In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
1 Corinthians 14:21 (KJV)
In the law it is written – I find it interesting that Paul, a man who had Torah memorized from Genesis to Deuteronomy (and possible other books) refers to this quote which is clearly from Isaiah 28 and speaks as if it’s in the nomos (the law). Does that strike you odd at all? Isn’t Torah (which is the Hebraic equivalent of the law) just the five books that Moses wrote?
For Paul, and many other Jews at that time, the entire Tanakh (old testament) could be considered Torah. Certainly they understood there was the Torah, and the Writings, and Prophets, etc. but they considered it all one. And it was all called Torah, which actually means “Teachings”.
Today we have a much different perspective. We love to separate it all. The Torah, which are the five books of Moses, were written for old Israel. Oh sure there’s some good stuff that we can learn from there, but ultimately nothing that we really need to live by. Oh… maybe the 10 commandments because we can separate those out further, right? Those are good laws… well… except the 4th commandment, we don’t really need to keep the Sabbath anymore. Then there’s the Writings (Proverbs, Psalms, Lamentations, etc.) which contain really good words, but again, they’re more applicable to old Israel than to us. And the prophets, well we love to take the ones we deem as Messianic, but the others, again, are just old stuff. And separation destroys us. We nit-pick until we have nothing left but the letters written by Paul. It’s a sad event that is happening. In fact, one of my own elders during Passover stated that we don’t partake of Passover in remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt, we do it in remembrance of Christ. We’ve separated even the meaning of the Holy Days now.
We often say that Yeshua’s commandments are separate from the law (God’s commandments). Yeshua commanded us to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul… and to love our neighbor as ourselves. But really, He was just repeating these two commandments from Torah. Yes, they already existed: love God (Deuteronomy 6:5), and love your neighbor (Leviticus 19:18). He was only clarifying that these two commandments were the greatest of the entire 613. But in Matthew 23:23 we read that He still expected all major and minor commandments to be obeyed.
Ultimately we even separate God between the two testaments. The God of the old testament was judgmental, fierce, and angry, whereas the God in the new testament by the grace found in Yeshua is forgiving, loving, and kind. It’s the same God!!! For proof, just take a look at how God describes himself in Exodus 34:6. He’s merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.
My point being that separation destroys us. We need to use the Bible as a whole in application to our lives. We need to reflect upon Christ’s statement from Matthew 4:4 and live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God… not just the bread. Imagine a Christian who kept Torah (the teachings), and also had the testimony of Yeshua (Revelation 12:17)! Isn’t that exactly how we should live?