Torah, what is it?
Updated: Feb 9
Readers, family, and friends have asked me many questions since I started this blog, but one of the questions that come up often is, “What exactly is the Torah?” This is a great question, for if you do not know what the Torah is, then how can you properly love YHWH?
“And this is the love, that we walk according to His commands. This is the command, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.” (2 John 1:6)
The Torah is Not Just For the Jews
Torah is Elohim’s instructions for us on how to live a life pleasing to Him. It is not just a Jewish thing, it is a Biblical thing, all of Israel was given the Torah, not just the House of Judah (Which didn’t exist at the time).
“And Mosheh (Moses) came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which יהוה commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, “All that יהוה has spoken we shall do.” So Mosheh (Moses) brought back the words of the people to יהוה..” (Exodus 19:7-8)
If you identify as a follower of Yeshua and yet believe yourself to be a gentile and outside of the nation of Israel, read my post “Grafted In”. In that post, I show Biblical proof that those of us who believe, have been grafted into the olive tree of Israel. Further, if someone chooses to believe that the Torah is only for the Jews, then they are saying only the Jews can sin. But, it is obvious that everyone sins.
“Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4) NIV
“Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4) The Scriptures 2009
Keeping Torah is How We Love Him
Yeshua said he spoke only the words that His Father gave him, and Yeshua said if you love me keep my commandments.
“Because I spoke not from Myself, but the Father who sent Me has given Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” (John 12:49)
“If you love Me, you shall guard My commands.” (John 14:15)
No matter how you dice it, we should be keeping Torah, for that is how we show that we love our Elohim. Torah or Law, as it is often translated as, is the commandments YHWH gave us. It is more than the 10 everyone thinks of, it is all 613 (an in-depth study shows this to be inaccurate but an estimate) that are found within the first five books of the Bible. I know it sounds like a lot, but many of the commands have to do with Levitical priesthood, farmers, the temple, some commands distinguish between the two genders or being in the land of Israel. So large portions of the Torah will not be doable in your life, but we must do what we can.
The Torah is Not Burdensome
At the bottom of the page, I will leave a link to a website that has all 613 commandments as written down by Rambam. I also have a Testing the 613 tab, if you wish to check that out. I know many say, “we can’t keep the law, nobody is perfect”, well let’s see if the Bible describes the Torah as being burdensome or too difficult to do.
“For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy,” (1 John 5:3)
“For this command which I am commanding you today, it is not too hard for you, nor is it far off. “It is not in the heavens, to say, ‘Who shall ascend into the heavens for us, and bring it to us, and cause us to hear it, so that we do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, to say, ‘Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, and cause us to hear it, so that we do it?’ ” “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)
It’s not too hard, and we can do all things through Messiah.
“I have strength to do all, through Messiah who empowers me.” (Philippians 4:13)
What makes keeping Torah difficult is not the Torah itself, but because our fleshly desires war against the spirit.
“For we know that the Torah is Spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin.” (Romans 7:14)
“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are opposed to each other, so that you do not do what you desire to do.” (Galatians 5:17)
Delighting in the Torah
Do not fret or feel intimidated by the Torah, it is to be enjoyed and loved!
“Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, And shall not stand in the path of sinners, And shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, But his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, And he meditates in His Torah day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)
“O how I love Your Torah! It is my study all day long.” (Psalm 119:97)
“I have hated doubting thoughts, But I have loved Your Torah.” (Psalm 119:113)
“I have hated falsehood and loathe it, Your Torah I have loved.” (Psalm 119:163)
“Great peace have those loving Your Torah, And for them there is no stumbling-block. ” (Psalm 119:165)
“I have longed for Your deliverance, O יהוה, And Your Torah is my delight.” (Psalm 119:174)
“Where there is no vision, the people are let loose, But blessed is he who guards the Torah.” (Proverbs 29:18)
The Father Makes the Rules, Not the Children
I do not understand the disdain, or the neglect Christians have for the Torah, how do they show love for Elohim without it? How do they know how to live without it? The Bible makes it very clear that it is a delight to have and obey the commands of YHWH. I fear for those that claim to be followers of Yeshua and do not guard the commandments.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Do not misunderstand me, I know we are bound to mess up, but we must continually try to live as obedient children.
“My little children, I write this to you, so that you do not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Intercessor with the Father, יהושע Messiah, a righteous One.” (1 John 2:1)
I hoped this help shed some light on what Torah is and what it isn’t. It is His instructions for us, not some man doctrine, it is not burdensome but is a delight. Test all things including this, and I pray that the Ruach (Spirit) leads you into all truth.
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