Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Blog Look + Torah

Hi everyone :)

It felt right to give this blog a new name and a new look to kind of reflect the new journey into Torah delighting that we are on :)

I've written a post about what Torah is and thought I might just cut and paste it here.

Torah is the Hebrew word describing the instructions which Yehovah (God) gave to us (His children). These include the 10 commandments but also the statutes, precepts and other instructions He gave us. These He gave as a blessing and benefit to us! We do many of them naturally anyway but there are others that I'd never heard of before looking into this more.

For so many years, we thought these had all been 'done away with' when Yeshua (Jesus) came to earth. But, that really is not what we've found in Scripture! Please don't take my word for it but ask Him and find it out for yourself! Is it possible, that we have read into many scriptures the bias that we have been taught by many of our forefathers? Even if there is just a slim chance that this is possible (and they were human after all!) then check into it and see what you find.

Do you know what Yeshua (Jesus) said about the law?Before I looked into it, I didn't have a clue! He Himself said,

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."

WoW! So Jesus Himself said that until heaven and earth pass away, even the teeniest stroke of the law (these were the vowel points of the Hebrew writings) would not be done away with. See, for so long the Pharisees and Scribes and other teachers of the Torah were putting an unfair and very heavy yoke on the backs of the Hebrew people. They were adding all these extra fence (rabbinical) laws to the Torah. One of the instructions given originally by Yehovah (God) was that they were not ever to add to the Torah (instructions) but this is EXACTLY what the religious leaders did! And they made it an unnecessary burden for all the people to bear (see Matthew 23 below!!!)

"Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them."

Yeshua NEVER ONCE told people not to obey His Father's instructions given through Moses - not at all! In fact, He came to free us so that we could freely understand and interpret His Torah correctly.

He said to,

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matt 11:28-30)

I LOVE these verses! Notice that Yeshua never said that when we come to Him that we have no burden or yoke? He said, that we TAKE HIS YOKE WHICH IS EASY (as opposed to the complicated and heavy yoke of the man made laws that the Pharisees were trying to enforce) and his BURDEN IS LIGHT. In other words, walking in HIS WAYS (which are His instructions) is easy + light NOT heavy and burdensome! It was man's laws that were heavy + burdensome NOT God's!

Oh and that above verse also repeats one of the verses I love from Jeremiah. It's about standing at the crossroads and asking for the ancient paths (which is Torah!) and about walking in it and 'finding rest for your souls!' (Jeremiah 6:16) This is the rest we believe Jesus is talking about!

The Teachers of the law (Pharisees and Scribes and others) did things like tell the people not to 'profane' the name that Yehovah gave to His people for them to call Him by. These men said it was too holy to pronounce EVEN THOUGH Yehovah said they should use it to call on Him! These men also added things like washing your hands a certain amount of times in a certain way, they said you couldn't eat certain foods together even when Yehovah did NOT say these things! Yeshua (Jesus) came to CORRECTLY INTERPRET the law/Torah/instructions. And since He is the LIVING WORD He could do it perfectly! He had the perfect law written on His heart as it was foretold through the prophets that He would and He DID interpret it correctly. Often times, when Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and teachers, they knew He was talking of them (in parables and stories) and they wanted to silence Him! (See Matt 21:45) . They were keeping the outward appearance of the law on the outside but their hearts weren't right on the inside. He wants us to keep His Torah with sincere hearts! And when we do so, people see what a kind and merciful and gracious God we have and they will be drawn closer to Him and praise Him! That's what Jesus said,

."..let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven".

We are NOT saved by our 'good works' - we are saved by His grace through faith. But as Paul said, that grace does NOT nullify or get rid of the law but rather we 'uphold the law' he says (Romans 3:28-31)

We love our children. So we set boundaries for them - safe, healthy boundaries. Not because we are trying to lord it over them but because we love them. If they don't follow one of our instructions, it doesn't make us love them any more or any less. This is how we see how the Father has given us His Torah instructions. He sets up healthy boundaries for us - instructions that show His great care for us in the well being of our body, mind and spirit. Some of His instructions help us learn about Him, about worship and about how to help share His Truth with others through the way we live. He shows us how to walk in them BY THE POWER OF HIS SPIRIT! We are not doing it in our own strength! How wonderful!

