“Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. 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.”
One of the greatest mistakes that many believers make is that they are trying to be like the world instead of being different. When you got saved, you became a child of God, which means you will be different from the world, and it should not bother you that God asks you to be different.
When I was a child, my parents often told me not to do things like everyone else. If I saw something that all the other children were doing, I would often ask my parents if I could do it to which they responded, “No.” My response to my parents was the age-old response that most children say, which was, “But mom and dad, everyone is doing it.” My parents always responded by saying, “Allen, you are not everybody, and, NO, you are not doing that.” What they were saying was that I was not the same as every other child; I was different, and I was to live differently.
In the verses above, God reminds Israel that they are not the same as every other nation. They were not to live like every other nation, eat like every other nation, or dress like every other nation because they were different. You can look at how God told Israel to live, eat, and dress, and you could think that God was being too picky, but He wasn’t. There are three reasons that Israel was not to do things like every other nation that is the exact reason as to why the believer is not to live or look like the world.
First, you are not the same because you are a child of the LORD God. God says to Israel in verse 1, “Ye are the children of the LORD your God…” My friend, you are to be different from the world because your Father is not like the gods of this world; you are a child of the Almighty God. Because you are a child of God, you are to be different from the world. It should not bother you that God tells you not to listen to the music of the work, dress like the world, or even live like the world because you are a child of God. The honor to be His child should cause you to want to be like God because of Who He is and what He can do. Being a child of God makes you different from the world, and you should live accordingly.
Second, you are not the same because you are part of a holy people. Verse 2 says, “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God…” To be “holy” means to be set apart. In other words, you are to be different because God set you apart from the world to be like Him. My friend, the distance from the world that it takes to be holy shows how near you are to God. You are not to be holy just to be different from the world, but you are to be holy so that you can be near to God. The location of holiness is by the side of God, which makes you different from the world.
Third, you are not the same because you are chosen to be peculiar. Verse 2 continues to say, “…the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself…” Being peculiar to the world is not a bad thing when you realize that being peculiar makes you look more like Christ. You would embrace the peculiarity of being God’s child if you realized it simply makes you more like Christ. My friend, you are not the same as the world, and you are to live above the world, but living above the world only means you are living in the presence of a holy God. Wow, what a privilege!