Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #2

In the previous postings we have seen that man had to be reminded to his own choice to be without God as their Commander and because off that choice got a reminder of their mortality.

We by know should see the significance of the introduction of the Sabbath commands being associated with the provision of manna.

For many people Mosaic law in the Bible can be confusing and often also in Judaic groups we can find lots of debates about certain laws to be followed in what sort of way. Many Christians do not like to talk so much about those laws and which ones we have to follow.

Critics of Christendom and Christianity and non-believers often question how there can exist such a god who is so demanding.  Some even find that Judaism, Christendom and the Muslim world do have a very cruel and petty god.

In many religious groups the question is posed which laws we still do have to follow.

According to some

” There are definitely some bizarre statutes, such as not being allowed to mix two kinds of fabric, or not cooking a goat in its mothers milk. There are also all the dietary restrictions of not being allowed to eat certain “unclean” animals such as pigs, not to mention all the sacrificial laws to atone for sin. These things seem drastic and at the very least, unnecessary. Now obviously most Christians don’t follow any of these. So what are we supposed to do with it? We know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So what has changed? {What are we gonna do with this Torah?}

The fall of man
The fall of man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the previous postings we have shown that all relates to mankind’s decision to take a certain attitude to God. We need to understand that because of sin we were not able to relate to God as he intended it. By man’s own choice he became separated from his own Creator. For this reason god made a structure so that they could often enough be reminded of Him Divine Creator.

In the previous writings you could see that God provided physical and spiritual food for man and gave them rules to follow so that they could have an easier life. He also demanded from them to respect Him as the Only One True God and not to make any graven images of Him.

We also could see how God provided already from the beginning of the fall of man, a solution in the person of Jeshua, Jesus Christ, the sent one from God who could bring salvation by showing the world a man was able not to do his own will but to rightly follow the Will of God.

Before the placed one on earth

Before the only begotten son of God was placed on the earth, all believers where still in a situation to be compared with God’s people in Egypt. But now we do have Jesus, God’s faithful Son who is called out of Egypt, filling up what was lacking in the first faithless son, Israel.

First Israel, God’s son, broke the covenant and deserved God’s wrath. Like at the beginning in the Garden of Eden, God‘s promise brings the one and only working solution for mankind. It is not by doing certain works that the liberation shall come over us. It is by the Gift of Grace that we receive freedom, but that would not liberate us from following certain orders made by God.

Galatians 4:3-5 NHEBJE  So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental principles of the world.  (4)  But when the fullness of the time came, God sent out his Son, born to a woman, born under the law,  (5)  that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children.

Completion of Israel’s designation

God his only begotten Son Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:17), whom God loves and with him God is well pleased, is the one who came to complete all that Israel was designed to perform. Some Jews got to see that, but also some non-Jews. Therefore the Jews started wondering if those new converts also had to fulfil all the requirements of the Jewish or Judaic and Mosaic Laws.

Those Jews who had chosen to follow their Masterteacher Jeshua as the Messiah had also some who came to compare the old Jews and the new ‘Jews’ or converted goyim, people from all nations and all sorts other religions. The news of the conversion of the Gentiles is received with joy (Acts 15:12). They could see how many thousands of Yehuḏim there had come to be ardent for the Torah.

Torah and morality for man to follow

For generations since Moses the Jews had their preachers in every town, and it was been read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath how to conduct oneself. As such it was questioned what the new converts had to avoid. Had they to worry about anything that has been contaminated by idols, immorality, the meat of strangled animals, and the tasting of blood?

The Jews had their Mosaic Law as a great bulwark of morality, and there was excuse for wondering whether pagans could keep its moral precepts, without observing it entirely. So this party, which did not represent the church at Jerusalem, (Acts 15:13 ff.), came to Antioch and insisted that circumcision and the Law were necessary for those who wished to enter the Messianic kingdom on earth, and be saved. The Judaizing party had evidently little following outside Jerusalem.

Gentiles, Judaizing Christians and Jews

In Jerusalem many thought that Paul was teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. Therefore they requested the assembly to meet. Concerning the Gentiles who believe, the apostles have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having been purified with them, entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be made for each one of them.

