Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Comments on Jeremiah 2:5

This article I had written a while back but I thought it would be good to release it here. The article I looked at was called Jeremiah 2:5 on yourphariseefriend.com.


"The Torah describes the false prophet as one who attempts to “make you stray from the path that the Lord your God has commanded you to walk in.” (Deuteronomy 13:6 (5). Instead of listening to the false prophet we are commanded: “The Lord your God shall you follow and Him you shall fear; His commandments you shall observe and to His voice you shall hearken; Him you shall serve and to Him you shall cleave.”

The true prophet will encourage Israel to follow after God – “O House of Jacob: Come let us walk by the light of the Lord!” (Isaiah 2:5). The true prophet encourages fear of the Creator of heaven and earth – “Will you not fear Me? says the Lord; Will you not tremble before Me? For I have set sand as a boundary for the sea, as a permanent law that cannot be broken.” (Jeremiah 5:22). The true prophet encourages observance of God’s commandments that were set down by Moses – “Remember the Torah of Moses My servant which I commanded him at Horeb for all of Israel – decrees and statutes” (Malachi 3:22 [4:4]). The true prophet speaks of hearkening to the voice of God – “…Thus said the Lord, God of Israel: Cursed is the man who will not listen to the words of this covenant that I commanded your forefathers on the day I took them out from the land of Egypt, form the iron crucible saying: Listen to My voice…” (Jeremiah 11:3,4). The true prophet encourages service of God – “Serve the Lord with gladness, come before Him with joyous song” (Psalm 100:2). The true prophet speaks of cleaving to God as the highest ideal – My soul cleaves after You; Your right arm has supported me” (Psalm 63:9)."

So far so good, amen pretty much to what has been said. An encouragement to cleave to God with our whole being, something which is sorely lacking with the circles of Christians. The subject of the Torah, I get into later in this letter.

"The true prophet knows that God has richly provided for our every need, both spiritual and material. The true prophet recognizes the blessing that is inherent in the law that God has granted to His people and all of the prophet’s words direct us towards the God of Israel and towards the path He set us on when He redeemed us from the house of bondage in a clear and unambiguous way.

The false prophet concentrates his attention on the tendency of man that fails to appreciate God’s blessings and that sees God’s law as burdensome and impossible. Instead of encouraging us to recognize the love, the life and the light that is inherent in God’s law; the false prophet claims to offer us a “better path”.

The way to resist the persuasions of the false prophet is to ask: Is there anything lacking in the path that God set before us when He took us out of Egypt? Did God not provide for our every need? Did He not shower us with every blessing?

By focusing on the blessings that God granted us we will learn to appreciate the holiness of His commandments and the life that is inherent in His law. When we appreciate His love towards us our hearts will be filled with love towards Him – and a heart that is filled with the love of God will not fall for the persuasions of the false prophet (Deuteronomy 13:4 (3)."

Interestingly, the NT itself, while mentioning to us as to how the law was fulfilled in Yeshua, which I have already written on, it tells us that the law is not bad, but cannot save us.

These articles speak about what laws Gentiles are to keep:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/observance-of-torah-demanded-of-gentiles.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/examination-of-some-arguments-raised-by.html

However, I don't want to get into these issues at this time because that is not my focus, I just simply wanted to get these points out of the way.

No man is justified by the works of the law, but nevertheless points out if it wasn't for the law, we would have no knowledge of what sin is as Paul points out.

"Romans 3:9 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law."

Paul's point is that the commandments are not kept in order to earn salvation, but rather to show that one keeps the commands of God out of gratitude to him for liberating us. This principle goes back to Egypt, God took the Jews OUT of Egypt, but they kept the commandments out of gratitude to God, not to gain their salvation from Egypt. There isn't a lack of blessing being claimed by Christians. Not to mention Jesus already told his followers what the greatest commandment is in Mark 12:29 and he quotes from Deutereonomy 6:4 and Leviticus 19:18, summing up the commandments with those two statements.

Also in 1 John 5 we read:
"5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God."

It is by the grace and mercy of God that one can keep his commandments. While Christians are not under Mosaic Law, specifically Gentile Christians, they still need to demonstrate their love for God by their actions. Both the TANAKH and NT need to be read in context to determine which laws Gentiles are to keep or are not required to, but I am getting sidetracked. Other than that, there isn't really much for me to disagree on.

Both Blumenthal and I acknowledge that God knows humans are weak and frail, I don't think there is a dispute there. However as I have said before in a previous article:
"The fact that you need to ask for God's mercy shows that it is impossible to perfectly observe the Torah. It doesn't mean you should have a carefree attitude which I need to preface. I agree, God exhorts us to be holy, but we need to his grace to be such."

There is indeed some points in this article that are to not down as definitely important:
1. Love God with everything and your neighbour as yourself
2. Never listen to the vain musings of a false prophet and test them.

Examine both mine and Rabbi Blumenthal's words and come to your own conclusion.

Answering Judaism.

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