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SET APART UNTO GOD

“For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy.” 
-Leviticus 11:44
“Being Separated, Sanctified, Set Apart”
 
Separation is taught throughout the Bible because God knows the influence that those practicing and promoting wrong can be upon His people. God has commanded separation also known as sanctification to Him since the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2:16, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” God wanted Adam separated from this tree, but mad it Adam’s decision to obey and separate. It was a test for Adam and Eve to show how much they loved the Lord. God gave them everything, but only asked that they separate themselves from this tree and the evil behind the tree as we see in Genesis 3:1.  Man fought God on this doctrine of separation in the Garden of Eden and has been fighting Him throughout history. The serpent influenced Eve and eventually Adam to disobey God.  Their lack of separation from this evil temptation brought sin and death upon them.
Every person that God has ever used to any degree of eternal merit has been first separated unto God either from sin, relatives, friends, countries, the world, or pleasures that lead away from God to idolatry.  God has left us the Old Testament to show us how He thinks and feels about sin. God commanded Abraham to separate from his relatives in Genesis 12:1, “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.” Abraham partially obeyed God, yet brought along with him some of his covetous relatives. Genesis 13:14 records for us God’s blessing upon Abraham when he finally obeyed God and separated himself, “And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.” Abraham’s relatives were idolaters, and God knew that Abraham would not be completely consecrated to God until He was completely separated. They would discourage him from obeying the Lord and encourage him to live like they lived.  God needed Abraham to be separated in order to use him. God separated Joseph from his brethren. Deuteronomy 33:16 tells us “...let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren.” He had to be separated before he could be used.

 

                               

This separation or sanctification to God is taught in Leviticus 20:26, “And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” God severed/separated the Levite priests in the Old Testament from the common people that way they could talk with God in the Holy of Holies. Before they could be used by the Lord, they had to be separated from those things, relatives, friends, places, or amusements that would hinder their usefulness to God. We are to be separated today from the world, the flesh, and the devil. This includes all of those who would persuade us to live against the perfect will of God. I Peter 2:9 explains this: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;  that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness (separation) into his marvellous light.”
Leviticus 11:44 says about the same thing, but it explains that it is our job to sanctify / separate / sever ourselves from anything or person that keeps us from obeying God. “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy.” As God is holy, He commands us to also be holy in all manner of conversation (our conduct).  I Peter 1:14 is a quote from this passage, as Peter explains that God feels the same about separation and holiness in the New Testament, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”  Holiness is sanctification to God from sin.
Leviticus 20:24 tells us, “But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey (God’s perfect will): I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people (washed you from the filth of the world).” God had to separate His people from the heathen in order to bless them. He gave them their own land so that they could be sanctified / set apart / separated / severed from the heathen that would talk them into worshipping other gods. Exodus 33:16 tells us, “For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.”