Acts 21:17-26 NHEBJE  When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly.  (18)  The day following, Paul went in with us to James; and all the elders were present.  (19)  When he had greeted them, he reported one by one the things which God had worked among the Gentiles through his ministry.  (20)  They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Judeans of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law.  (21)  They have been informed about you, that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children neither to walk after the customs.  (22)  What then? They will certainly hear that you have come.  (23)  Therefore do what we tell you. We have four men who have taken a vow.  (24)  Take them, and purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses for them, that they may shave their heads. Then all will know that there is no truth in the things that they have been informed about you, but that you yourself also walk keeping the Law.  (25)  But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written our decision that they should keep themselves from food offered to idols, from blood, from strangled things, and from sexual immorality.”  (26)  Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purified himself and went with them into the temple, declaring the fulfillment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for every one of them.

An elaborate list of “do” and “don’t” items

A turn was made in history of man when the sent one of God had proven that man could do the Will of God and presented himself as an offering for all sinners. Jesus himself also knew that said that the Sabbath was made for man. (Mark 2:27).

Mark 2:23-28 NHEBJE  It happened that he was going on the Sabbath day through the grain fields, and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of grain.  (24)  The Pharisees said to him, “Behold, why do they do that which is not lawful on the Sabbath day?”  (25)  He said to them, “Did you never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungryhe, and those who were with him?  (26)  How he entered into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the show bread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and gave also to those who were with him?”  (27)  He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  (28)  Therefore the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

The Fall of Man
The Fall of Man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus reminded the Pharisees about their attitude concerning observing religious rituals; like they declared that joy was more important than observing religious rituals, but could not see how on the Sabbath certain things could be done. The gleaning on the fields by the apostles was not considered stealing according to Deuteronomy 23:2, but the rabbis were more concerned about the day on which it happened and felt it belonged to an act of their elaborate list of “not to do”  items relevant to the Sabbath. For them it was a serious violation of one of the items on this list.
When the disciples began to pluck the heads of grain, in the eyes of the religious leaders they were guilty of 4 faults: reaping, threshing, winnowing, preparing food.

At this time, Rabbis filled Judaism with elaborate rituals related to the Sabbath and observance of other laws. Ancient Rabbis taught that on the Sabbath, a man could not carry something in his right hand or in his left hand, across his chest or on his shoulder. But you could carry something with the back of your hand, with your foot, with your elbow, or in your ear, your hair, or in the hem of your shirt, or in your shoe or sandal. Or, on the Sabbath, you were forbidden to tie a knot – except a woman could tie a knot in her girdle. So, if a bucket of water had to be raised from a well, you could not tie a rope to the bucket, but a woman could tie her girdle to the bucket!
{Guzik commentary on the Gospel of Mark}

What they did not understand is that Jeshua never violated the mitzvah or God’s commands in any way. He took time to study God’s Word and did everything to live according to it. Jeshua with his disciples went to different places and wherever they came they took time to worship God and to observe the Sabbath.

For this sent one from God, who did not want to do his own will (which he would have done in case he himself was God, like some think)would not have approved of his disciples violating God’s commands to observe the Sabbath. But for him there was a big difference between the laws of God and the laws made by man. He could see that by time man added rules had come in the Jewish tradition, which had more to do with man made legalistic ways than with God His Ways.

Human need more important than religious ritual

A very often overlooked issue is the one of the needs of man and of the regulations for man in this time of age.

We do live in a world where man can reign, but where man has also many needs. People do have to eat and to be taken care for, every day and not just one day of the week not. When people would not be treated one day in the week it could well be that they would die that day, because of not having had the right treatment. But not only for life matters it was important to recognise that man could and should be able to do certain things which he would or would not do on the other days of the week. It could be for relaxation, for entertainment, or for making himself wiser, etc..

Also people had to take care for others, and our of love should also sometimes do things which would demand work.

Can you imagine those who do believe in God and do find we do have to keep Sabbath, but take a taxi or public transport, watch television, want to have shops open for getting what they want, want to go to the theatre and have people working for them, so you could say they are not concerned that those people then would do something against the Will of God and would loose their life? This would be very unloving and very selfish.

Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset

Those who say Christians do have to keep to the Sabbath Law should then keep Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset and should abstain of any form of work but also of any relaxation which would have others working, like watching television, going on the internet, wanting medical care, etc.

