In order to make sense of God’s commands, sometimes it’s important to step back and view them from a broader perspective and consider things that are not so obvious, like HOW WE THINK for example.
That’s why I’ve been spending so much time trying to explain the profound differences between Greek rational/logical thought which is how Westerners think versus analogical thought which is how the Bible writers thought and communicated.
Simply put, rational/logical thought always seeks to understand “why” and is the foundation of the Scientific Method.
In addition, rational/logical thought always treats history in a linear (as a straight line) and evolutionary fashion.
When I say evolutionary however, rational/logical thinkers do NOT believe there is a causative correlation between history and our present or future.
They simply see history as progressing on an upward trajectory from the primitive to the ever more advanced.
This doesn’t mean that rational/logical thinkers are not concerned with the past though.
There are many fields of study, like seismology (the study of earthquakes) that do study past events.
Seismologists study past earthquakes to try and understand what particular circumstances caused the earthquake.
But they don’t view past earthquakes as being the cause of future earthquakes.
The reason researchers analyze past earthquakes is to create models to help predict future earthquakes (something I should be VERY concerned about given where I’m living (Tokyo) at the moment).
Now, on the other end of the spectrum we have analogical thinking.
This type of thought does not concern itself with the “why”, instead it looks for the “which”.
Furthermore, analogical thinkers do NOT view history in a linear fashion or as a straight line.
Instead they see history in a cyclical (repeating) fashion.
The same event that happened in the past is probably going to happen again, and again and again.
So analogical thinkers depend on patterns and models established in the past and search for common points shared between similar things.
Therefore, RELATIONSHIPS and CONNECTIONS are of utmost importance for analogical thinkers.
When trying to make sense of a situation, the question the analogical thinker asks himself is “Which pattern or model is this situation operating within?”
He could care less why that pattern or model is the way it is.
That’s a secondary issue and while it might be nice to know why, it doesn’t affect his decision-making process.
So let me drive home a point I’ve already repeated.
Not only was ANALOGICAL THOUGHT the style of thinking of the Hebrews, it was also the common style of thinking throughout the whole known world at the time.
Analogical thought is the style of thinking expressed in the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament, period!
There is nothing inherently wrong or evil about the Greek style of rational/logical thinking but it is the wrong tool to use when studying our Bibles.
Approaching the study of the Holy Scripture by always asking why or attempting to apply the Scientific Method to ancient theological principles that were originally expressed in analogical thought will result in downright confusion and much theological error, which is exactly what has happened.
So now that we know the Bible operates under the analogical style of thinking, how do we apply this insight to our Torah study?
When studying Scripture, you need to be on the lookout for patterns and models.
The answers you seek will come through recognizing the eternal patterns established by YHVH in His Torah.
Can you now see why it is so darn important to not ignore the Torah?
This is where the patterns are man!
While Greek thinking prods and probes for bottom line answers, the Hebrew is on the lookout for a familiar pattern he can apply to his situation.
So you have to be very careful when asking God “why” He issued certain individual laws and commands?
“Why is pork and shellfish forbidden?”
“Why does God declare some foods clean and others unclean?”
I’ll tell you right now, you’re not going to find the answer to these questions in scientific rational/logical proofs.
You are only going to find the answers in the principles and patterns that the Lord established starting from the very first chapter of Genesis.
At the very heart of analogical thinking is TRUSTING that God created everything and that His Creation operates according to PRINCIPLES and PATTERNS that DO NOT CHANGE.
“I am YHVH, and I do not change”
Here’s another truth that might hurt your pride a bit.
Our minds were NOT built to understand God’s mind.
That statement right there shows the futility of trying to understand the nature of God via Greek rational/logical thinking.
Can you accept that?
It makes sense if you ask me, I mean how in the world can finite weak creatures like us even begin to comprehend an infinite spirit being?
The answer is we can’t.
The only thing we can do is humbly accept the eternal PATTERNS and PRINCIPLES He has provided us in His Word.
The work of Greek thinking Bible translators and scholars have resulted in the worst sort of errors being foisted on earnest seekers and believers everywhere.
These were men who for the most part wanted to validate their anti-Semitic agenda and used rational/logical thinking to do it.
They always tried to find a “why” behind certain things in Scripture they wanted to overturn and when they couldn’t find the “why” , what did they do?
They threw out that particular command or part of Scripture (in some cases the whole Torah) and declared it done away with.
Just understand this.
Asking “why” is at the heart of Greek rational/logical thinking.
However, very very rarely will you find an ongoing search for “why” with regards to “what” God did or commanded in the Bible.
The question “why” was simply not asked by the Hebrews concerning God’s Holy Laws and Commands.
Here’s the thing.
If you always have to ask God “why”, then where is your faith?
Isn’t faith trusting and acting when the “why” is not available?
Shouldn’t the fact that YHVH is the Almighty God be enough?
Can’t you just accept His commands as they are without always having to question everything?
This is the very struggle Job went through.
In spite of the terrible ordeal he was experiencing, Job was able to accept his trying circumstances as God’s will and ultimately exclaim with confidence, “Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him!“
Interestingly, Job’s “friends” each offered up their views as to “why” these terrible things were happening to him and every one of them was WRONG!