“for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.”Exodus 20:11
To be blessed by God is to be holy, or set apart. Just as the Sabbath day is unique among the “unholy” days of the week, so is the one whom God calls to himself.
The characteristics of holiness are exhibited by those who are blessed. In the passage in Matthew 5:3-12 known as the Beatitudes, we see the qualities of those who are called and set apart by God.
Grieving over unrighteousness
Desperate for righteousness
Pure in heart
Unjustly persecuted for Messiah
These are not qualities for the faint of heart, or for those who is faith is shallow and temporary. These are qualities that are forged in the fires of affliction and struggle. They are only apparent amidst their counterparts.
It is only within the conditions of these negative and hostile qualities that holiness shines, just as the Sabbath is only apparent as set apart from the mundane days of the week. If it seems that we can’t escape these oppressive environments, it’s because this is the very reason we are put here: as counter-balances to, and overcomers of, the darkness of this world.
This is why it’s necessary for God’s people to maintain their qualities of holiness at all costs, so that God’s kingdom becomes manifest. When we exhibit the qualities which God blesses, we are then set apart for the very purpose that God designed us for, and he is honored and magnified.
Matthew 5:16: “Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
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