This lesson is perfect for showing the thrust of traditional Judaism as opposed to Pharisaical or Rabbinical Judaism. What God is looking for is not blind obedience to a written set of rules, but a relationship with him. As St. Paul tells us, we are not bound by the law, but we follow the rulings of the Holy Spirit. If we truly love the Lord our God with all our heart and all our soul, then we will not worship other Gods, we will not make idols, we will not use his name in vain, and we will honour him on his day. Even more, we will look at each other, and realising that we are all made in God’s image, and if we love God, we will not kill, steal from, lie too, commit adultery against or covet the things of someone who reflects the image of God.
If we truly love the Lord, we will obey him, just as young children obey their parents. That is partly why the way we raise children is so important. The relationship of parents one to another reflect the relationship of God and the church. As children learn to obey their parents, they will learn to pass that obedience on to God if they truly love him.
We are told to love and obey God is to live. The physical blessings promised to the Jewish people are not always meant for Christians, but it is true that as we live for God and love him, we will be blessed. It may be that it is physical blessings for a society, just as American Indians in Argentina have seen their villages prosper as they learned to live for God, or it may be a peace in our hearts as we are persecuted for following the Messiah.
God’s word is very near us. As we seek him truly, he will explain his word to us and allow the living Word to live in our hearts, grant us peace, and guide us on our way.
Shalom b’Yeshua haMoshiach
Mar Michael Abportus, OSL