Here the Lord calls Israel to be separate from other nations in their lifestyle and behavior. They were to be totally dedicated to Him, i.e. practice personal holiness in their lifestyle and imitate His character in all they did. This was the first time in the book of Leviticus that He was said to be the One who sanctifies His people. God called His people to be separated, not isolated. They were to model His character as a demonstration of life as He intended it. Their way of life in harmony with the land was to be an attraction to other nations.
Everything operates according to the dictates of God because He is not only the owner/operator, but He is also the designer/builder (cf. Psalms 24:1-2). He called Israel to obey His commandments so that the land would not reject them. Not that God was enslaving His people to a set of rules, regulations and harsh living. That was the bondage He delivered them from in Egypt. As Creator, He is responsible for the way in which His creation works by His design. Therefore, His commandments are also designed so that His people live in harmony, not only with one another, but also within the land He was giving them as an inheritance. God’s commandments work much like a manufacturer’s warranty. To neglect His commandments is to ultimately ruin the creation He gave His people to inhabit.
Israel not only rejected God’s commandments, but in so doing rejected Him (cf. 1 Samuel 8:7). Thus God called and sanctified another people by His Son. Christians are called to practice personal holiness in their lifestyle of obedience to Christ’s commandment to love one another. Jesus Christ is the One who sanctifies His people. As we live in harmonious obedience to His word we demonstrate His selfless character before the world. God never intended His people to live in isolation from others, but to live separately from their selfish motives. To neglect His commandments is to ruin the peace we have inherited through His example.
Does your lifestyle follow the pattern of Christ’s obedience to God’s word? Remember, obedience was not meant to force you into bondage, but to free you to live in peaceful harmony within your inheritance. God designed the function of all creation and has given His word as an instruction manual. His promises represent the manufacturer’s warranty. You have been called to live separately so you do not void the warranty! That is the purpose for the separation.