I Am Yahweh, your God

Speak to the children of Israel. Say to them, 'I am Yahweh, your God.'
Leviticus 18:2

The Book of Leviticus contains law regarding rituals for worship. In it, you will read the phrase, 'I am Yahweh', repeated many times, very often at then end of a command. This phrase occurs very often in Chapters 18 and 19. In Chapter 19 has 35 verses and this phrase was repeated 15 times. That is about once every two verses. The author seems to be stressing something important in chapter 19.

With this statement, the Lord is telling them several things. First is that he is a living God. He does exist and that he is eternal and ever-present. The second thing he is telling them is that he is THEIR God. He is not the God of their neighbours nor enemies, but that Yahweh is their God. He has a personal relationship with them and as such, they too are expected to have a personal relationship with him.

The Lord is also telling them that he is the reason for their existence. Without him, Israel will not exist. Their identity as a people comes from God himself. It was not an accident but it was by his plan that they exist.

God also is telling them that the laws that he gave them are to be obeyed because they are his people. As his people, they are to be different from the other nations. The Lord in fact, explicitly warned them not to follow the ways of their neighbours. The reason for that is not because they are better than others. The reason was plain and simple, they were his people and he is their God.

Lent has always been a time to slow down in our hectic lives and return to the centre of our existence. We have to know and realize that our identity comes from God. Since our identity comes from him, we are expected to have a personal relationship with him. We are supposed to be different from others, not because we are better, but because he is our God and we are his people.

As we continue our Lenten journey, let us remember that as God's people, he expects us to be holy as he is holy. And this holiness is possible only by his grace. The Lord calls us, he choose us and therefore, our holiness is his work. We should let God work in our hearts - to purify us - so that indeed, as we celebrate Easter, we can truly say that Yahweh indeed is our God.

God bless us all.