
those who survive the destruction of Jerusalem
and are recorded among the living.
In the opening chapters of Isaiah, God condemns Israel for its immorality and godlessness, predicting a day of painful judgment. But God also looks forward to a time of restoration, when the people and land will be blessed. In that time, those who have survived the judgment “will be a holy people.”
What does it mean to be a holy people? The basic sense of the Hebrew word for holy is “separate” or “set apart.” Holy things are not for ordinary use, but for special purposes in the temple. Holy people, by analogy, are set apart by God for him and his purposes. Holiness isn’t simply a matter of being separate from the world. It is being fully devoted to and invested in God’s kingdom.
We who have faith in Jesus are called to be a holy people. This doesn’t mean we cut ourselves off from the world, however. Like Jesus, we are intimately involved in this world and its people. But we are different, in heart and in action, because of our relationship to a holy God.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you understand holiness? In what ways do you live as a holy person? How do you reflect the distinctiveness of God in your daily life?
PRAYER: Gracious God, even as you once called Israel to be holy, so you have called us. Those of us who know you through Christ have been set apart from his world. Yet we remain in this world to bear witness to you through our words and deeds.
Help your church, dear Lord, to be a holy people. Teach us how we are to be different from the world and its values. Teach us also how to reach this world, how to extend your love and grace to the people around us. May our holiness be like your holiness: separate in crucial ways from the world, yet profoundly engaged with the world and its people. Amen.
Daily Reflections from The High Calling.org
This devotional comes from The High Calling of Our Daily Work (www.thehighcalling.org). You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace.