Consecrate Yourself

“In peace,” he replied. “I’ve come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 1 Samuel 16:5 HCSB

While traveling in Israel I observed that the Orthodox Jews that visited the western wall of the temple (often called the Wailing Wall because as the people rock back and forth and pray it sounds like they are wailing) would wash their hands and sometimes their faces as way of cleansing and purifying themselves before they approached the western wall to pray.

The Israelites were to perform a purification ceremony before making a sacrifice or witnessing a great act of God. God’s laws indicated that a person could become unclean in a variety of ways – even eating certain foods or touching a dead person. God used these laws as a way to illustrate the impurity of man. Our sin makes us unclean and we must be purified and made holy so we can approach a Holy God.

Samuel consecrated or purified Jesse and his sons so they could participate in the sacrifice to the Lord. The Scriptures do not record exactly what Samuel did, but we know that Samuel performed some type of purification ceremony. The word consecrate has the meaning of being set aside for a holy or sacred purpose.

Challenge: We must approach God with a pure heart. Consecrate yourself by confessing your sins before the Lord and asking for forgiveness. The Scriptures say in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” God is more concerned about our hearts and our attitudes being clean and pure than our physical cleanliness. How clean is your heart?

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