Since moving into the city, one of the things I like to do is, on Saturday mornings run down to Hardee’s and get a plate of biscuits and gravy. This Saturday I sat there and people watched and pondered on a few things pertaining to the Noahide life.
Before me was a great assortment of people from all ages and life situations, the older gray haired folks, some with their spouses and other alone, young families, and so on.
I watched them having their conversations, smiling and laughing. I watched all of this unfolding all around me. Then I pondered the prohibition of murder – yeah I know, where did this come from setting and people watching at a local fast food joint?
I got to thinking about the wording of this instruction from Genesis 9′
Whoso sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made He man.
When we look at what this verse is saying and not saying we can learn a lot.
The one thing the prohibition of murder is stating – is that it is not to be done because every man contains the image of his Maker in them. What it is not saying is that one is permitted to murder because another man does not believe as you.
What I am saying is that the prohibition of murder is based on the image of God in every person not on what they believe in.
Humanity Not a Religion
Over the past couple of months I have been pondering this subject almost daily and doing some writing on it as well.
I have concluded in my own mind that, many coming from a religion of the world confuse religion and spirituality. I personally have struggled with how to word this confusion and so here is the best way I can describe it.
* Religion is consumed with emotions on beliefs, rites and ceremonies.
* Spirituality is about a life of being.
I bring this up as part of my Saturday morning observance. I was in a restaurant that was filled with people who were in some form or another connected with the local southern USA religion around me. I looked at them from not what they believed but as the image of God before me. This to me was living the Noahide life.
We are not commanded to save souls but to practice justice and charity to the humans around us.
I love different kinds of music and for the most part I do not know the lyrics. But from time to time I learn what some of what the song is saying. This past week I had one of those moments heading to work one morning when I heard clearly a line in a song by the Eagles, Already Gone,
“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key “
This statement has been on my mind all week.
Here is the point – the majority of humanity does not even know they are chained, especially to religion. And I was included in this as well. Many of those who go by the term Noahide or some other designation have begun to free themselves from the chains they were wrapped in, but religion has a tough lock to unlock.
Religion separates, the Creator’s Instructions today known as the Noahide Laws are designed for us to work together as humans, not to separate from each other based on religious beliefs.
I will just put it out there, I have not said it like this before other than to a few people.
The greatest service toward the Creator is not taking on more commandments than what is commanded to regular non-Jewish humanity, it is not about becoming a Jew (which I almost did) or becoming a part of any other religion – it is being joyful in your lot in life and serving humanity within the 7 Instructions of the Creator. When we serve humanity within the instructions of the Creator, then we serve the Creator as a High Priest of the nations. I am so thankful I unlocked the chains that held me back from knowing who and how God made me.
Every day that goes by this point is becoming clearer and clearer to me.
As I sat there and watched the people, I pondered the 7 Instructions and my thoughts from the week.
Yes, I got all this over a plate of biscuits and gravy at a local fast food joint as observed the humanity around me.
I am so thankful I unlocked the chains that held me back from knowing who and how God made me.
Terry W. Hayes
Photo Credit: Evan Kirby on Unsplash
I am teamed up with Pesach Sherbow and Torah For the Nations – for more information, please check out either site and feel free to contact us at