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Alicia Blackwood :: Jehovah Mekaddish-Kem—The Lord that doth sanctify you

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Part I. JEHOVAH MEKADDISH-KEM

"I AM THE LORD THAT DOTH SANCTIFY YOU" (Exodus 31:13).

Oh let the desire of our souls be to that Name! "For it is as ointment poured forth" (Song of Songs 1:3)-and it bids "every one that nameth the name of Christ to depart from iniquity" (2 Timothy 2:19).

Therefore, Oh Lord, as we enter this "Tower" pour upon us the unction of Thy Spirit that we may recognize its Holiness and be sanctified.

"How amiable are Thy Tabernacles, Oh Lord of Hosts: our Soul longeth yea fainteth for the courts of the Lord" (Psalm 84:1).

It is here in Thy Sanctuary that we learn Thy Will and understand Thy Way!

"Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth Sanctify you, wherefore observe the Sabbath for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever" (Exodus 31:13; 31:16-17).

This command to keep the Sabbath of the Lord and the covenant of the Sign, was the occasion of giving this name Mekaddish-Kem and those amongst us who remember the Lord's day to keep it Holy, know well its sanctifying influence. And in all the Covenants with Israel, their sanctification was the object in view; therefore is the sanctity of the Sabbath so frequently enjoined. "If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Exodus 19:5-6).

This is the Sanctification which the Lord desired-HOLINESS. He would set His people apart, they should be separated from other nations, though all the earth was His. He had shown them such wonders, such deliverances, such protection, and providential mercies, as no other people had ever seen. And in proportion as they cultivated that holiness, to which by His grace He had called them, so would they also sanctify Him.

"Sanctify the Lord of Hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a Sanctuary" (Isaiah 8:13-14).

This was said to Israel, and are we not the Spiritual Israel of God? And are not His covenants made with us also? Has He not "Chosen us in Christ that we should be holy, and without blame before Him in love?" (Ephesians 1:4). May we not claim the sign of the Sabbath to be between us and God, in what we now call "Our Lord's day," sanctified afresh by the glorious resurrection of Jesus our Saviour? "If we be Christ's, then are we Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29). And are also a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that we should show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvellous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God, which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy (1 Peter 2:9-10).

Surely then we are now also the people of God "Called by that new name which the mouth of the Lord hath named" (Isaiah 62:2). "Anointed ones" Christians! which first sounded forth at Antioch! (Acts 11:26). Are these things not true of us? Oh may we continually sit under the shelter of this "Tower," that we may be sanctified ourselves and sanctify the Lord God in our hearts while our lips shall praise thee; "Hallowed be Thy Name."

Yes! Let us come to this Sanctuary-for in the courts of the Lord even the Sparrow hath found an house, and the Swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young" (Psalm 84:3). We also have our passport of admission: "Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

Then let us "enter into Thy gates with thanksgiving and into Thy courts with praise (Psalm 100:4), for "blessed are they that dwell in Thy House" (Psalm 84:4). It is here with this sign between Him and us, that the Lord is our "Mekaddish-Kem."

Our Sanctification is the will of the Lord and it was the prayer of Jesus the Saviour, "Sanctify them through Thy Truth, Thy word is Truth. For their sakes I sanctify myself that they also might be sanctified through the Truth" (John 17:17-19).

Thus it is through the Word of the Lord that we are sanctified, and learn the way of godliness. Yes! it is ignorance of that Word that keeps the soul unsanctified. For it is the fountain of all Wisdom, the foundation of all knowledge. "Search the Scriptures" said the Lord Jesus, "they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39).

Without the Scriptures we are ignorant of God, for "therein is the righteousness of God revealed (Romans 1:17), therein we have the law, which is the expression of His holiness; how can we obey Him if we know not His will? How can we love Him with all our heart and soul and mind if we acquaint not ourselves with Him? And where-but in the Scriptures only-have we any revelation of that wonderful Salvation wrought out for poor sinful man, in and through Jesus Christ Himself?-"They are they that testify of me" (John 5:39).

O may these heavenly pages be
My ever dear delight,
And still new beauties may I see,
And still increasing light.

Divine Instructor, gracious Lord,
Be Thou for ever near,
Teach me to love Thy sacred Word,
And view my Saviour there.

It is through the knowledge of the Scriptures that we have any right knowledge of ourselves. What once we were-what now we are! the depths into which sin has plunged us! When judgment is laid to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, it quickly reveals that we have "all come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "That the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself upon it, and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it" (Isaiah 28:17; 28:20).

Have we no need to know this? Is it well to take refuge in ignorance, and hide ourselves under falsehoods? Will that help us in that day when we shall be called forth to stand before the Lord? And when it is written "without holiness shall no man see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14).