Those who say the Sabbath is Sunday should look at Jeshua which day he kept. That was the Jewish Sabbath and not what they call the Lord’s Day. God’s Day of rest was from what we now call Friday-night until the time sun goes down on Saturday and not when the clock strikes 12 on Saturday night until Sunday 12 pm..

It is not by days that we can be separated from God, but by our acts of doing wrong. It is sin which alienates us from God not the keeping of one or an other day in a different way than the other days.

To remind our position in the universe of God

God had given the Law to Moses so that people could be reminded of their Creator and of their position in the creation. God’s law shows us that we are not able to attain righteousness through laws, but by making our own right choices like the sent one from God made the right choices from his own, not pushed by any other person.

The first Adam did not keep to God His Wishes and his descendants were not better. Though the descendant of the tribe of David, showed he also had could reason to be a beloved son of God. As the second Adam he also could not attain righteousness through the law. He like any man could sin, something only God can not, but he always made the right choices, following not his own will but the Will of God.

Because of being infected by the fall of man we are unable to be without spot. For us week human beings it is difficult to keep to God’s standards. His ordinances may be set apart from the human rules, but that does not yet mean that we can’t be able to become set-apart our selves (being holy).

Fulfiller of Law

By only doing God’s Will and not the one of his own, Jesus proofed to God and to mankind that man is able to keep to God’s Will. By his way of living and giving himself for mankind he opened the way for a restored relationship between God and mankind.

For centuries man had tried to live according to God’s regulations, but did not seem to succeed. Now there was this Nazarene man who succeeded. By doing so he fulfilled the law and liberated all others from the Old Ordinances bringing them under a New Covenant, a New Regulation. By the sealing of his death a start was given to a New World.

Jesus died as a perfect payment for all the past, present, and future sins of all people. Though now people do have to recognise that sacrificial offering and have to come to see that Jesus is the Way to God now.

Matthew 5:17 NHEBJE  “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

In a certain way do we not need the Mosaic Law any more, when we accept Jesus as our new law giver. God gave him authority to teach the world and to judge the world. We are by Christ Jesus Justified by faith. So it is up to people to follow Jesus or either to ignore him like many ignore Jesus his heavenly Father, the Only One God.

Through Christ Jesus righteousness is granted to us, and not any more by the Mosaic Law. He nailed the law and its consequences unto the stake. Through Jesus the sacrificial laws have been nullified and the temple curtain has been torn to allow all who know God to come to him, unrestricted, through the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 2:8-16 NHEBJE  (8)  for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  (9)  not of works, that no one would boast.  (10)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.  (11)  Therefore remember that once you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “uncircumcision” by that which is called “circumcision,” (in the flesh, made by hands);  (12)  that you were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  (13)  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Christ.  (14)  For he is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition,  (15)  having abolished in the flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace;  (16)  and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, having killed the hostility thereby.

Ordering works and ways of living

From the Jews there were ordered works of Torah, but those who came to Christianity should have to see that Jesus nailed the Old Covenant to the stake and as such did not have to keep to certain laws of food and customs.

Paul had also come to see that certain Jews did more live like gentiles and therefore questioned a.o. Cephas how he who lived not like a Jew, could force the Gentiles to live like Jews.
The Jews by birth who followed Jeshua understood that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. Jeshua’s followers believed in the Nazarene man to be the Messiah, the promised sent one from God. They were convinced that by works of the law no one will be justified.

From the 1° Adam onwards all man had been with sin except Christ Jesus. Jeshua did not become a servant of sin. Those converts to the teachings of Jeshua died to the Mosaic Law so that they might live to God. They should walk and live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us all.

Galatians 2:14-21 NHEBJE  (14)  But when I saw that they did not walk uprightly according to the truth of the Good News, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live as the Gentiles do, and not as the Jews do, how can you compel the Gentiles to live as the Jews do?  (15)  “We, being Jews by birth, and not Gentile sinners,  (16)  yet knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law, because no flesh will be justified by the works of the law.  (17)  But if, while we sought to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also were found sinners, is Christ a servant of sin? Certainly not!  (18)  For if I build up again those things which I destroyed, I prove myself a law-breaker.  (19)  For I, through the law, died to the law, that I might live to God.  (20)  I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.  (21)  I do not make void the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing!”

