Torah Lessons

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It is sad to see that people seem to be increasingly considering it inappropriate for anyone to discuss something from scripture that requires making a change in the personal life. Oddly I have found that some people are disappointed if the very people who are supposed to be teaching scripture actually teach from it instead of giving a mere feel good discourse. Things actually have gotten to the point that someone even thought that a lesson from the Torah in the synagogue was inappropriate because the person didn't want to think of the subject or follow the Biblical laws due to personal circumstances, but I think anything the Bible discusses should be.

What we eat is personal but the Bible talks about that, sex is personal but the Bible talks about that, how we treat others is personal, but the Bible talks about that, and so on. If we start cutting out things based on whatever is comfortable to hear, when will it stop and what will there be left to talk about? "Does not my word burn like fire?" says the LORD. "Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?" Jeremiah 23:29 God's word is not about feeling good and being politically correct, it is about correcting us. We must be very careful to keep that in mind.

The Bible records a time when people preferred to hear nice words of encouragement instead of words of correction or instruction when they needed it thinking that avoiding that would be positive, but God made it clear picking and choosing what to hear isn't. "These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord's instruction. They say to the seers, 'See no more visions!' and to the prophets, 'Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!' ...This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:' In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.'" Isaiah 30:9-11, 15

It is true that some Bible verses can be uncomfortable to hear especially in hard circumstances, but the Bible says "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Proverbs 27:6 Anything that is in the word of God, however unpleasant it may sound or feel is for actually for our good. Sure there is place for tact, but being sensitive and speaking the truth should not be mutually exclusive. Protecting feelings shouldn't have to come at the expense of saying what is Biblical. Even if hearing truth breaks us, it is just so God can build us up better. We can't pick and choose what we want.

What if Moses said, "Lord, I know You want me to send me back to Egypt to let your people go, but considering I killed that one dude back in Exodus 2:12 and fled the country sending me back right now could be brutal, besides I am bad at public speaking so forget it..." (Yet, it was from his obedience that we can learn of God's plans to deliver us today Torah Study Lesson 4. MOSES THE DELIVERER )?

What if Joseph said, "I know you value sexual purity Lord but seeing how I'm just a slave, and my master's wife is really interested in me I should just go with it for the time being, after all I might get in trouble if I don't. I'm sure you'll understand..." (Yet we can learn that he was called out of prison where he was sent due to his obedience to God to greatness, not out of his master's house Torah Study Lesson 3. JOSEPH (Yosef))?

What if Abraham to whom God promised to give many descendants to which included those mentioned above said, "I know you wanted me to travel somewhere but I just don't feel like going, besides I'm too old for this stuff." or "It's not safe for older women to have kids anyway, I hope you understand just keep Ishmael." (When we can see God blessed his obedience in Torah Study Lesson 1. ABRAHAM (Avraham))?

Do you think any of these people mentioned in the Torah would have become known as great followers of God today if they didn't choose to trust God despite the circumstances? Things would not have turned out as well if they just dismissed God's command as inappropriate because it seemed hard or interrupted their personal life, and things could have been better if they always obeyed. Obeying God may indeed be hard and it may not look like it was best idea immediately even after doing so but God blesses and accepts obedience, not our alternatives to obedience.

Don't get me wrong, God can even use our mistakes and missteps but we miss out on God's best when we don't follow Him in the first place. For example, God still blessed Ishmael however that didn't make him the son of promise. God still choose Isaac as the son of promise and having Ishmael still caused a lot of family problems that could have been avoided if Abraham just had faith. So please note from Torah, while God can use our mistakes caused by a lack faith to make us better people if we let Him, God didn't accept Abraham's Ishmael in place of obedience and He won't accept the Ishmaels we produce in place of obedience either.

Picture originally found here

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