And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.
Exodus 19:8 (KJV)
We will do – Do you realize that at this point when the people agreed, they actually hadn’t yet heard the commandments? He’s only told them that if they keep His covenant and obey His voice, then they will be His people. But He hasn’t laid out the details of the contract yet, and they’re already agreeing to it. Isn’t that crazy?
Well maybe it’s not that crazy. We do it all the time, right? We sign contracts without actually reading through them – out of laziness of course. When we enter into agreements with other men, this probably isn’t the best practice. Other men can be deceitful and looking to their own best interests. Ideally, in this corrupted world, we should be weary of all contracts presented to us for our signature. The fewer contracts in our lives, the better.
But God is greater than man, and in dealings with God we can be sure He’s looking out for our interests. This is Hebraic obedience. Do first, and understanding will follow. You see it didn’t matter what the commandments were, the Israelites knew that if it was from God, it was good… and more importantly, it was for their good. They were ready to agree without any understanding. This is purely Hebraic.
The Greek worldview, which we’re very accustomed to, leads us to first question why before obeying. “Why is that good for me? If you tell me why this matters first (and if I believe you)… only then will I obey.” This sounds an awful lot like how many of us approach God’s word. Let’s take for an example, last week’s post about the fringes on the four corners of our garments. It’s a commandment of God. But so many want to know why it should be important to them. As soon as they read from Numbers about the immediate benefit to wearing them, they reason they don’t need something to remind them of the commandments in their lives. And their Greek worldview takes over. They just don’t see that it’s not about what they think they need, or what their personal experience has shown them… it’s about obedience to YHWH. And all this from a commandment that explicitly details why it’s important.
Now imagine a commandment that doesn’t have a benefit explained. These same people quickly assert that without a reason why to keep the commandment, what’s the point? They just don’t understand it. And therefore they won’t commit themselves in obedience to it – to the Lord. In the world of design we’re taught to ask the question why at least five times before committing to an assignment from higher management. This ensures that we can design the best possible solution. But God has the solutions already figured out. It’s not up to us to ask why – it’s for us to be obedient.
So the commandments exist, and many of them you probably know. We’ve already determined that there’s only a handful that you probably have the ability to keep. From these few there are even less that have a reason for keeping them. So what are you going to do with the others – the commandments that God gives us, but we’re not sure why. Are you going to accept the Greek worldview and determine them as “old” or “irrelevant”? Or are you going to take on the Hebrew worldview, and commit to obedience to YHWH first… with the promise that understanding will follow?