2/24/16: You’re an Oddball
In Leviticus 18:3-5, the Lord told Moses to tell the people, “According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances. You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.” (NKJ) God was pretty clear in His direction: don’t take on the characteristics of the place you left or of the place where you are going. In essence the message is this: No matter where I take you, live like I tell you to live.
God’s manner of doing things is not only different from ours, but better than ours. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:9 (NKJ). He expects us to walk differently, talk differently, think differently, act and react differently. Why? Because He is the Lord and He’s chosen us to do so.
Yes, we’ll be the oddballs; however, our loving, gracious, and merciful God has attached benefits for us if we take on the challenge to stand out from the crowd. Our peculiarities because of our dedication to Him will be the source of raised eyebrows by the world, but raised blessing for us. Look at the times in the King James Version that God calls us “peculiar” (emphasis added):
- For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. Deuteronomy 14:2
- And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments. Deuteronomy 26:18
In these two verses, the word ‘peculiar’ comes from the Hebrew word ‘cegullah’ and means “to shut up; wealth (as closely shut up): jewel, peculiar (treasure), proper good, special.” God sees us as such a priceless treasure that it’s imperative for Him to protect us. His commandments act as the vault that keeps and preserves us.
- Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:14
The Greek word for ‘peculiar’ used here is ‘periousios’ which means “being beyond usual, i.e. special, one’s own.” Again we see God placing an extremely high value on us, even going as far as giving Himself to redeem us and purify us so that we can be free to be zealous of good works.
- 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 into his marvellous light. 1 Peter 2:9
The Greek word used here for peculiar – peripoiesis – means “acquisition (the act or the thing); by extension, preservation: obtain (-ing), purchased, possession, saving.” God values us so highly, that He went out of His way to acquire, preserve, purchase, and yes, save us.
Notice from all these verses that our peculiar-ness is lived out in our actions. Because we are chosen, we keep the commandments, are zealous of good works, and show forth His praises. Like the Israelites, no matter what’s going on in the culture around us, we have an incredible reason to be different – to be peculiar – because we’re something extra-special to God.
Live out your peculiarity for Him today.
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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