God made man upright, in the image of God made He man, to be with Him in Paradise, but when he fell that image of the living God was marred by sin and death. And now by nature we are dead-dead in trespasses and sins. "Death hath passed on all men for all have sinned" (Romans 5:12), death can never enter Heaven, only Life dwells with God. The abode of death is Hell!

Repentance! it regards the future only, it cannot obliterate the past. Righteousness cannot come from unrighteousness, nor can perfection spring from imperfection. The Ethiopian cannot change his skin nor the leopard his spots (Jeremiah 13:23), neither can man wash or cleanse himself from his pollution; his sinful nature blinds him to sin, and blinds him also to the beauty of holiness.

When God sent His own beloved Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, and yet without sin, man saw no beauty that he should desire Him. "Thou hast a devil" was even the cry of some! Ah! they knew not that it was themselves so fearfully possessed, and that they themselves were the servants of Satan. Here was depth of sin indeed.

Oh! no! man cannot raise himself. It is the Spirit of God, that proceedeth from the Father and the Son, that breath of the Almighty which quickens the soul and bids it live. For Jesus has found a ransom!

Spirit of holiness and love,
Thy light and truth impart;
The bar of unbelief remove,
And enter every heart.

Shower down Thy blessing from on High,
And write Thy law within;
The blood of sprinkling now apply,
And make an end of sin.

Oh thou whose Name is Holy, deliver us for the glory of Thy name, and put a right spirit within us and let us be Thy sons and daughters born of the Spirit and sanctified to Thy Service, Oh Jehovah Mekaddish-Kem!

Sanctified to the service of God! Oh from what depths, and to what heights can we be raised! Consecrated to Him who hath said "ye shall be holy for I am Holy" (Leviticus 19:2). Sanctified, that we may be conformed to the likeness of Christ, and "by beholding the glory of the Lord, shall be changed into the same image from glory to glory" (2 Corinthians 3:18). And being thus united to Christ henceforth we grow in grace and as trees of His own planting we shall bring forth fruit acceptable to God and glorifying to Him.

Oh Grace, whose depth is fathomless,
My sins are swallowed up in Thee,
Covered is my unrighteousness,
From condemnation I am free:
For Jesu's blood, thro' earth and skies,
Mercy, eternal mercy, cries.

Then shall we know as we never knew before, our need of, and our impossibility of living without that Holy Spirit within, to lead us into all truth, and "make us willing in the day of His power" (Psalm 110:3) to do according to His good pleasure.

Oh what lessons are we taught in this Tower of the Lord! To what love! Yes! Again we repeat, to what an high Calling does sanctification call us? Even to be like Him and to be partakers of His Kingdom and His glory!

And meanwhile-if the Lord hath chosen our hearts to be His dwelling place, His temple! oh how solemn is that thought! The dwelling place of God, within us! the kingdom of God within us! well may the apostle ask, "What manner of men ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness?" (2 Peter 3:11). And well may we pray to be included in St. Paul's commending, "I commend you to God, and the word of His grace which is able to build you up, and give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified" (Acts 20:32).

Oh Holy Ghost, Eternal God,
Descending from above,
Thou fill'st the soul, thro' Jesu's blood,
With faith, and hope, and love.

Thou comfortest the heavy heart,
By sin and grief opprest;
Thou to the dead dost life impart,
And to the weary rest.

Thy sweet communion charms the soul,
And gives true peace and joy,
Which Satan's power can ne'er control,
Nor all his wiles destroy.

Breathe comfort, where distress abounds,
O make our conscience clean,
And heal, with balm from Jesu's wounds,
The festering sores of sin.

I. Thou hidden love of God, whose height,
Whose depth unfathomed, no man knows;
I see from far Thy beauteous light,
Inly I sigh for Thy repose:
My heart is pained, nor can it be
At rest, till it find rest in Thee.

II. Is there a thing beneath the sun,
That strives with Thee my heart to share?
Ah! tear it thence, and reign alone,
The Lord of every motion there:
Then shall my heart from earth be free,
When it hath found repose in Thee.

III. O hide this self from me, that I
No more, but Christ in me may live;
My vile affections crucify,
Nor let one darling lust survive:
In all things nothing may I see,
Nothing desire or seek, but Thee.

IV. Each moment draw from earth away
My heart, that lowly waits Thy call;
Speak to my inmost soul and say,
I am thy love, thy God, thy all:
To feel Thy power, to hear Thy voice,
To taste Thy love, be all my choice.



Part II. JEHOVAH MEKADDISH-KEM.

"I AM THE LORD THAT DOTH SANCTIFY YOU"-PERSONAL APPLICATION.

If trials are in your path, dear friend, be not overcome; it is often through such that we are sanctified. It has been said: "Affliction is part of the provision that God hath made in His House for His children, and there is a measure of them appointed for every one."

