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Why Christians Should Love Torah

Delighting in Torah

Why Christians should love God's Torah

The Scriptures declare: "Blessed is the man who ... delights in the Torah of the LORD
(בְּתוֹרַת יְהוָה); all that he does shall prosper" (Psalm 1:1-3). Considering the conspicuous lack of delight for the Torah expressed in most churches today, however, you would almost think that this "blessed state" avowed by the Holy Spirit has somehow been annulled and no longer applies to the Christian...  Then again, just as a veil remains over the eyes of unbelieving Jews regarding the message of the new covenant, so a veil remains over the eyes of many Christian theologians regarding the message of the older covenant (2 Cor. 3:14-16). The careful distinctions made by the Apostle Paul regarding the nature of the Torah are often overlooked, with the unhappy result that "antinomialism" (literally, "anti-law-ism") has been inculcated as proper Christian doctrine today. Sadly, for many Gentile Christians today, the Torah is erroneously regarded as an enemy of faith (i.e., "legalism") and therefore is no longer a matter of much delight...

It is important to remember, however, that while we are no longer 'under' the legal constraints of the covenant given at Sinai (Rom. 3:20-28), we are nevertheless repeatedly instructed to delight 'in' the Torah and to meditate on its precepts day and night (Josh 1:8, Psalm 1:2; 19:8; 119:15, 47, 97; Neh. 8:12, etc.). As it is written in Proverbs: "If you seek it [i.e., the wisdom revealed in the Torah] like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God" (Prov. 2:4-5). If worldly men seek money and riches for life in this world, should we be less earnest in our pursuit of true and eternal riches? 

לא־יָמוּשׁ סֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה מִפִּיךָ
 וְהָגִיתָ בּוֹ יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה
 לְמַעַן תִּשְׁמר לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּכָל־הַכָּתוּב בּוֹ
 כִִּי־אָז תַּצְלִיחַ אֶת־דְּרָכֶךָ וְאָז תַּשְׂכִּיל

lo · ya·mus · se·fer · ha·to·rah · haz·zeh · mi·pi·kha
ve·ha·gi·ta · bo · yo·mam · va·lai·lah
le·ma·an · tish·mor · la·a·sot · ke·khol · ha·ka·tuv · bo
ki · az · tatz·li·ach · et · de·ra·khe·ka · ve·az · tas·kil

"This Book of the Torah shall not depart from your lips,
 but you shall meditate on it day and night,
 so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.
 For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success."
(Joshua 1:8)


Where it is written, "all Scripture is breathed out by God (θεόπνευστος / עַל־פִּי רוּחַ אֱלהִים) and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work" (2 Tim 3:16-17), it is evident that the Scriptures referred to here are the Jewish Scriptures (i.e., the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings), since they are the foundation, the context, and the overarching matrix for the later New Covenant revelation... These were the Scriptures Yeshua used to contextualize and explain his ministry to his followers: "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27; John 1:45). In other words, the Torah has both a logical, a linguistic, and a theological priority regarding our understanding of the New Testament Scriptures, and the failure to read in context invariably leads to faulty interpretations and doctrinal errors of various kinds. "To the Jew first, and [then] to the Greek" (Rom. 1:16) is a principle not only of how the gospel message would transcend ethnic Israel to be offered to all the nations, but also about how we should approach the subject of Biblical hermeneutics.... God "breathed out" (θεόπνευστος) his revelation in order, and the message itself must be understood in light of that order (Gal. 4:4-5).

The Holy Spirit still speaks to the heart of those who love Yeshua, the everlasting King of the Jews: "Oh how I love your Torah (תּוֹרָה); it is my meditation all the day."

מָה־אָהַבְתִּי תוֹרָתֶךָ
 כָּל־הַיּוֹם הִיא שִׂיחָתִי

mah · a·hav·ti · to·ra·te·kha
kol · ha·yom · hi · si·cha·ti

"Oh how I love your Torah;
 It is my meditation all the day."
(Psalm 119:97)

Hebrew Study Card

This verse begins the "Mem section" of the Psalm 119 acrostic. Mem is the letter of "water" (mayim), symbolizing the "spring" of the Torah. In traditional soferut (scribal arts), the letter Mem (מ) is formed from two parts: a Vav (ו) and a Kaf (כ), the gematria of which equals 26, the same value for the sacred Name YHVH (יהוה). The Torah (תּוֹרָה) is central to the revelation of the LORD, just as Yeshua is forever "the Voice of the Living God speaking from the midst of the fire" (Deut. 5:26, Matt. 17:1-3).

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