Contradictory Interpretations

And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Genesis 15:6 (KJV)

Believed – What happens when two Biblical authors use the same verse from Genesis to support two contradictory messages? For the most of us, we just brush it under the rug or fiddle with the wording until it fits better. Both Paul and James, Rabbis of their time, use this verse about Abraham believing to support their message about faith and works.

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The “other” god

And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

Deuteronomy 11:28 (KJV)

To go after other gods, which ye have not known – In order to really understand what God is saying here, we need to consider this verse with the two before it.

26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:
28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28

Did you catch the difference between the blessing and the curse? The blessing comes if you obey the commandments of God which He is commanding that day. The curse comes if you disobey the commandments AND go after other gods. So let me ask, is it possible to disobey the commandments, but still worship YHVH?

John states in the New Testament (1 John 5:3) that the love of God is obeying His commandments. It is pretty straight forward there. So if we do not love YHVH, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then we will disobey the commandments. And if we do not obey Him, then how can we possibly worship Him?

The answer must be “no” – one cannot worship the true YHVH and choose to disobey Torah because it is not the true God that is being worshiped. The God that is being worshiped and loved has changed. Despite the efforts to call Him by the same name, or recognize His place in Scripture, it is no longer the same god. This other god that does not require obedience to His teachings is a god that conforms to your life and paradigms. It is a much easier god to serve because this new god’s teachings are customized to fit your life.

Simply by disobeying the commandments of YHVH, you have turned to other gods. It is no longer YHVH that is the Creator of the universe, but someone else.

That is harsh. But with the word “curse” were you expecting something fun and enjoyable?

Love God, keep His commandments, and receive His blessing.

God’s Oral Commandments

If the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the Lord hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

Deuteronomy 12:21 (KJV)

As I have commanded thee – A recent conversation with a Jewish friend of mine brought us to this verse from Deuteronomy. He reasoned that this verse justified the Oral Law, considered the Talmud, that was given to Moses orally and not part of the Written Law, the 5 books of Moses. The 5 books of Moses (written Torah) does not explain the details for how to kill an animal, but the Talmud does. So obviously God must be talking about the Oral Law in this verse.

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There is Hope

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:10 (KJV)

The gathering together – The word here in Hebrew is mikveh ( מקוה ) which you may recognize. It is often used in reference to a pool of water for ritual immersion leading to ritual purity. Here in Genesis, it is used to describe the waters (mayim) out of which the earth grew.

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Everything is a Commandment

And the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did they.

Numbers 1:54 (KJV)

Commanded – This word in Hebrew is tsavah ( צִוָּה ) which is the primitive root of mitzvah (commandment). It is used about 500 times in the Old Testament. Commands are given from a father to a son (1 Samuel 17:20), a farmer to his laborers (Ruth 2:9), a king to his subjects (2 Samuel 21:14). YHVH commands His people by issuing kingship and instructing obedience to His rules.

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What is Your Sin?

How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin.

Job 13:23 (KJV)

Know – Job is the figure we all think about when in turmoil. We might liken his suffering to our own and reason that if we maintain our faith, we will surely overcome. However the text reveals a difference between Job and us. Job was righteous and without sin.

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Water Baptism

And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.

Leviticus 8:6 (KJV)

Washed – Baptism is frequently thought of as a Christian event. The first form of New Testament baptism is found in the story of John the Baptist. But John wasn’t a Christian, he was a Jew. Why would John practice baptism if baptism was a Christian thing, especially at a time when Christians weren’t yet a people?

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COVID-19 and the plagues

And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

Exodus 12:13 (KJV)

Where ye are – The first quarantine was established by God during the time of a plague. He instructed all of Israel to stay in their homes while a plague ravished the land. And here we are today, on the verge of Passover, practicing quarantine to remove ourselves from a virus spreading throughout the land. How fitting.

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Quarantine

All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.

Leviticus 13:46 (KJV)

Without the camp shall his habitation be – God teaches the method of quarantine when it comes to infectious diseases. He doesn’t say that spiritual people won’t be infected. He doesn’t say that your faith will shield you from diseases. In fact, the ONLY way to completely avoid disease, at least the diseases in Egypt, is to keep the law.

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Silent Reading

And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:

Deuteronomy 17:19 (KJV)

Read – In the early 400s AD, St. Augustine wrote about a man named Ambrose who, when he read, did not vocalize the words or move his tongue. This was apparently shocking for St. Augustine to witness so much so that he noted it in his journal.

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