Seven Active Names: 1. Yahweh M’Kaddesh (יהוה מקדשׁכם) The Lord Who Sanctifies

We come now to a series of what are called ‘active’ names of God. These help show us that God does not sit back, at a distance – aloof and uninvolved. He seeks to be invited into our lives, to participate in and through us. He actually leads us on the path of salvation and does not juts point us in the general direction, sending us off with an encouraging pat on the back.

And we must remember that God is not just a chum on the journey, but the LORD Almighty – to be respected and feared in reverence, in holy worship, for He is the one who sanctifies us; He makes us holy – set apart in His righteousness.

And that is the name we are looking at now: Yahew-M’Kaddesh – the LORD Who Sanctifies and Makes Holy. 

This is an aspect of God’s mighty work: sanctifying us. And it reveals an aspect of what our heart attitude should be; of yearning for righteousness in our souls. Indeed, it reveals the respect and reverence in which we are to hold God and with which we are to approach Him. We can find guidance in this when we look at Proverbs, 

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7)

The LORD makes it clear that He is the active one, and that our sanctification and salvation is not anything that we have earned. The law is important, and we are called to obey it, but God makes it clear that He makes His people holy – not the law.

We are told this clearly:

Obey my laws, and live by them. I am Yahweh-MKaddesh who sets you apart as holy. (Leviticus 20:8)

There is immense value in knowing that God sanctifies us, not any understanding of the law that we may have. Paul knew the worth of that when he wrote:

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christand be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. (Philippians 3:8-9)

So, in reverence, fear and holy love, we may draw nearer to God thanks to the actions that God has taken – thanks to the fact that God sanctifies us. Think of it this way: we are his church; his body. Through the Holy Spirit, He dwells within us. And God is righteous. So He will make His dwelling place to be Holy, to be sanctified.

‘Then the nations will know that I, Yahweh-M’Kaddesh, have set Israel apart as holy, because my holy place will be among them permanently.’ (Ezekiel 37:28)

[from Timothy Pitt]

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