Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
Psalm 119:1 (KJV)
Law – We know this word; it is Torah in Hebrew. But “law” is probably not the best translation. “Law” turns people away. Who needs the law of God when we have the grace of Jesus? All those commandments and judgements were just too much. We live with love now, right?
Somewhere along the lines Christianity became adverse to this burdensome thing we called “the law”. It just didn’t seem right that God would force us to walk with the weight of all these rules. But what would happen if I gave you another, better translation of this word? What if the verse from Psalm above read like this:
“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the [instructions] of the Lord.”
or “…who walk in the [direction] of the Lord…”
These words are much more palatable, right? They’re easier to swallow. Now try it with all the verses in the Bible and see how much things begin to change for you.
Therefore by the deeds of the [teachings of God] there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the [teachings of God] is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20)
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the [teachings]; ye are fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:4)
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the [teachings of God]. (1 Corinthians 15:56)
When we realize our disobedience stems not from the removal of God’s law in our lives, but from the removal of God’s instructions, direction, or teachings from our lives… it becomes much more serious. It’s so easy for us to say that we don’t need the law anymore, but can you say that you don’t need God’s instruction anymore? That’s much more difficult. I think we’d all agree that we need His instruction and His teachings. And that’s exactly what Torah is!
The Hebrew word Torah means “instruction” and stems from the root yarah which has, as one of its major meanings, “to teach”, “to instruct” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the Old Testament, 1220). The Hebrews, because they understand the language, know this meaning and find great value in the Torah. But for most of western Christianity, we call it the law, and in our society, the law is only ever a burden that restricts our desires. Often times we break the law by speeding, or driving while using the phone, or remodeling without permits. The law is something viewed negatively, so naturally when we apply that term to God’s instructions, we see the law as a negative factor in our lives as well.
Does this cause you to reflect on the teachings of God? They were never given to cause a burden, but rather to help you walk in the Way as pointed out by David in the Psalm above. Remember the early apostles? They were called the followers of the Way. The term “Christian” was a derogatory term given to them by non believers. They considered themselves as followers of the Way… what is the Way? Walking in the Torah of God… walking in Yeshua.