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What Is The Torah?


The Torah is hitting the mark. Bull-eye! Not falling short of the glory of God!

More than just plain law, the Torah is also a precept or a statute (Strong OT:8451).

Its root word yarah (Strong OT:3384) means "to shoot out the hand as pointing, to show, indicate", "to teach, instruct", "to lay foundations", "to sprinkle, to water", "to shoot, as an arrow".

Torah points instead of penalizes. It is more a trusted shepherd rod than the rod of a cold legalistic disciplinary master.

Our Father in heaven disciplines us because He loves us as His sons. As our Shepherd, He leads us, His sheep by His own hands through divine teachings and instructions.

He lays down solid foundations so that we will grow and be rooted firmly in Him. He sprinkles us with water so that we will be clean and healthy, free from diseases.

Like an arrow that travels in a straight direction, our Shepherd leads us in paths of righteousness so that we can live life to its fullest.

The Torah contains 613 instructions, and these are divided into sections such as:

1. priesthood duties
2. sacrifices
3. social life
4. morality
5. holidays
6. judicial laws
7. ceremonial commands
8. business
9. agriculture
10. nutrition

These 613 precepts, statutes and laws are condensed in the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are then further summarized into just two commandments by our Lord Jesus:

"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"

Jesus said to him," "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22:36-40)

This second commandment is like the first, and no lesser.

In fact, Apostle Paul gave the ultimate conclusion to all the commandments:

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Galatians 5:14)

The test and proof of our love for the unseen God (our obedience to the First Commandment) is our love for our seen neighbors (our obedience to the Second Commandment):

If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also." (1 John 4:20-21)

And the new commandment is the same as the old commandment:

"Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes." (1 John 2:7-11)

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35)

In fact and similarly, the Old Covenant is the same as the New Covenant, one written on hearts of stone, and one on hearts of flesh:

"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." (Jeremiah 31:31-33)

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God." (Ezekiel 36:26-28)

You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. And we have such trust through Christ toward God. (2 Corinthians 3:2-4)

Note that God made the New Covenant with the Jews first way back in the Old Testament, and not just with the Church in the New Testament.

The summary of 613 commandments into one commandment does not denounce or destroy the Torah but fulfill or complete it:

"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:17-20)

One more thing about the Torah, Abraham knew them in Genesis before Moses got them in Exodus. And he faithfully obeyed all of them.

Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. (Genesis 26:5)

The Torah is guidance or direction from God to His people from Day One.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

Both then and now, it should be seen as a total way of life. It requires complete dedication because it is seen as God's direction for living the covenant relationship.

God is preparing in these last days a remnant people who will walk and live according to His Torah! Just like the parents of John the Baptist:

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.  (Luke 1:5-6)

If we desire to prepare the way of the Lord, we need to know His Word and obey Him.