Memorise Leviticus 11:45
“the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself”
Read this verse from Deuteronomy, and you might feel “peculiar/ weird”! How can we be the “weird” people of God? It is important to trace the etymology of this word, and understand the meaning that the translators had intended when they used the English word ‘peculiar’.
“Peculiar” means 1. strange or odd, 2. (peculiar to) belonging exclusively to. It stems from the word “pecu” in Latin which means cattle, from which is derived the word “peculium” (which means property). This then is borrowed into English to describe a treasured possession. So you can see that we, the children of God (who have believed in Jesus as our Saviour) are His treasured possession, specially chosen by God to be holy unto Him – what a wonderful thought!
But, with privilege comes responsibility! So the answer to the question today (“what does the Lord demand from His church”) is that we should be holy, that we should be different from non-believers, that we should be “the light of the world” that testifies for the Lord through our good works (Matthew 5:14). The expectation that God has for His people, is that they seek after holiness through their obedience to His Word. That is the gist of this section of Deuteronomy, as Moses reminds the people of the various laws. They were to remember their special status before God, and realize their need to be separate from the nations around them. Through their unique dietary laws, they would not be able to have any alliances or make any covenants with the surrounding nations, and thus maintain their purity before God. In all things, they were to trust in God, and have their faith and allegiance with Him alone.
Likewise for the church, we must remember that we are the ones who have been called out from the world, and God expects us to maintain a witness for Him by being separate from the sins of the world. Are you in a church that fulfils this desire of God?
Thought: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Prayer: Lord, teach me to live a holy life so that I can be a good witness to those around me of Your love.