In my last post I stated that Leviticus Chapter 19 defines in general how those people who have been set apart for HOLINESS by God are to live their lives.
Given that the Temple is currently not standing, legitimate arguments do exist about whether or not we are to follow the letter of the 613 laws and regulations set before us in the Torah.
However, what is NOT up for debate is whether or not the principles and patterns of what was HOLY during Moses time still holds today.
I want to share an interesting quote from the person who was the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations during the time leading up to and during World War II.
I’m talking about Rabbi Joseph Hertz and this is what he had to say about Leviticus Chapter 19.
“Developing the idea of holiness as order, not confusion, this list (the verses of Leviticus 19) upholds rectitude and straight-dealing as holy, and contradiction and double-dealing as against holiness. Theft, lying, false witness, cheating in weights and measures, all kinds of dissembling such as speaking ill of the deaf (and presumably smiling to their faces), hating your brother in your heart (while speaking kindly to him), these are clearly contradictions between what seems, and what is.”
In simple terms, what is Rabbi Hertz saying here?
To put it bluntly from a Messianic perspective: There is nothing more hypocritical than to claim that Yeshua is living in your heart as Lord and Savior while at the same time denying the need to live a HOLY life as defined by TORAH.
Don’t talk to me about having the Spirit of God dwelling in you if you see no need for obedience to God’s TORAH.
The TORAH of Moses is nothing more or less than the spelling out of what we call “morality”.
Morality is what is GOOD (as seen from God’s perspective), in comparison to what is bad.
Note that Rabbi Hertz properly observes that one of the chief defining characteristics of HOLINESS is ORDER as opposed to chaos and confusion.
Recall when we had a look at the sin of bestiality and the reason it was wrong.
We were told that humans having sex with animals was wrong because it was TEVEL (improper mixing).
Don’t misunderstand me here.
I’m not implying that we should obey these laws exactly as they were acted out in the Middle East over 3000 ago.
Obviously, that’s an impossible proposition.
However, we should do the best we can with what we’ve got.
God, the Creator of the whole universe and all peoples, is the one who defines what is moral or not.
God’s morality has no cultural barriers.
They are eternal, immutable, and cannot be altered by man.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“If you love me, keep my commands.“
Then I will tell them plainly,
‘I never knew you;
depart from Me,
you workers of lawlessness.‘
“Here is the patience of the saints:
here are they that keep
the commandments of God,
and the faith of Yeshua.”