False teachings unsettling minds and burdens

In the early times of Christianity already false teachers could be found and people who disturbed others by their teaching and unsettled others their minds. The assembled meeting of Jewish brethren unanimously resolved to select representatives and send them to the ecclesiae so that they could hear how the view was made under the direction of the Holy Spirit after prayer and wise consult. By word of mouth the message was given to the other ecclesia.  They agreed that it was for the Holy Spirit and their meeting that had decided not to lay upon others any burden but this indispensable one,  that they had to avoid whatever has been sacrificed to idols, the tasting of blood and of the meat of animals that have been strangled, and immorality. They in first instance had to keep themselves free from these things.

Acts 15:24-29 NHEBJE  Because we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, to whom we gave no commandment;  (25)  it seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose out men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,  (26)  men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (27)  We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves will also tell you the same things by word of mouth.  (28)  For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay no greater burden on you than these necessary things:  (29)  that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with you. Farewell.”

As such old customs like bringing certain offers, tithing, were not necessary any more, because even by the Jews there were ones who did not like it and tried to escape from it.

From several parables and sayings form Jeshua, Jesus Christ, we do know that it is much more important to live according to the spirit of the Law, be it Mosaic or any other law, than to the letter.

End of the law

Those people who say they are Christian should follow the teachings of the master-teacher, rabbi Jeshua, and should accept his words about himself, his heavenly Father and about how we do have to live.

He also gave a golden rule which should guide us through our life and be our goal to love God and God His creation, like Jesus loved us we should love ourself and one another.

John 13:34-35 NHEBJE  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.  (35)  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 15:12-13 NHEBJE  “This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you.  (13)  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

John 14:21 NHEBJE  One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him.”

Romans 10:4 NHEBJE  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Colossians 2:6-17 NHEBJE  (6)  As therefore you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, walk in him,  (7)  rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving.  (8)  Be careful that you do not let anyone rob you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ.  (9)  For in him all the fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily,  (10)  and in him you are made full, who is the head of all principality and power;  (11)  in whom you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ;  (12)  having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.  (13)  You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,  (14)  wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us; and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;  (15)  having stripped the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.  (16)  Let no man therefore judge you in eating, or in drinking, or with respect to a feast day or a new moon or a Sabbath day,  (17)  which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ’s.

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Preceding articles:

Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #1

Genesis – Story of creation 6 Genesis 3:13-24 Enmity and curse

Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day

Creation of the earth and man #4 Of the Sabbath day #2 Days 1,7,8 and 50

Creation of the earth and man #5 Of the Sabbath day #3 Ceasing from the works of the flesh

Creation of the earth and man #6 Of the Sabbath day #4 Mosaic codes, Sabbaths and Sunday

Creation of the earth and man #7 Of the Sabbath day #5 Respecting the day on which Christ Jesus rose from the dead

Creation of the earth and man #8 Of the Sabbath day #6 If it be necessary to keep Sunday

Were Gentiles excluded from entering the synagogue?

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Additional reading

  1. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  2. Why Sabbaths or Sabbath plural “shabbatot”
  3. Holy Sabbath
  4. Do we need to keep the Sabbath
  5. Are Christians required to keep the seventh day Sabbath?
  6. The Sabbath: Is it a special day for Christians?
  7. Sunday and the Sabbath (Pdf doc)
  8. We’re allowed to willfully break the Law of Moses
  9. Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus
  10. Communion and day of worship
  11. More looking for similarities
  12. Bible, helmet of health, salvation and sword of the spirit
  13. Solution for Willing hearts filled with gifts
  14. Promise given in Garden of Eden
  15. The one who set the standard
  16. Mediator
  17. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  18. Atonement and the race been bought
  19. Running the battle
  20. Glory of God appearing in our character
  21. Get Your Wonderful Disease-proof Human Body

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Further reading:

