YHVH’s ways are not our ways. We’re human, and we don’t know very much about how to live as a human until we are out of time to learn how to do it well. One of the consequences of living life is that we make mistakes constantly. And as life progresses, we come to see the patterns of our life, and our mistakes, and where we could have done so much better had we only been trained properly! But proper training requires some dedication to learning G-d’s ways, and Adonai Elohim’s ways are primarily ensconced in the teaching of YHVH to the Jews…actually, not just the Jews, but the original Israelites that came down out of Egypt into what was then and is now called Israel.
I do, however know what he has told mankind about his ways, because I have read the Torah. Scattered throughout these writings here will always be the odd Hebrew word, for as much as it may irritate us whose first language is another language than Hebrew, that language, in its original paleo form was, as best anyone can tell, the original language of mankind. Each Hebrew word has a core set of consonants that have extraordinary depth and numerous shades of meaning that non-Hebrew speakers cannot even get at the basis of. Someone not raised in the language never really can absorb all the nuances of this proto language.
Torah (trh) in its simplest definition means ‘teaching’…what Adonai taught the Israelites through Moshe, and what is recorded in the Hebrew Bible, and translated with less or more accuracy into all languages. There are a lot of shades of meaning and encoded thought, names, and ideas in the information that Adonai dictated to Moshe in what people know as the first five books of the Old Testament or the Bible.
There are a lot of commandments in the Torah meant for Israelites, and they are about how to be an Israelite. The key teachings that are meant for all mankind are the Ten Commandments that YHVH himself spoke to the Israelites in the Saudi Desert at the real Mount Sinai. The other 603 commandments given through Moses as they became necessary were meant to shape the rag tag lot of people that came out of Egypt into a separated people…YHVH’s people.
The first five commandments are about man’s duty to G-d, and Adonai Elohim’s line of authority through a person’s parents, while the second five commandments are given to state what is not permissible behavior towards other humans. Thus we have the following:
Exodus 20:4 (CJB)
4 You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline.
Exodus 20:5-6 (CJB)
5 You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, Adonai your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
6 but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot.
Exodus 20:7 (CJB)
7 “You are not to use lightly the name of Adonai your God, because Adonai will not leave unpunished someone who uses his name lightly.
Exodus 20:8-11 (CJB)
8 “Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.
9 You have six days to labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work — not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property.
11 For in six days, Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why Adonai blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself.
Exodus 20:12 (CJB)
12 “Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land which Adonai your God is giving you.
Exodus 20:13 (CJB)
13 “Do not murder.
Exodus 20:14 (CJB)
14 “Do not commit adultery.
Exodus 20:15 (CJB)
15 “Do not steal.
Exodus 20:16 (CJB)
16 “Do not give false evidence against your neighbor.
Exodus 20:17 (CJB)
17 “Do not covet your neighbor’s house; do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox, his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Now, having once listed those Ten Commandments, it needs to be said that all of the first five books of the Bible are the Teaching…the Torah, but when it comes to people who are not Israelites, how one lives one’s life is accomplished by following at the very least a minimalized version of the Ten Commandments, not by being an Israelite. Acting like an Israelite is not the point. Acting like the perfect Israelite Yeshua is.
Therefore, we are to follow what is in the Torah when it comes to how we treat other people…G-d, our parents, and one another in thought and deed. It isn’t complicated, unless you attempt to follow everyone else’s rules about how to act…the Karaite Jews, the Reform Jews, the Conservative Jews, the Orthodox Jews, the Catholics, and the Protestants and Cults of every denomination and theoretical background have no right to tell you how to follow these rules of living laid down by Abba, and there is no need to take what others say about how to obey the commandments of YHVH to man except as a point of guidance…not a law.
As to all the other good works of behavior laid down for the Israelites in the Torah, they were established to set the Israelites apart from all other nations of man so that they might become the byword for civil behavior that they became. The Israelites were to stand before the world as G-d’s special people, a people chosen to demonstrate how to live well before their Creator. And the Israelites were separated to be YHVH’s special people in order to demonstrate that if you did not follow the commandments given you, Adonai would not bless you with all that he can bless you with in the here and now, nor would you have a portion in an eternal future.
This is what the point of ‘legalism’ was all about in the 1st century A.D. It wasn’t that the Commandments of G-d were an overwhelming burden to mankind, though one cannot keep them as well as Yeshua ben Elohim did…it was the traditions of man as added to those Commandments of G-d that were the problem, and still are.
The Ten Commandments of YHVH are not laws…they are commands. They form the basis for all civil behavior, and all of what I deem civilization is now based on them. Those peoples who do not follow them are in my opinion doing less well than they can, in relation to G-d, to their parents, or to one another. Following these laws is an exercise in loving Abba and loving one another.
These are G-d’s ways, and following them is not hard at all, presuming you care even a little bit about the well-being of other people, or about your own well-being. Honoring the Creator by valuing only him as G-d by putting his desires for you and for others ahead of your desires for yourself is not hard. Not making a 3D image of anything that Adonai has made in order to worship it is not difficult once you know that Abba dislikes that behavior.
Not speaking of YHVH or using his name lightly or to swear falsely is not difficult once you know not to do it. Taking one day off out of seven to enjoy all that G-d has created and given you to enjoy is not difficult, and very good for you. Treating your parents well is not difficult, even if they are difficult people, when you know that Adonai blesses you for doing so. And refraining from hurting others by not murdering, not committing adultery, not stealing, not swearing falsely, and not coveting what is not yours is not hard to do, once you know not to do it.
After one has these basics down, one then needs to learn to love others as G-d has loved you, and that is what Yeshua came to teach us about. He came to not only die as a ransom for all the imperfect people who would ever live and trust in that act of redemption, but to empower us to live in a positive way that does not always look only after ourselves, but after the good of the others around us. Loving one another is the ultimate expression of G-d, as it is what he does all the time, loving us. These are G-d’s ways…the ways he wants us to follow in.