When I was studying to join the Jewish nation, one of the things you begin to learn, is how to study the Hebrew Scriptures. There are different levels of study and the one I want to introduce and set up this blog is (in my own words), after you have gained everything a verse or passage is telling you in plain written text, then you start looking for what it is not saying.
And you shall say unto Pharaoh: Thus saith the God: Israel is My son, My first-born.
What we learn from this verse is that God declares that Israel is His firstborn son.
What it does not say is that Israel is His only son.
The 613 instructions that God gave Israel in their covenant to Him are the duties expected of the firstborn son.
We of the nations are still His children but He has put on us lighter load of expectations but they are still expectations – instructions on how He wants us to live with Him and the rest of humanity.
One needs to understand why Israel has many more instructions than the rest of the nations. Their instructions are broken down to the different levels of Israelite, how to use and live in the Land of Israel and how to operate the Temple and of course firstborn instructions in serving God personally.
Living in the nations there are far less instructions as our lands are different and to live in them requires a different set of instructions, we do not have the Temple nor are we the priesthood. Nor are we expected to be.
Now lets look at our instructions not from a law or legal set of rules but from a relationship basis with the Creator.
First, here are the instructions in black and white form.
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 a just and legal system i.e. courts
What I share below is from my own meditation upon our Creator and His instructions. It is a look at our instructions from the eyes of relationship and when you see this, it will help you grasp how these instructions are not religious but relational.
1. The Creator wants us to know that He is our only source for being and that there is not any other power in heaven or on earth that can be our source or supply of being. He wants us to know that He is our Father, He gave us life and we came from no other source.
2. Since He is our Creator and Father, He wants us to respect and honor Him and His Name. We are not to curse Him or use His Name in any vain use.
3. Our Father told us through Noah that He has given us everything we need, therefor there is no need to take anything from someone else, we are to respect what He has given them and be content with what He has given us to live this life.
4. He is the source of all life and put an image of Himself in all humans. He has told us not to take a life that is not ours and it also is a disrespect to His Image in the other person.
5. He Created us in two genders to procreate and settle the earth. There are responsibilities we have in using these genders.
6. Our eating instructions are even different from Israel, He allows us to eat from any living thing that moves as long as we do not take meat from an animal that is still alive. This also teaches us proper care for the creation around us.
7. Father tells us also to set up a just and legal system based on these laws. As an individual we are to judge our own lives by these instructions and receive them as a Father’s instructions to His child.
These 7 categorical instructions is how the Father trains us as His children not His subjects. Just like when we instruct our children how to live and do things. It is simple, we teach our children how to tie their shoes, how to go to the restroom and so on. They carry and practice these things the rest of their life and pass it down to their children.
This is the intent of the 7 Universal Laws.
This is how they are not a religion but a relationship with our Heavenly Father.
Terry W. Hayes
Photo Credit: Julie Johnson on Unsplash