Psalms 66-70

Psalms 66-70…God’s holiness.

God’s holiness, and the massive separation from His creation as a result of sin is woven throughout these Psalms. In Psalm 66 we see that the only way we can be united with Him is by responding to His grace and mercy with repentance and faith.

As we consider God in whom there is no darkness, we begin to understand why Isaiah reacted to God’s holiness with an overwhelming sense of his own sinfulness (Isaiah 6:5). God’s moral perfection may make us wonder how He could ever hear our prayers, or even why He would want to.

Understanding God’s holiness should deepen our appreciation of the Holy Spirit whom the Father has sent in the name of His Son Jesus (John 14:26). The Spirit of Truth dwelling within us leads us into God’s truth and helps us to discern error and sin within and around us. The indwelling Spirit enables us to yearn for God’s holiness and to walk in His ways.

It’s not surprising that the Holy Spirit is integrally woven into New Testament passages on prayer. Spend some time today reflecting on the Holy Spirit’s role in prayer as revealed in John 14:15–27, 16:5–16, and Romans 8:1–39. What does Jesus promise the Spirit will do? How does the Spirit help us pray? Then ask the Holy Spirit to open your soul to His leading in holiness and to His prompting in prayer in new and deeper ways.

Leviticus 19-21

Leviticus 19-21…Various laws, punishments for sin, and rules for priests.

We need forgiveness not merely because we have sinned against others; rather, we need forgiveness because we have failed to reflect the image of God, having fallen far short of the glory He intended for us (Rom. 3:23). Our Creator demanded that His old covenant people be holy just as He is holy — set apart from all uncleanness and pure in character. This is very clear in Leviticus 19-21, especially when we consider the severity of the punishments. Ultimately, holiness is a call given to all, Jew and Gentile alike (Acts 17:22–34), and especially to the church (Matt. 5:48; 1 Peter 1:13–16).

The demand could not be higher — everyone is to be as holy as God is holy; our predicament could not be greater — sinners cannot possibly be this holy; and the Father’s answer could not be more gracious — His Son died in our place to satisfy His wrath, making Him able to forgive without forsaking His own righteousness. May we always recognize our failure to be holy as God is holy, our inability to obligate our Creator to forgive us, and the great mercy He has shown us in His Son, Christ Jesus.