  • Did Jesus teach the Law of the Old Testament to the Jews?
  • What are we gonna do with this Torah?
  • A Case For Sabbath Observance
  • Keeping the Old Testament Law
  • You Are Judged According to Your Beliefs
  • Tithing
  • Shabbat Nachamu (thejc.com)
    The Shabbat after Tishah b’Av is called Shabbat Nachamu, meaning the Shabbat of comfort. It is named after the first words of the haftarah from Isaiah 40, “Comfort, comfort my people”.
    After the deepening mourning of the three weeks for the Temples’ destruction leading up to Tishah b’Av, (culminating in not eating meat or bathing in the days preceding the fast), this Shabbat brings comfort and relief.
  • Parsha Emor: Is There A Shabbat In Other Realms? (jewishpress.com)
    In our Torah reading for holidays, we not only recite the laws of holidays, we include Shabbat, and oddest of all, some laws about sacrificing animals. What do all these laws have to do with one another? In this video, Rabbi Fohrman makes a fascinating argument about how Shabbat works and shows that there are shabbatot in different realms.
  • Shabbat Chol Hamo’ed Pesach (thejc.com)
    In general, it is fair to characterise the Torah commentators of the Middle Ages such as Rashi, Avraham ibn Ezra or Ramban as looking to provide the real meaning of the text.
    This contrasts with the Chasidic writers of the last 300 years, who often afford themselves considerable latitude and allow the words of the Torah to soar and lead us to a truth and meaning well beyond the original context. Such interpretations may not obviously explain the literal meaning of the words but can be powerful insights into our spiritual lives.
  • The Early Christians of Philippi (catholicexchange.com)
    Lydia was a business woman who dealt in purple cloth – she is therefore sometimes referred to as “Lydia Purpuraria” – Lydia the Purple-Seller.  She evidently had roots in Asia Minor (Turkey) for she was said to be of Thyatira … an ancient city there (in a region curiously called “Lydia”).  After being baptized, Lydia generously let her home in Philippi be
  • Note on the Physical Land of Israel: Who Inherits the Land of Israel – Christian or Jew? (ilyston.wordpress.com)
    This irrevocable promise to the seed of Abraham has been expanded.  It is no longer bound to the land of Palestine.  In Romans 4:13, we find that Paul states that Abraham is the “heir of the world.”  This is also stated in Psalms 25:13: “His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth” (Cf. Psalm 37:9, 11, 27).   Thus, it would seem that the promise of the land has extended to the entire world.
    This is not merely a Pauline distinctive.  We also find this idea in Jewish intertestamental writings.

Necessity of a revelation of creation 6 Getting understanding by Word of God 4

Book of Genesis, Jianning (Jian'ou) Bible.
Book of Genesis, Jianning (Jian’ou) Bible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Offering, sacrifice and worship are only mentioned casually in the book of Genesis. The stories of those who continued to populate the earth are also offered in the Book of books, the Bible, which we consider as the infallible Word of God. There is no reason to give a historical detail and the person who wrote down the Words of God had also no such intention. We are also reminded that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but that man has the task to find God and to search all things, making it possible to receive glory by searching matters out.

Pro 25:2 NSB  It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.

In our life we shall have to search for God and should come to know what God’s expectations are and why God listens to some one and does not come to help to others. In Genesis 6 we can see how God was patient and gave enough time to people to come to other ideas and to stop our egoistic life, giving us opportunities to come to live the way God wants us to live.

The Bible assumes and asserts the existence of God,

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”;

and is itself the most illustrious proof of his existence, as well as our chief instructor as to his nature and will. It puts a voice into the mute lips of creation; and not only reveals God in His works, but illustrates his ways in providence, displays the glories of His character, His law, and His grace, and brings man into true and saving communion with him. The Book of books reveals Him to us as a Spirit, the only being from everlasting and to everlasting by nature, underived, infinite, perfect, and unchangeable in power, wisdom, omniscience, omnipresence, justice, holiness, truth, goodness, and mercy. He is but One God, Who gave His Name to the world to be known all over the world. The proper Hebrew name for God is Jehovah, which signifies that “He is the Being” or that “He is the Essence of Being” or “Essence of life”. As time passed by the Jews, from a feeling of reverence, started avoiding pronouncing this holy name, substituting for it, wherever it occurs in the sacred test, the word Adonai (Lord); except in the expression, Adonai Jehovah, Lord Jehovah, for which they put, Adonai Elohim, Lord God.

