You shall not make yourselves detestable with any swarming thing that swarms, and you shall not defile yourselves with them, and become unclean through them. For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Lev 11:43-45.
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the LORD your God. Lev 19:1-4.
Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. Lev 20:7
You shall be holy to me, for I the LORD am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine. Lev 20:26
After reading those verses back to back, one cannot help but be impressed with the holiness of God, that this is the “why” of every command God gives. After this beginning, whenever He gives a command, God merely says, “I am Jehovah,” and expects them to remember that His essence demands their holiness if they are to relate to Him at all. Check out Leviticus chapters 18 and 19 to see for yourself.
From the beginning, God wanted a relationship with his creation. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day... Gen 3:8. It seems He had a regular date with Adam and Eve to get together and talk, an appointment that was lost in their sin and that He took great pains to regain.
When He brought His people out of Egypt, He tried to set up the same sort of relationship.
And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exod 25:8
There I will meet with the people of Israel, and it shall be sanctified by my glory. I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar. Aaron also and his sons I will consecrate to serve me as priests. I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God. Exod 29:43-46
I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. Lev 26:11-12
Once again His people rejected that relationship, but do not relegate that concept to the Old Covenant. God is still trying to reach us in this intimate way.
What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 2Cor 6:16
in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Eph 2:21-22
The first of those two passages applies to individuals and the second to the church, his spiritual Temple. God wants to be among us. In fact, God wants what He had in the beginning, a relationship that, this time, will continue for Eternity.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband….through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations… And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God, Rev 21:1-2; 22:2; 21:3.