Holiness and I Am The LORD
I Am The LORD
The reading for Feb. 24th listed many of the rules that pertained to the service of being a priest. I find it interesting that after almost every rule God made the simple statement: "I am the LORD".
Priests could not marry women defiled by prostitution or divorced… "because I the LORD am holy" (Lev. 21:8). Priests were to be very careful even in their appearance and clothing and not to 'make themselves unclean by touching a dead body [even their mother or father!], "I am the LORD". (21:12). The priest must marry a virgin, "I am the LORD" (21:15). Those priests who had a physical 'blemish' could not serve as priests, "I am the LORD" (21:23).
They were to 'abstain from the holy things of the people of Israel'.. so that they do not profane my holy name: I am the LORD" (22:2). The one who touches anything that was considered unclean would himself be unclean until evening, "I am the LORD" (22:3). They were not to eat that which died of itself or was torn by beasts… I am the LORD" (22:8). The Priests are to keep my requirements so that they do not become guilty and die for treating them with contempt. "I am the LORD" ( 22:9). Those outside of the priest's family were not to eat of the sacred offering, "I am the LORD" ( 22:16).
Hence the statement: "Tell Aaron and his sons to treat with respect the sacred offerings the Israelites consecrate to me, so they will not profane my holy name. I am the LORD." They were to learn and respect the difference between the holy and the profane (Lev. 10:10).
The real concept underlying this is that it is holy because it pertains unto the LORD who is holy. To consider these things common (profane) was to consider the LORD as common. Such was to 'profane the very name of the LORD.
We don't have the same kind of list in the New Testament. However, all of God's people now are priests unto God (1 Peter 2:5). As such, all of us are holy unto the LORD, we are saints. We are to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15). "Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 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).