How Can We Live?
In last week’s blog we examined why Torah is still valid. This week, I would like to add some additional thoughts and clarification on this subject. Understanding what YHVH expects of us is important. Some may argue that YHVH loves us no matter what. That is true, but just as parents love their children, they still have household rules and expectations. It is more than just obeying YHVH; it is about becoming all that He intends for us.
Peter and I became aware of our Hebrew roots and Torah about twelve years ago. At the time, we were in our late forties and our children were all grown. We attended church regularly, were involved in Bible study, and participated in various outreach programs. We considered ourselves to be mature Christians. When we began seriously looking into our Hebrew roots and Torah, we realized that we were finally at the grownups’ table. It was an epiphany for us. We were finally off the milk and into the meat (1 Cor 3:21).
Faulty translation and unclear terminology can confuse us and distort our perception of the truth. Peter will expound more fully on these topics in next week’s blog. For now, however, it is important that we know that YHVH’s purpose in establishing His kingdom on earth is to have relationship with us. Torah is more than just law; it is instruction and guidelines as well. YHVH’s desire is to have relationship with us and His Torah shows us how to draw ever closer to Him. Those who think there is no need for law, ignore it and drift away from YHVH. Those who try to keep the law “perfectly” do not understand that the Torah is meant to “perfect” us; that is, to make us whole and complete. They focus on the letter of the law and also drift from YHVH. The word “perfect” in Hebrew is shalom shalom. Shalom means wholeness and completeness, reaching full potential.
YHVH calls us to be holy, just as He is holy (Lev 20:26). To be holy means to be set apart from those who do not follow YHVH. Ultimately, we are to be set apart from demons and anyone else who is adamant about operating in the kingdom of darkness. The Israelites were called to be set apart. They were to follow Torah and be a light to the nations. For the past 2,000 years, people from other nations have been called to follow Yeshua (the living Torah) and have been grafted in to the olive tree known as Israel. They, too, are to be set apart and learn how to live in YHVH’s kingdom.
Romans 11:17 can be a touchy subject for Jews and non-Jews alike. We are all called to follow and obey YHVH, regardless of our ethnicity (Gal 3, Col 3 CJB). YHVH keeps His promises. If He has made promises that are specifically for physical members of the twelve tribes of Israel, He will keep them. If He has made promises to anyone else, He will keep those promises also. It is helpful to remember that we are spirit-beings who reside in a physical body (James 2:26, 1 Thess 5:23). Galatians 3:26-29 CJB points out that our trust and obedience are what matters; not our ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status.
It is crucial that we always keep in mind the big picture. YHVH is working through the process of salvation and kingdom building on earth that began either before or at creation (Rev. 13:8). Everything in Scripture is about that process. YHVH reveals only what is necessary at each phase of the process since YHVH’s enemy, hasatan, is ever vigilant about destroying or interrupting YHVH’s work (John 10:10, 1 Pet 5:8). YHVH’s kingdom is already established in heaven and hasatan was exiled from YHVH’s heavenly kingdom for trying to take it over. Now hasatan is trying to do the same with YHVH’s kingdom on earth.
YHVH created the earth and its inhabitants to be a reflection of His heavenly kingdom. It has always been about establishing His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Humans are created in YHVH’s image and likeness (Gen 1:26). However, we are fallen since the sin of Adam and Eve. Therefore, YHVH often has to work through and around our ignorance and stubbornness. We, in our limitedness, tend to lose sight of the big picture and focus only on the latest phase of YHVH’s plan. As more of His plan and process are revealed, we tend to think that anything that came before is automatically obsolete. If we are capable of taking one verse of Scripture out of context, then we are certainly capable of taking one action of YHVH’s out of context. YHVH is not doing away with former phases; rather, He is building on to former phases.
In summary, our focus is to be on loving and obeying YHVH, so that we can become all that YHVH intends for us to be in His kingdom. YHVH is in control and will keep all His promises. As always with YHVH, He will exceed even our wildest expectations. Dayenu! Now that is truly living!