We know indeed that afflictions are more or less the portion of all true Christians, but the heaviest sorrows, if they bring the heart nearer to Jesus, will prove the most precious blessings. If the gold is to be made fit for the Master's use here, it must be purified; it must pass through the refining fire; and as the Word of God tells us that, "Affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground" (Job 5:6), so we may be sure that the Father, who sees the need of the chastening hand, sends the trials that they may with His blessing sanctify us.

Let us look at this sanctification.

In and through Christ we are justified by the grace of the Lord, and that by a saving faith in Him. "Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). He has given us a new heart, and we are changed; and, a "right spirit" being in our heart, our desire is to serve the Lord.

But this justification is not our sanctification, though it leads to it. The former is perfected here; for, by the reception of Christ as our Saviour and Redeemer, God will look upon the face of His anointed, and see us "complete in Him" (Colossians 2:10). But our sanctification is progressive, for while we remain in this life, there will also remain the old nature within; and, as St. Paul says, "When I would do good, evil is present with me" (Romans 7:21). Thus, though by the grace of God we are justified in His sight, we need daily the power of the Spirit to work within us "to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).

If we will think of it, dear friend, it can be easily perceived that we do not at once grasp all our knowledge of God, or of His Word. Indeed we may read that Word all our lives, and yet grasp little of its reality. It is not until our eyes are open that we can comprehend or apprehend it. It is God's Word, and He alone is the interpreter; and it is only when He gives us this understanding that we perceive how little we know, how ignorant we are. As long as we are in this world we shall ever be learning; and oh, how much we have to learn! Again-when this change of heart or new birth is given us, though our desire is to please the Lord-yet we shall perceive how far we are in our tempers, our actions, our speech, our thoughts, from the purity and holiness that is required of the children of God. It is in Heaven only that we read of "the spirits of just men made perfect" (Hebrews 12:23).

A tender conscience also will show us how great is our proneness to depart from God; how much we need daily to watch and pray that we may overcome the risings of evil within. Therefore as we train our children and strive to guide them, and feel how necessary it is to chasten them when disobedient, however painful it may be to the loving parent to inflict punishment, so it is with our Heavenly Father toward His wayward children here; for it is written, "He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men" (Lamentations 3:33).

Let us take this truth to heart, for it is a balm to heal. "The Father chasteneth whom He loveth," and yet He pitieth them "as a father the son in whom he delighteth" (Proverbs 3:12).

You may be now under this chastening hand. Oh! believe it is the Father's love that leadeth you to approach and have closer communion with Him, to experience more deeply His tenderness and lovingkindness.

One thing let us bear in mind: nothing happens-nothing can happen by chance. If the hairs of our head are all numbered; if sparrows and ravens are cared for and fed; if the Lord knows the thoughts of every heart-knows thy thoughts, known long before conceived by thee"-it is impossible that anything can occur without His knowledge and permission, to those who know and love Him.

Thus the providences of God are for sanctifying and refining His own people. "He will do them good." "Good and upright is the Lord, therefore will He teach sinners in the way" (Psalm 25:8). "Yea, all the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, unto such as love Him and keep His commandments" (Psalm 25:10).

Therefore, dear friend, in trial or sorrow, be comforted in the thought that it is from the hand of the Lord; and He "will not suffer His children to be tempted above that they are able to bear" (1 Corinthians 10:13).

In all our troubles He will send us the Holy Spirit as our Comforter who will take of the things of Jesus and "show them unto us" (John 16:14-15), and thus be also our Sanctifier. Afflictions are intended to lead us unto Christ.

When Jesus was on earth, though the people did not know Him as the Saviour, yet as one to do them good they eagerly brought their blind, and deaf, and sick to Him, and even besought Him to cast out their devils; they were by their need led to seek Him, and that belief in His power brought sheep to the fold. Many found Him to be the Good Shepherd, and acknowledged Him to be the Messiah.

Thus did their afflictions lead them to Him.

But we, who know Him to be the loving Saviour of our souls, are by trials stirred up to closer communion with Him, and more earnest strivings for conformity to Him: for too often is it that, in our deepest distress, the great Adversary tempts us with greater subtlety to evil and hard suggestions against God.

Oh! then we need more especially to take refuge in this Strong Tower. "Thou art the Lord that doth sanctify me." For there "the righteous run in and are safe;" there Jehovah will not suffer "thy foot to be moved." "The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; He shall preserve thy soul" (Psalm 121:7). "For the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself" (Psalm 4:3).

These are some of the precious words upon which the Lord has caused us to hope. Here is our comfort in our affliction: for "Thy Word hath quickened us" (Psalm 119:50).

