Are you picking and choosing what to obey?



Disclaimer: This blog post will cover a topic of a sensitive/mature nature. If you are sensitive to the sexual, or if you are a minor, please rather move on to the next topic.

I sometimes need to ask the question: “Are you picking and choosing what to obey?” Often, people will tell you that they feel they should not do this thing, because its sin, while they are allowed to do this other thing, which is not sin. All the while, both will come directly from scripture and both will be classified as sin, by Torah. Are we therefore picking and choosing what we are to obey as the instructions of YHWH? Lets investigate one such case.

Leviticus 18:

3 ‘Do not do as they do in the land of Mitsrayim, where you dwelt. And do not do as they do in the land of Kena‛an, where I am bringing you, and do not walk in their laws.
4 ‘Do My right-rulings and guard My laws, to walk in them. I am יהוה your Elohim.
5 ‘And you shall guard My laws and My right-rulings, which a man does and lives by them. I am יהוה.

Father contrasts the Laws of the Egyptians and the Canaanites  with His own Laws, and very clearly spells out that we should obey His Torah, not that of man, or the nations out there. He also then gives detailed instructions of who you are not allowed to marry (or “lie” with). This includes homosexuality, beastiality and incest. He then ends with this.

24 ‘Do not defile yourselves with all these, for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am driving out before you.
25 ‘Thus the land became defiled, therefore I punished it for its crookedness, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.
26 ‘But you, you shall guard My laws and My right-rulings, and not do any of these abominations, the native nor stranger who sojourns among you,
27 because the men of the land who were before you have done all these abominations, and thus the land became defiled,
28 ‘So let not the land vomit you out for defiling it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you.
29 ‘For whoever does any of these abominations, those beings who do them shall be cut off from among their people.
30 ‘And you shall guard My Charge, so as not to do any of these abominable practices which were done before you, so as not to defile yourselves by them. I am יהוה your Elohim.’ ” 

So, let me get this straight. Father specifically says that we are to guard His commandments, not only before He starts spelling out the commandments in this scripture section, but also after He mentions His commandments, He repeats this command (to keep His commands). He specifically says to not do these things, as these were the things that the other nations do, and we must not be, nor do, as these other nations have done.

So now I have two questions:

  1. Why are we thinking that incest is not ok, but its ok for us to be homosexuals? Why are we picking and choosing which commands to follow? Why is the one ok, but the other not? Why is beastiality not ok, but its ok to be homosexual?
  2. Many people believe that we are to only keep the 4 commandments, or the 10 commandments, or the 2 commandments. Please tell me where any of these are in the 10 commandments? Yet you obey them, don’t you? When last did you sleep with your sister? But this isn’t mentioned in the 10 commandments, so why aren’t you marrying your sister and sleeping with her? Or your mother, or your step mother, or your brother’s wife, or your son’s daughter? These are not in the 10 commandments. Neither are they in the 2 commandments. One can argue that they fall under sexual immorality (Acts 15), but surely if you marry your sister and remain faithful to her, this isn’t a problem?

Friends, what will it take for you to realise that you have some serious problems with your theology, if you believe in only keeping the 10 commandments? Do you not realise that all these sets of commandments, are merely summaries of Torah? Allow me to explain:

  • 2 Commandments, which is a summary of
  • 10 Commandments, which is a summary of
  • 613 Torah commandments
  • 1050 NT commandments are merely explanations of some (not all) of the Torah commands
  • 7 Noahide laws are again merely a summary of some of the Torah commands (not to mention that there is pretty clear evidence that the Noahide laws were added later by the Rabbis, and does not really exist (personally, I do not believe they exist).
  • 4 Commands in Acts 15 is a subset of the Noahide laws.

Lets look at an example:

Matthew 22:37 And יהושע said to him, “ ‘You shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind.’

In saying this, He quoted Torah.

Deuteronomy 6:5 “And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might.

Yeshua then continued in Matthew 22:
38“This is the first and great command.
39“And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’

Again, he quoted Torah:

Leviticus 19:18 ‘Do not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people. And you shall love your neighbour as yourself. I am יהוה.

But, not only did He quote Torah, but also a Jewish Rabbi, who also knew this to be the foundation of Torah. This Rabbi was named Hillel, the grandfather of Gamaliel, Paul the Apostle’s teacher.

“When a heathen who wished to become a Jew asked him for a summary of the Jewish religion in the most concise terms, Hillel said: “What is hateful to thee, do not unto thy fellow man: this is the whole Law; the rest is mere commentary” (Shab. 31a). With these words Hillel recognized as the fundamental principle of the Jewish moral law the Biblical precept of brotherly love (Lev. xix. 18)”

Loving God, and loving your Neighbour, is the two pillars on which Torah is built. Without love, keeping Torah is nothing, and counts as nothing. Love is the foundation on which Torah is built.

So, here we see that Loving God and loving your Neighbour is not only a part of Torah, but its also the foundation of Torah. How can we then say that Yeshua (Jesus) created a new command here? This cannot be true. Yeshua could not create a new command, as Father said to not add to His word (Deut 4:2).

Finally, about the 10 commandments. Lets look a bit closer at this issue.

Many say that they are to only keep the 10 commandments. That is the Law, and its the only thing we’re to care about, when it comes to the Law of our heavenly Father. Lets look at the word “commandments” in “The ten commandments”. The word “commandments” is the hebrew word “Davar”. Davar does not actually mean “commandments”, but rather “words”. It carries with it, the notion of “that which was spoken”, or even “that which was spoken of in summary”. Jewish thought around the 10 commandments, is that they are a summary of the entire Torah, the 613 commandments in the first five books, written by Moshe (Moses).

We cannot see only the 10 commandments as binding, because we have to look deeper into many of the commandments of the 10 commandments, to find out more about them.

For example, how do you keep the Sabbath? The Sabbath, one of the commandments that falls under “Love God”, needs some explaining. Other than that which is mentioned about the Sabbath in Exodus 20, we have to ask ourselves… what else needs to be done in order to obey this command of our heavenly Father? Lets look at the quote in Exodus 20, regarding the Sabbath.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart.
9 “Six days you labour, and shall do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath of יהוה your Elohim. You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
11 “For in six days יהוה made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore יהוה blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart.

Now, reading through this, we have a question… which is the seventh day. This is something we cannot learn by only reading the 10 commandments. We have to go and search deeper into the word to see which day is the seventh day. Also, Nehemiah explains a bit deeper into the Sabbath law, stating that we are not allowed to buy or sell on that day. Further more, the prophets goes even further, prophesying that Father wants us to do His pleasure on the Sabbath, not ours. None of these can be found in the 10 commandments. We have to look deeper into scripture, in order to find the full story.

There are other questions that comes up as well, but I think you get the point. We cannot know everything there is to know about a command by only looking at its summary. If you get your husband/wife to every day, summarise the entire newspaper for you, into 10 bullet points of one sentence each, you’ll clearly miss some things, won’t you? Well, its the same thing here. We cannot only look at the summary and believe that’s all there is to it.

So, I ask again, are you picking and choosing which commands to obey? Or are you putting your heart into it, and obeying in love? All of it? We cannot pick and choose. We must either obey it all, or we must obey none of it. And to me, none of it isn’t an option.

My dear brother and sister in Messiah, stop picking and choosing what to Obey. It’s all part of scripture, and it all needs to be obeyed.

Shalom, and may YHWH bless you.

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About Henk

Seeker of truth. Sharer of truth.

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