You shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:18.
I have been bidden to call the attention of our people to the instruction given by the Lord to Israel regarding the importance of separation from the world….
Under David’s rule, the people of Israel gained strength and uprightness through obedience to God’s law. But the kings that followed strove for self-exaltation….
God bore long with them, calling them often to repentance. But they refused to hear, and at last God spoke in judgment, showing them how weak they were without Him. He saw that they were determined to have their own way, and He gave them into the hands of their enemies….
The alliances made by the Israelites with their heathen neighbors resulted in the loss of their identity as God’s peculiar people. They became leavened by the evil practices of those with whom they formed forbidden alliances. Affiliation with worldlings caused them to lose their first love and their zeal for God’s service. The advantages they sold themselves to gain brought only disappointment and caused the loss of many souls.
The experience of Israel will be the experience of all who go to the world for strength, turning away from the living God. Those who forsake the mighty One, the source of all strength, and affiliate with worldlings, placing on them their dependence, become weak in moral power, as are those in whom they trust.
God comes with entreaties and assurances to those who are making mistakes. He seeks to show them their error and lead them to repentance. But if they refuse to humble their hearts before Him, if they strive to exalt themselves above Him, He must speak to them in judgment. No semblance of nearness to God, no assertion of connection with Him, will be accepted from those who persist in dishonoring Him by leaning upon the arm of worldly power.
Today God’s word to His people is: “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, … and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters.” …
God’s people are to be distinguished as a people who serve Him fully, wholeheartedly, taking no honor to themselves, and remembering that by a most solemn covenant they have bound themselves to serve the Lord, and Him only.—The Review and Herald, August 4, 1904.