Tetragrammaton YHWH Je-Ho-Vah, God's Name illuminating
Tetragrammaton YHWH Je-Ho-Vah, God’s Name illuminating

This usage, which is not without an element of superstition, is very ancient, dating its origin some centuries before Christ; but there is no good ground for assuming its existence in the days of the inspired Old Testament writers. The proper word for god or God is elohim or Elohim, which is plural in its form, being thus used to signify it is a higher or important person (a god) and in this case even the Most High God of gods, signifying the manifold perfections of God, or, as some wrongly think, the Trinity in the godhead. In Exodus 3:14, God replies to Moses, when he asks Him His name,

“I AM THAT I AM”;

which means either, “I am He who I am”, or, “I am what I am”. In either case the expression implies the eternal self-existence of Jehovah Who is Only One God “Who Is”. He “Who is Who He is” is the Source, Owner, and Ruler of all beings, foreknows and predetermines all events, and is the eternal Judge and Arbiter of the destiny of all. True religion has its foundation in the right knowledge of God, and consists in supremely loving and faithfully obeying him.

In the early times that holy Name and what this Only One God wanted from His creation was told from one generation to the next.  But after the situation had become so bad that God had made the choice to destroy that ungodly population we can see a sufficient reason why the sons of Noah renewed the tradition of presenting the stories and name and titles of God and godly people in their families, as they were naturally disposed to perpetuate the memory of their distinguished ancestors.

The Flood came that God’s purpose might be fulfilled. The course of nature was interrupted, the arrangements of social and domestic life were overturned, all the works of men were swept away that this purpose might be fulfilled. It was expedient that one generation should die for all generations; and this generation having been taken out of the way, fresh provision was made for the co-operation of man with God. On man’s part there is art emphatic acknowledgement of God by sacrifice; on God’s part there is a renewed grant to man of the world and its fullness, a renewed assurance of His favour. There was made a covenant with Noah on the plane of nature. It is man’s natural life in the world which is the subject of it. The sacredness of life is its great lesson.

Men might well wonder whether God did not hold life cheap. In the old world violence had prevailed. But while Lamech’s sword may have slain its thousands, God had in the Flood slain tens of thousands. The covenant, therefore, directs that human life must be reverenced. The primal blessing is renewed. Men are to multiply and replenish the earth; and the slaughter of a man was to be reckoned a capital crime; and the maintenance of life was guaranteed by a special clause, securing the regularity of the seasons.

The sons of Noah (Sem/Shem, Cham, Japheth) continued the tradition of telling the Works of God and having to face the difference in tongue spoken with the different languages the Word of God became told in different languages as well.

You would expect the people to have more sense after the flood and after the experience of Babel but lots of people kept ignoring what God wanted from them. They did seem to have difficulty to learn from the Flood that wickedness must not be allowed to grow unchecked and attain dimensions which nothing short of a flood can cope with. It may be felt that the matters about which God spoke to Noah were barely religious, certainly not spiritual. But to take God as our-God in any one particular is to take Him as our God for all. If we can eat our daily bread as given to us by our Father in heaven, then we are heirs of the righteousness which is by faith. It is because we wait for some wonderful and out-of-the-way proofs that God is keeping faith with us that we so much lack a real and living faith.
Only a small amount tried to stay faithful to the Creator. One of them was Abraham. The consequences of Abraham’s movements and beliefs have been limitless and enduring.

With Abraham there is introduced the first step in a new method adopted by God in the training of men.

The dispersion of men and the divergence of their languages are now seen to have been the necessary preliminary to this new step in the education of the world — the fencing round of one people till they should learn to know God and understand and exemplify His government. It is true, God reveals Himself to all men and governs all; but by selecting one race with special adaptations, and by giving to it a special training, God might more securely and more rapidly reveal Himself to all. Each nation has certain characteristics, a national character which grows by seclusion from the influences which are forming other races. There is a certain mental and moral individuality stamped upon every separate people. Nothing is more certainly retained; nothing more certainly handed down from generation to generation. It would therefore be a good practical means of conserving and deepening the knowledge of God, if it were made the national interest of a people to preserve it, and if it were closely identified with the national characteristics. This was the method adopted by God. He meant to combine allegiance to Himself with national advantages, and spiritual with national character, and separation in belief with a distinctly outlined and defensible territory. {Expositor Bible}

God revealed Himself to Abraham who knew about the deities worshipped by his fathers in Chaldea, but his ears were open to the God of gods and he wanted to follow His instructions even when He asked to offer his son.

