GOD OF TRANCENDENCE AND OF IMMANENCE
Have a look to what God said this rhetorical question through Jeremiah, the prophet, “Am I a God near at hand … and not a God afar off?” (Jeremiah 23:23).
Through out the Old Testament’s documents we learn one of the differences between true prophets and false prophets was their beliefs on the distance between God and them. When the true prophets believed that God was near to them so that they paid it with respect and honor. On the other hand, false prophets didn’t feel that closeness.
Special note in relation to this very text is that God is both transcendent and immanent. His transcendence makes us understand that He is not like us. He is far above us. But on the other hand, His immancence embraces all of us. It defines His love for us. Both should be put in balance in the life of His people.
Paul declares, “… God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners …” (Romans 5:8).
His nearness and love, however, oftentimes we respond without honor. It is like business as usual. We make this Almight God as our equal, our contemporary.
For this problem of commonness, the book of Leviticus was written. To be familiar with or to familiarize something can make us less sensitive, to be indifferent, and most of the time we lost our respect especially to holy or sacred things.
This generation couldn’t see the line between common and holy is vague, not clearly understood. Sense of sensitivity has gone. This generation oftentimes confounds/confuses holy things with something common. Indifference has been welcomed. King Belshazzar. He used sacred vessels in his great feast and had been drunk of the wine. He disgraced holy vessels for his own party. He was completely impudent on this case. The common matter is regarded important and the holy thing is regarded nothing to respect. This fallen race even creates god as they wish.
That’s why God in the book of Leviticus has revealed Himself to Israelites as the Holy God. Holiness is not one of God’s attribures among all others. But instead, that holiness is the perfect nature of God (Lev 20:3; 22:32). When God revealed Himself then that holiness will be seen as His glory. Yes, glory is not the same with holiness. Glory emphasizes power/strength of this holiness.
Learning from the book of Leviticus we find that God called Isralites to stand different. God chose them, a people from one father for Himself and santified them, set them apart for a purpose.
As we meditate upon Jeremiah 23:23, let us too be aware that we are a holy people and hence, we should keep holy things holy. Let us trust Jesus as our Heavenly High Priest who has been working for our salvation. Please don’t be indifferent, not sensitive, but instead, recognize holy things and give full respect in handling them.