Again, it is in affliction that our sins, especially our besetting sins, are made known to us; for the Comforter within will convince us of sin. And is it not a tender love that takes us aside, and shows us what we are and how much we need His hand to sanctify us; and how much we need to be weaned from the world, to examine ourselves as to where is our treasure, to estimate rightly those things over which the Lord has made us stewards, and for which we must give an account.

It is through sorrows and sufferings ourselves that we are taught to sympathise with, and feel for, those that suffer; so that as our Heavenly Father sends us help and comfort, we may administer to others our experience of His love, as well as helping with our substance, and thus follow in the steps of our blessed Lord, who in all our afflictions bears a part, for He was Himself the Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief.

Again, the Lord sanctifies us by leading us from worldliness. He would not have us yoked together with the world and its unbelievers, for the Prince of this world hath nothing in Christ. He would have us walk with Him, and be in accord with Him, for "two cannot walk together except they be agreed" (Amos 3:3). Therefore He would have us to come out from the world. "Be ye separate and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).

It is too true that many among the children of God, through continual intercourse with the worldly, do backslide, and thus are said to grieve the Holy Spirit. St. Paul tenderly but strongly cautions us against this, even to saying, "Quench not the Spirit." For as by the Holy Ghost our hearts are made to be the temples of the living God, so should we watch for the daily increase of our sanctification unto Him. If His love towards us is so great that He condescends to dwell in us, that He may guide us into all good, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness we can imagine how He can be said to grieve at any wilful backsliding; but it is only an expression suitable to our finite minds, for "If thou sinnest, what doest thou against Him? Or if thy transgressions be multiplied what doest thou unto Him?" (Job 35:6). Yet His loving and long suffering mercy is so great that, rather than let us go, He sends some sudden shock to turn us again into the right path.

"All that the Father giveth Me shall come unto Me" (John 6:37). This is the covenant of the Father with the Son.

"My covenant will I not break nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips" (Psalm 89:34). If his children forsake My law and walk not in My judgments; if they break My statutes, and keep not My com; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him nor suffer My faithfulness to fail" (Psalm 89:30).

Here is the secret of His outstretched hand towards us. For His covenant's sake, for Christ's sake, He will not let us go; and under the chastening rod of love, the tenderness and sympathy of Jesus will show us what He suffered that we might be redeemed and sanctified.

And what a thought is this that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all interested in our sanctification.

The Father sends the chastening; the Son bears our griefs and carries our sorrows; and the Holy Ghost brings the love of the Father and of Jesus to our remembrance, and is our Comforter, sanctifying all the Heavenly dispensations to us, and us to Him who appointed them.

It is because God gives us the promise of eternal life that we must be made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. The sanctifying providences of God are to teach us, and to prepare us, to live for eternity. We are to look beyond the present; and the more our affections are fixed above, the more clearly shall we estimate the difference between things temporal and things eternal. And yet, while we are here, we are not lightly to esteem those things which are before us, demanding constant care and supervision, nor are we to neglect those daily duties which God has laid upon us, according to our station or circumstance in life. All things are to have their right and proper place. "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread" (Genesis 3:19) was said to Adam; and labour has always been the lot of man.

Thus, while here, we are carefully to fulfil our daily tasks. All things are to be done as in the sight of God, and all to be sanctified by the grace of God. "Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).

And the prayer of Jesus will thus be answered: "Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one as We are." "I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil" (John 17:11; 17:15).

It is by constant communion with God that our sanctification will be increased. It was when Moses came down from the mountain, after his forty days' sojourn with Jehovah, that his face shone; he reflected some portion of that light and holiness which was shown him there. And so it will be with us. Constant communion with God will, through grace, impart something of the mind of God, and increase in us those graces of the Spirit so essential to a Christian life. His will be our will-His commandments our delight-His Word our guide; and thus will the fruits of the Spirit hang upon our boughs, and all will take notice of us that we have been with Jesus; for they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. And what shall the end be?

Oh! glory to our God on high, because He hath from the beginning "chosen us to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth" (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

He is our Jehovah Mekaddish-Kem.

O draw me, Saviour, after Thee,
So shall I run and never tire;
With gracious words still comfort me;
Be Thou my hope, my sole desire.
Free me from every weight; nor fear,
Nor sin can come if Thou art near.

What in Thy love possess I not?
My star by night, my sun by day,
My spring of life when parched with drought,
My wine to cheer, my bread to stay,
My strength, my shield, my safe abode,
My robe before the throne of God.

From all eternity, with love
Unchangeable, Thou hast me viewed;
Ere knew this beating heart to move,
Thy tender mercies me pursued;
Ever with me may they abide,
And close me in on every side.

In suffering, be Thy love my peace;
In weakness be Thy love my power;
And when the storms of life shall cease
Jesus, in that important hour,
In death, in life, be Thou my guide,
And save me, who for me hast died.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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