While reading in Genesis yesterday, I noticed a verse that dispels a couple common misconceptions, or false defenses in both Christendom and in Judaism/Messianic Judaism.
In Christendom, a common objection to keeping Torah is the idea that ‘I am of Abraham’s seed and don’t need to do that.’ Generally, the finger is pointed at Rav Shaul (Apostle Paul) and the Jerusalem Council, Acts 15, as indication that they do not have to keep (any of) the Torah.
A similar defense for many ‘two-law’ groups who think that believing Gentiles have a ‘different path’ than Jews is argued from the Acts 15 passage.
BOTH ideas are exposed as fallacies in Genesis 18:19. Let’s take a look:
19 For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.”
Without even delving into Rav Shaul’s explanations of being of the seed of Avraham by faith, what we see here is two groups of people.
Natural born children and those of his household, mentioned just 19 verses earlier as having been circumcised into the covenant, are in view here:
All the men of his household, who were born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him,
We are told that Avraham is to command all in his house, members of his covenant, BOTH groups, to DO something! They are commanded to ‘keep the way of Yahweh.’
What exactly does ‘the way of Yahweh’ mean? Or, what are His ways?
Dozens of verses answer this question quite directly, so here are a couple and more references…
For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him,Deu 11:22
Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to [a]fear Him. Deu. 8:6
if you [a]carefully observe all this commandment which I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in His ways always— Deu. 19:9
There are more references, prevalent in Deuteronomy, but visible throughout the Tanakh. Here are a couple more references, but any search program or concordance will pull up still more… : Deut. 5:33; 10:12; 26:17; 30:16; Joshua 22:5; 2 Samuel 22:22; I Kings 3:14; Psalm 25:8-9 & 14; etc…
The point is, ‘keeping the way of Yahweh’ means, ‘keeping the commandments of God.’
Now, I know, most are wondering, ‘well, didn’t the Torah come later… at Mt. Sinai?’
Yes and no.
Mt. Sinai is where Israel entered into covenant with Yahweh, and the Torah was given as a formal covenant to them, but it already existed. In fullness. Need proofs?
because Abraham [a]obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws (torah).” Genesis 26:5
Avraham knew and kept Yahweh’s charge, commandments, statutes, and torah.
In fact, Avraham had received it from either Noah or Shem. Here is a neat Age Chart, worth printing and keeping, that will demonstrate the contemporary lives of Noah, Shem and Avraham.
More than just an age chart, there are abundant proofs for the existence of Torah. I listed 10 or 12 just from Genesis in a post titled The Faith of Abraham. Since then, I have noticed a few more, not to mention the verse this post is about…
For I have [a]chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” Ge. 18:19
Yahweh chose Avraham, ‘so that he may command’ us, his household, to ‘keep the way of the Lord.’ Period!Understand, [I have to make this statement VERY often, because Christians will not actually read what I write, they ‘see’ something totally different than what I put on the page] I/we are NOT saved by works. We are saved by faith! Grafted in by the blood of Messiah, but we are saved to DO something!! We are saved to be obedient to Messiah and ‘walk as He walked,’ keeping the covenant! Read the previously linked post as well as the rest of this blog for multiple posts explaining what this really means, not what Christendom warps and teaches falsely.
So, isn’t that interesting?? Part of Avraham’s responsibility to his covenant is to command us who enter that covenant by faith to keep the way, the commandments, of Yahweh!
Kinda sticks a dagger in the ‘I’m of the seed of Abraham and don’t need to do that’ argument as well as overturning the two-groups/two-laws crowd.
Hmmmm. Two birds. One stone?