Jun25WedJune 25, 2014
Why Torah’s Instructions, Today?
I have often heard it said we live in a society which is free from the restrictions of religion. Interestingly, those who take this viewpoint say, we are sufficiently mature and advanced to recognize state and religion are separate entities and therefore there is no need for us to adhere or even reflect upon the laws that come to us from the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament. Really? From my observation of the world today, I find very little evidence of this maturity or the ethical/moral advancement which would free us of the need for a higher set of guiding principles. David’s words to us, in Psalm 15:2-5, ring particularly true today.
How many of us are able to call ourselves blameless? How many of us dare to say we do not sin? Indeed, as Yochanan, the Apostle of Love shares with us, in 1 John 1: If we claim not to have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8) Even as we proclaim Messiah and His Grace, through His sacrifice before the creation of the world, as we read in Revelation 13:8, we sin. And, as we sin, we need the guidance, support and direction of Adonai Elohim’s Life Instructions in our lives to maintain our walk on the narrow path. My issue, then, why should we follow His life instructions, found in Torah?
The easy answer to this question is because He commanded us. We read this imperative in John 14, when Adonai Yeshua tells us, If you love me, you will keep my commands. (John 14:15) The conditional relationship of this covenant indicates His understanding of our free choice. If you love me is a very clear indication of His relationship with us. He loves us with an unfathomable depth. Remember, God gave His own life for us so we would be freed from the grip of sin and of death. Within His promise is the understanding we are the ones loved by Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus. Beloved, this is not love as the world knows love; this is love of such magnitude, its blessings are unimaginable.
In 1 John 2, we read the words, The way we can be sure we know him is if we are obeying his commands. (1 John 2:3) Beloved, this is a call to obedience. If we know Him, that is we have an intimate relationship with Him – we are in Him and He is in us – then following Torah will be an authentic expression of the covenantal relationship, the kinship relationship we have with the Lover of our souls. Think of the opposite, the situation where there is no expectation of being obedient to Him; if there was no call to obedience, then anything is tolerated. It wouldn’t matter whom we loved as our god, because love for any god would be tolerated. It wouldn’t matter what we believed as truth because any truth would be subjective truth and would be tolerated. My truth would be my truth and your truth would be your truth – there would be no universal, over-arching, life-generating truth. In other words, a man simply did whatever he thought was right. (Judges 21:25) Without universal truth, there would be no sin. Even infringe upon other people’s persons or property would be justified as falling under my truth. There would be no right or wrong. If there was no universal truth, there would be no need for forgiveness, for nothing wrong would have happened. Each person would feel vindicated for doing what he did, in the name of his truth. Can you imagine living in a world like that, dear ones?
Now, what are some of the benefits and blessings which come from developing an understanding of Torah and following Adonai’s Life Instructions? Let’s look at Proverbs 7: Say to wisdom, “You are my sister”; call understanding your kinswoman. (Proverbs 7:4) When we call Wisdom our sister, there is the understanding of a deep and personal relationship with this gift from Adonai Elohim. There is also an understanding wisdom is a defining element of Adonai Yeshua, such that, when we understand and follow His commands, we gain wisdom, through the Holy Spirit, and Adonai Yeshua lives in us and we in Him.
Although our studying the Torah of Messiah, from Genesis to Revelation, and gaining knowledge and wisdom through this practice does not give us salvation nor does it create a better righteousness for us, it does draw us closer to our beloved Abba and to His Son, Adonai Yeshua. In James 4, we read, Come close to God, and he will come close to you. (James 4:8) This leads us to the understanding we are to come so close to Adonai Elohim, we are able to spiritually touch Him and He will touch us. Do you desire to have a more intimate relationship with the Lover of your soul, the creator of the universe? One of the ways of doing this is to study and understand our relationship with Him, through the studying of His Word and following His Word throughout our days.