Friday, February 13, 2009

Salvation part 2- ten words - Be Holy

In Leviticus 19 Israel is instructed how to be Holy. Within Leviticus 19 is contained the ten words from Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.

1) I am the Lord you God. Lev 19:2 - I am the Lord your God

2) You shall have no other Gods. Lev 19:4 - You shall not make for yourselves molten Gods.

3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Lev 19:12 - You shall not take a lying oath by my name.

4) Remember the Sabbath day. Lev:19:3 - You will keep my Sabbaths

5) Honor your father and your mother. Lev 19:3 - Each person shall revere his mother and father. Lev 19:3

6) You shall not murder. Lev 19:16.- You shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.

7) You shall not commit adultery. Lev 19:29 - Do not profane you daughter by making her a harlot.

8) You shall not steal. Lev 19:11 You shall not steal and you shall not deal falsely.

9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Lev 19:16 - You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people.

10) You shall not covet. Lev: 19:18 - and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

(Leviticus Rabbah 24:5 as quoted in Jacob Neusners book, "A Rabbi speaks with Jesus."

salvation part 2 - summary of the law

What does it mean to be holy because God is holy?

Rabbi Simelai expounded, "Six hundred and thirteen commandments were given to Moses, three hundred and sixty-five negative ones, corresponding to the number of the days of the solar year, and two hundred forty-eight positive commandments, corresponding to the parts of a man's body.

David came and reduced them to eleven; A Psalm of David: Lord who shall sojourn in they tabernacle, and who shall dwell in thy holy mountain? 1)He who walks uprightly and 2) works righteousness and 3) speaks truth in his heart and 4) has no slander on his tongue and 5) does no evil to his fellow and 6) does not take up a reproach against his neighbor, 7) in whose eyes a vile person is despised but, 8) honors those who fear the Lord. 9) He swears to his own hurt and changes not. 10) He does not lend interest. 11) He does not take a bribe against the innocent. (psalm 15)

Isaiah came and reduced them to six: 1) He who walks righteously and 2) speaks uprightly, 3) he who despises the gain of oppressions, 4) shakes his hand from holding bribes, 5) stops his ear from hearing of blood, 6) and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil, he shall dwell on high. (Isa 33:25-26)

Micah came and reduced them to three: It has been told you, man, what is good, and what the Lord demands from you, 1)only to do justly and 2) to love mercy, and 3) walk humbly before God. (Mic 6:8)

Isaiah again came and reduced them to two: Thus says the Lord, 1)Keep justice and 2) do righteousness. (Isa 56:1)

Amos came and reduced them to a single one, as it is said, "For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel. Seek Me and live."

Habakkuk further came and based them on one, as it is said, "But the righteous shall live by his faith" (Hab 2:4)

(Babylonian Talmud Makkot - as recorded in Jacob Neusner's book, "A Rabbi speaks with Jesus")

I would also mention that when Ray VanderLaan discusses Paul's words in the book of Galatians about the righteous living by faith, Habbukuk 2:4 is the focus.

How can we live? How can we truly live? How can we participate in God's eternal society? By seeking God's righteousness. That is salvation part 2. How frustrating it must be for my Lord to see me uninterested in his salvation. The mercy is there, the atonement is there. Why would I not then choose to live in righteousness - like Jesus demonstrated it is possible for a human being to do?

salvation part 2

Rabbi Hama ben Rabbi Hanina said, "What is the meaning of the following verse of scripture: "You shall walk after the Lord your God" (Deut 13:5)

Now is it possible for a person to walk after the presence of God? And has it not been said, "For the Lord your God is a consuming fire" (Deut 4:24)

But the meaning is that one must walk after the traits of the Holy One, blessed be he. ---

Just as he clothes the naked, as it written, "and the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skin and cloathed them" (Gen 3:21), so you should clothe the naked.

Just as the Holy One, blessed be he, visited the sick, as it is written, "And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre" (Gen 18:1), so should you visit the sick.

Just as the Holy One, blessed be he, comforted the mourners, as it is written, "and it came to pass after the death of Abraham that God blessed Isaac his son" (Gen 25:1,) so should you comfort the mourners.

Just as the Holy One, blessed be he, buried the dead, as it is written, "And he buried him in the valley" (Duet 34:6), so should you bury the dead."
(Babylonian Talmud tractate sotah)

(excerpt from Jacob Neusner's book, "A Rabbi Talks with Jesus")


It is my joy to have time to read and meditate upon the holy scriptures. I have been contemplating the idea of salvation as it relates to the exodus story. Adonai saves the Hebrews from a life of slavery in Egypt. Adonai saves his people from assimilation into a society that won't last, and delivers them into a society and community that will be eternal. How does HaShem accomplish that salvation? First of all he physically removes his people from the land of Egypt and removes the physical threat of enslavement by Egypt's armies. Second, Adonai, teaches them a new way to live. Forty years in the wilderness of personal instruction, of daily manna, of water from the rock, of victory over enemies, to demonstrate the faithfulness of Adonai, to give Israel his instruction, his Torah. HaShem was creating an eternal people, and both parts were needed. Deliverance; salvation, was not only passing through parted waters and escaping soldiers, it was learning to gather only what was needed, memorizing instruction, learning to rest one day in seven, developing self control so as to refrain from complaint, and learning to worship Adonai alone.

Thus is the pattern for salvation. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and the saving power of his resurrection gets us through the churning waters of the red sea, (guilt of sin) but that is only part one. To participate in the eternal community of God's kingdom, to be saved, we need two parts. We need part two. We need instruction. Jesus provided that instruction by endorsing Torah when he said that he came not to remove the law, but to demonstrate the law. (fulfill) As followers of Jesus should we not be intensely interested in how Jesus demonstrated Torah by his life and his teachings?

Ray VanderLaan has taught that the Kingdom of God concept is rooted in the exodus story. God acts with power, his people sing his praises, and his will is done. Doing the will of God concerns my next two posts.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Finallly it is here

Sorry Newt, it took so long. I haven't gotten through the Parasha for the week but from many discussions I had with others lately I have a few thoughts. Or I guess challenges for myself this week and want anyone else to comment on them.

My first challenge is from a conversation I had with a coworker in how are we taking time everyday to take time to just listen to God without any background noise? Do I sit back everyday and look at what happened in my day and learn from things? Or do I look in the mirror and then forget about what I look like?

My second challenge for myself had to do with how I act and my "posture". If I had a mute button and somebody watched my life by my mannerisms, my expressions, & my attitude, would they call me a Jesus follower? I know I can talk about it a lot, but can I show it?

My third challenge for myself is the balance between knowledge and relationships. I would love to lock myself in my house and read the bible and many other things for the next year, but is that what I am called to do?

What does so called "church look like everyday of the week in your life? I am still trying to figure that out it mine.

Everyone feel free to comment, bash, elaborate on, or just tell me to quit posting if you want. I just promised Newt I would put something on here. These are the things that have come up a lot lately in my life.

Newt, feel free to post freely now that I have broken the ice again. Even if part of it is talking trash to me.