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March 4, 2019

The Torah

“This is the law that Moses set before the people of Israel. These are the testimonies, the statutes, and the rules, which Moses spoke to the people of Israel when they came out of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 4:44-45)

The word “law” is the word Torah in Hebrew, and it refers not only to the commandments given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20-23:19), but also to the books of Moses, the first 5 books of the Bible, better known to us as the Pentateuch.

When we think of the word “law” we may think of rules given to us from an authority, and that a violation of these rules leads to punishment. That is not how a Jewish person viewed the Torah. A Hebraic definition of Torah  (Law) is “a set of instructions or teaching from a loving father to his children for the purpose of training and guiding them in right living with him and others” (Proverbs 1:2-7).

Exodus 19:8 reads, “All the people answered together and said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” Unfortunately for the nation of Israel, as with all children, this was more difficult than they realized, and being obedient was extremely challenging. Thankfully the law had two parts to it. Part 1 was a list of do’s and don’ts. Part 2 was a system that allowed the people to say they are sorry and make right all that they did wrong before God and to each other.

I’m not sure what comes to your mind or what you feel when you hear the word “law.” Maybe it has a negative or positive connotation, or maybe it’s restrictive to you or provides you with safety. What type of authority comes to mind when you hear the word? For the Jewish pople they would think of the Torah as something good, something that was given to them by Moses from the God who rescues them, loves them, protects them and guides them.

Question: When you hear the word “law” what do you think and feel?

Challenge: Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Seek God as Moses, challenges Israel to seek Him.

Prayer: Father, guide me in your good and right law. Help me to see you in it, not just my obligation.

Tony Graffanino, Chapel Leader -- White Sox Spring Training

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