10 Old Testament Scriptures to Remind Us that Torah is Love
The word sounds cold and inflexible. Unappealing, really. Maybe you picture a list of dos and donts and breathe a rebellious teenage sigh. Rules. There are things we can do and things we can’t do.
I think that is sometimes how the law of God is viewed, even among Hebrews, Torah keepers. Not on purpose, or even consciously. We love the law. But the way we talk about it; the way some feel the need to prove it to Christians. The way some are offended when others don’t understand it like us. That’s the attitude sometimes.
On the other hand, I’ve heard the law described as bondage or outdated. But when I read through Deuteronomy, all I see is God showing his people how he wants them to live and love.
The two most important commandments: love God and love your neighbor as yourself. They are the goal of the whole law. The whole law is built around the two. The rest of the laws, they show us how to love God the way he wants to be loved and how to truly love others.
Torah isn’t a chores checklist. It isn’t a leash around your neck. It isn’t a list of dos and donts.
Love is beautiful; which means the law is beautiful. Below, I’ve selected some verses that remind me that the “law” is love. His love. It’s something I think we need to remember.
The Law of God is Beautiful.
“The law of Yahweh is perfect, reviving the soul…”
If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him.
if you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him
Deuteronomy 15: 7-8
If there be among you a poor man of one of your brothers within any of your gates in your land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart, nor shut your hand from your poor brother:
But you shalt open your hand wide unto him, and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wants.
For what nation is there so great, who has God so near to them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
And what nation is there so great, that has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?”
And you shalt love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.
Deuteronomy 11: 13-14
“And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.”
Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
And two more for good measure…
If you love me, keep my commands.
For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Let’s try and remember this, y’all. We’re not keeping God’s laws because they’ll save us, but because they are good and they are loving and they show us what Yahweh loves and what he doesn’t.