Had Abraham abandoned Charran at the command of a widely ruling monarch who promised him ample compensation, no record would have been made of so ordinary a transaction. But this was an entirely new thing and well worth recording, that a man should leave country and kindred and seek an unknown land under the impression that thus he was obeying the command of the unseen God. While others worshipped sun, moon, and stars, and recognised the Divine in their brilliance and power, in their exaltation above earth and control of earth and its life, Abraham saw that there was something greater than the order of nature and more worthy of worship, even the still small voice that spoke within his own conscience of right and wrong in human conduct, and that told him how his own life must be ordered. While all around him were bowing down to the heavenly host and sacrificing to them the highest things in human nature, he heard a voice falling from these shining ministers of God’s will, which said to him, “See thou do it not, for we are thy fellow-servants; worship thou God!” This was the triumph of the spiritual over the material; the acknowledgment that in God there is something greater than can be found in nature; that man finds his true affinity not in the things that are seen but in the unseen Spirit that is over all. It is this that gives to the figure of Abraham its simple grandeur and its permanent significance. {Expositor Bible}

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Preceding articles:

The very very beginning 1 Creating Gods

Genesis Among the Creation Myths

Something from nothing

Necessity of a revelation of creation 1 Works of God and works of man

Necessity of a revelation of creation 2 Organisation of a system of things

Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1

Necessity of a revelation of creation 4 Getting understanding by Word of God 2

Necessity of a revelation of creation 5 Getting understanding by Word of God 3

Next: Necessity of a revelation of creation 7 Getting understanding by Word of God 5

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Further reading:

  1. I am that I am Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh אהיה אשר אהיה
  2. Attributes to God, titles ascribed to Him or Names given to JHWH, the God of gods.
  3. Titles of God beginning with the Aleph in Hebrew
  4. Pluralis Majestatis in the Holy Scriptures
  5. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  6. The Divine name of the Creator
  7. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  8. God about His name “יהוה“יהוה
  9. YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  10. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  11. Between Alpha and Omega – The plan of creation
  12. What date was the Flood?
  13. Warm-blooded, feathered vertebrates
  14. An anarchistic reading of the Bible (2)—Creation and what follows
  15. Louise Weiss building and towers after Ziggurat Babel

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  • Things The Bible said would happen, but didn’t (ask.metafilter.com)
    Outside my work today I got to talking with a Jehovah’s Witness. When talk turned to the Bible, I said I didn’t take any of it literally. None of it Reall happened like that.
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    According to my very religious parents there are no biblical prophesies that haven’t happened, just ones that haven’t happened yet.
  • Your best personality. (yoursuccessinspirer.com)
    There are people whose best personality is in the Old Testament.
  • The God Who Sees (theloveliestlifeblog.wordpress.com)
    God saw Hagar when she was in her lonely wilderness, and he went to her.  This passage has reminded me so much of God’s sight and concern for us, each of us.  No matter our standing or background, God’s eyes are on each of us at all times.  He knows where we are and what we’re going through.  We are never alone.
  • What To Do About The Old Testament Law (jsparkblog.com)
    Though the Old Testament Law was entirely fulfilled in Christ for us, the OT Law still stands in principle for us today. Even the weird things about shellfish and fibers shows a very meticulous God who was perfect, even quirky, and shows a God we could’ve never made up.
  • Against The Flow by John C. Lennox (create-with-joy.com)
    Unlike many books that primarily focus on the prophetic aspects of the book of Daniel, Against The Flow delves into all aspects of the book, looking at Daniel from a historical, cultural and theological perspective.One of the author’s primary purpose for writing Against The Flow, however, is to highlight the similarities between our modern culture and the ancient Babylonian culture in terms of antagonism towards people of faith – and to provide insight and inspiration into how God empowers His people to go against the flow – to stand up for what they believe in – to cling to what is right, even when there is a high cost.
  • Open Heavens Sunday, 29 March 2015 : Emmanuel (emmanuelayeni.com)
    For you to fully key into the revelation of “God with us”, you need to understand who God is. God revealed who He is in discrete parts through His redemptive Names to the saints of old. He said to Moses in Exodus 6:3:
    “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.”
    An understanding of His redemptive Names gives us insight into His personality and allows us to profit from the consciousness that this personality is with us.
    God is the Elshaddai: He is the All-Sufficient One. This means that He has enough resources to meet all your needs – be it spiritual, physical, emotional or psychological. Also, God is Jehovah Jireh: the Great Provider. He has the ability to turn your austerity to prosperity and poverty to wealth (Philippians 4:19). Another Name for God is Jehovah Rapha: the Healer.