In my personal reading I came across a verse of scripture that has caused me to ask a question. Personally, I think that every person of the non-Jewish nations should ask.
In truth, there are several verses that fall in a similar situation; but, for this blog, I will deal with the one verse.
Let us all take a look at the verse together.
Therefore shall ye keep My charge, that ye do not any of these abominable customs, which were done before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God. http://www.mechon-mamre.org
What festivals, traditions or customs of our land that is abominable or detestable to the Creator?
In this particular verse we find that Israel is being warned against abominable/detestable customs or traditions of the nations. They are given the warning because doing them would bring a defilement upon them.
This warning to the priestly nation should cause us of the non-Jewish nations to take note and inspect our traditions or customs to see if they line up with the rules that the Creator has given us to do.
When one examines the Hebrew Scriptures, the non-Jewish nations do not fair so well. They always seem to be under one judgement or another for something they did. In what is called the end of days the non-Jewish nations are seen as going to Israel and learning from them the ways of the Creator.
I read a thread on Facebook where a person went through conversion to Judaism because to them they only saw in the Hebrew Scriptures that the Creator loved Israel as a nation; and to experience this love, they converted.
Individuals joined together makes a nation
Even though in the Hebrew Scriptures, the nations may not fair so well. The individuals of the nations can do very well in the eyes of the Creator. Lets take a look at a few verses.
“…ye that fear the LORD, bless ye the LORD.” http://www.mechon-mamre.org
“… the LORD loveth the righteous;” http://www.mechon-mamre.org
These two verses can be understood on an individualistic level.
The Love of the Creator toward Israel we read about in the Hebrew Scriptures is based a lot on the covenant and the Patriarchs of the nation.
Since we all are the created of the Creator we all are taken care of.
“The LORD is good to all; and His tender mercies are over all His works.” http://www.mechon-mamre.org
But, as an individual of the Nations you can go beyond just being taken care of to the status that the Creator loves you.
It seems that individuals are more abt to fear the Creator then from the fear or awe the individual will seek out the ways of the Creator and do them. From this the individual will become righteous and this righteousness brings on the love of the Creator that such a person is yearning for.
For the non-Jewish nations we only have to go to study Genesis 9:1-17 to find out what the Creator has for to do. In the study of these passages we will find a basic seven rules for all of mankind. It is from these Seven rules left to us that we are to judge our whole society including or traditions and customs.
It is not wrong for us to create festivals, traditions, and customs but as said above, they need to meet a certain standard.
The list below is a list of the Seven rules given to us by the Creator in Genesis 9. They are not in a certain order but they and their sub-rules are the measuring stick to all activities we take part in life. If a festival, tradition, or custom does not meet up to these standards we that fear the Creator do not do them.
1. Prohibition of idolatry
2. Prohibition of blasphemy
3. Prohibition of theft
4. Prohibition of murder
5. Prohibition of forbidden sexual relations
6. Prohibition of eating meat taken from a live animal
7. Setting up courts of justice
The nations of the world may adopt many traditions or customs that are abominable/detestable to the Creator; most of theses traditions or customs of the nations stem out of some form of religion, which was not commanded.
A great example for us is the story related to us in the Hebrew Scriptures. The sons of Aaron got zealous in their worship and worshiped the Creator in the way they thought and it did not go so well for them.
“ And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took each of them his censer, and put fire therein, and laid incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.” http://www.mechon-mamre.org
For those of us, of the non-Jewish nations, the lesson learned from this story is – The Creator is very serious in what He has commanded us, He tells us how He wants to be worshiped. If He is willing to take out two of the sons of Israel, then how serious is He to the rest of us when we do what He has not commanded.
It is very important that we learn what He has commanded us concerning worshiping Him. It is up to us as individuals to judge all traditions and customs of our lands according to His standards, we can not be afford to be slack in this area.
Terry W. Hayes
Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash