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What is the Law?

December 20, 2007

Depends on who is asking, doesn’t it. To a criminal, the law is a set of rules meant to be broken and by which rebellion is defined. To a decent citizen, the law is a safety net. The law is boundaries which protect and prohibit, preserve and allow for a civilized society.

One wouldn’t question the legitimacy of a legal mandate which determines that murder is wrong and punishable. We don’t find ourselves rebelling against a law which allows behavior that we, as flawed as we are, are prone to prohibit. Think freedom of speech and the right to bear arms.
There are many good laws out there. I want to know where sex offenders live. Don’t you?

So, can you please explain to me why good, honest and sincere believers in the One True G-d take the Law HE set out and call it all kinds of terrible things which simply don’t apply?

He tells us to rest on a certain day, as He did. He commands us to honor our parents, respect our spouses by not having an affair and to be content with what we have been given. You know, the whole “thou shalt not covet” idea? He insists that we recognize He is One and He is The LORD Our G-d. How restrictive.

Then in the following verses, chapters and books, He takes the initiative and Moses takes the time to write it down so we wouldn’t forget the how of it all. What does it look like to honor your G-d? Well, He tells us. In His perfect scenario there was a Tabernacle and later a Temple and He gave clear instructions on what He wanted worship of Himself to look like. Not so we would be burdened, but so we would be able to draw near. There is no longer an earthly Temple and the Levitical priesthood is represented by Yeshua, our High Priest and King. That means that all those lovely means to approach G-d cannot be fulfilled, at present. Instead, we can come before our High Priest and He will stand in our place. He has stood in our place. He is standing in our place. Just as Zechariah & Aaron did.

Yeshua is ministering in exactly the manner G-d required those several thousand years ago. No less than, but fulfilling more beautifully than we can even comprehend what the Torah offered from the beginning. A pathway to G-d. Reconciliation of fallen creation to Perfect Creator.

Do we live by Grace? Every breath since the dawn of time. What are we doing with our Grace?

Even temporally, not addressing Eternity at the moment, in a democratic society, there are responsibilities the citizens must soberly uphold in order for the society to work. We are not anarchists, we are not “free” to do all we please. We are only free when we can responsibly live within the boundaries of our own prescribed order and structure of society. We must cooperate and sometimes submit our desires for the furtherance of a common good. Sometimes we choose to submit to laws which are somewhat inscrutable.

How much more as believers, followers of G-d, imbued with a supernatural strength to endure and discern, are we responsible to live according to His guidelines and not the ones made up by our diocese, caucus, bi-laws or committee?

We are working so hard to reinvent what it means to “love your neighbor” according to our own paradigm. We are arrogantly demanding that anyone who doesn’t see it our way is a fool, of questionable spirituality and lacking in maturity.

It is sad to me when so often I hear cold disdain for the Torah. Something which David, the Psalmist “loved” and “meditated on day and night.” Can you love something when you are convinced it merely exists as a tool to show you how flawed, imperfect and impotent you are? Can you love something that shows you a better way? That draws for you the very heart of G-d and how much He is concerned about the poor and the weak.

When was the last time you read Leviticus? Not as a means to prove your point, but as a way to see how intimately involved G-d desires to be in the hearts, lives and manner of worship of His people. Then and now.

Where was the grace when Cain attempted to honor G-d in a manner which, apparently, wasn’t acceptable? That was pre-Torah. Shouldn’t G-d have just “seen his heart”? Perhaps, it is because G-d did see his heart and saw someone who was defiantly attempting to meet G-d on his own terms and not on G-d’s.

It is obvious that G-d cares how we approach Him. How we maintain our relationship with Him and what hope we have for our future with Him.

We have access to a place where He spoke, to men, and said, “Come to me like this.” In the five books of Torah, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy we see a word picture of a perfect and loving Creator. Who came to earth, as a man, and lived it perfectly. A Man who loved the Torah and looked into it, taught from it and lived according to it’s precepts.

Now, don’t think I’m telling you to go out and by a tallit (prayer shawl) and wear a funny beanie. Those are external accoutrement which have become symbolic. I’m just encouraging you to read the Torah, read the Word from this perspective. This is a letter from your G-d, to you, faithfully transcribed for thousands of years. This is a beginning of wisdom. To ponder His heart, His faith, His concepts for worship and study.

If you can read His Torah in this manner, you will never again see bondage.

I surely can’t.

  • Hear hear!

    (I know. I talk too much.)

  • Hear hear!

    (I know. I talk too much.)

  • Serena

    Lovely! Since Yeshua is the Living Torah and He says if we love Him we will keep His commandments and the only written “commandments” were the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings (loosely all referred to as Torah, though the five books of Moses are technically the Torah) then wouldn’t it behoove us to find out what His commandments are? He said His command was to love one another. Where do we learn what that love looks like? More importantly, how did those who lived before the scriptures penned by the apostles know what that love looked like? The Torah is a beautiful picture written for us to know how to love both G-d and our neighbor. In fact, it is actually written in pictures, as anyone who starts to learn Hebrew will find out, and it takes learning those pictures to even start plumbing the depths of the Torah.

    Well done, Heidi!

    Love and shalom,
    Serena

  • Serena

    Lovely! Since Yeshua is the Living Torah and He says if we love Him we will keep His commandments and the only written “commandments” were the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings (loosely all referred to as Torah, though the five books of Moses are technically the Torah) then wouldn’t it behoove us to find out what His commandments are? He said His command was to love one another. Where do we learn what that love looks like? More importantly, how did those who lived before the scriptures penned by the apostles know what that love looked like? The Torah is a beautiful picture written for us to know how to love both G-d and our neighbor. In fact, it is actually written in pictures, as anyone who starts to learn Hebrew will find out, and it takes learning those pictures to even start plumbing the depths of the Torah.

    Well done, Heidi!

    Love and shalom,
    Serena