So, you may have gotten to this point and thought, ok, so I see that you are into Torah! But where does the 'delight' bit come in? Well, all through the Scriptures, the Torah instructions are referred to as a delight! And why wouldn't they be? They bring life and freedom because one who is walking in Torah is walking in His ways! Here is an excerpt from Psalm 119 (verse 77), where King David (a man after God's own heart) is describing the Torah...

Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.

and again in the same psalm in verse 174, he says,

your law is my delight.

Ok, so you might be thinking, yeah but that's all from the Old Testament! Well, they ARE the Scriptures that Jesus and the prophets and the apostles had. But here is how Paul refers to the Torah. In his letter to the Romans, He says,

" For in my inner being I delight in God's law".

He also calls it...

"holy, righteous and good" (Romans 7:12) because it is our "school master" and leads us into an understanding of what sin is (Romans 3:20).

And what about James? He tells us not to just be a hearer of the word but a do-er also. What word was He talking about? Well, it couldn't have been the new testament since that wasn't written at that time - but rather he tells us - be a do-er of the 'perfect torah' which he says BRINGS FREEDOM! More delighting! (see James 1:22-25).

And what about in 1John 2:3-6...

"We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did."

Which commands? The commands that Jesus gave were the SAME COMMANDS that His Father gave us in Torah. And it says that we are to walk as Jesus did. How did He walk? He walked out and lived out TORAH! So the forefathers of old obeyed Torah, Jesus came as the Living Torah and lived it out perfectly and the writers of the New Testament also upheld and lived out Torah!

As you go through the New Testament, you might be thinking like I used to, 'hang on it says that the law is death and a curse'. But you have to ask yourself, 'which law?' There are many different kinds of 'law' in the New Testament however they all come from the same Greek root word, no matter what kind of law; the extra fence add on laws that the pharisees and rabbis made up, or the civil laws or the law of sin + death. The law of sin and death is often what is being referred to and it is NOT the Torah! It is the law which said, a soul that sins shall die without repenting. You can read all about this in Ezekiel 18). But Paul says that we aren't condemned by this law of sin and death anymore since Jesus has come and He has freed us into the Spirit of life! Our sinful condition is described as sin and death while being freed from this through Yeshua (Jesus) is described as the Spirit of life! It can seem confusing because of how we have previously been taught to view these scriptures but it is really worth looking over and checking out for yourself :)

Whenever there was a great restoration between God and His people, it was always when they realised they had turned from the ways He had given them (Torah) and had begun doing their own thing - worshipping other gods, forsaking Him as their first love. Whenever they turned back to Him and comitted to following His ways, they lived in peace, enjoyed the blessings He gave and enjoyed relationship once again with their Creator.

I'll be posting more on Torah in times ahead but for now, I'm so excited about this journey He is leading me on by His Spirit! It's refreshing, it's His Truth and there is life + delight in the midst of it all!

May you too be blessed by learning more about His ways, His Torah!

Love Lus x


Christine said...

So beautifully said Lus! May your words and your witness be used by our Father to draw others to Him and His Truth.


kathy said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I really needed to read this right now!

lusi said...

Christine, I'm praying He'll continue to reveal His truth to me and others who read this and are seeking to know Him morein all the fullness of His truth. You guys have been a real encouragement and blessing to me along this journey. Thanks so much!

And Kathy, I'm so glad! May He continue to bless and teach us all. Much love xo

Mommy Set Free said...

Nicely done! A "crossing over"...its what Hebrew means!

SmileyLovesSunshine said...

Lusi, I am so glad you have this series on your sidebar. I am going to read through the rest. Delcie

lusi said...

Hope it will be useful Delcie!
Lusi x


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