GOD’S LAW IS LOVE
THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT
When Yeshua (Jesus Christ) lived on earth, He was asked what was the greatest commandment that God had given His people. Yeshua replied,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)
Yeshua echoed the words God had given Moses for the children of Israel. It is their confession of faith called the “Shema” or “Hear”.
Hebrew: “Shema Yisrael Adonoi Eloheinu Adonoi Echad.” (You can hear this in my song “Listen, Children!”)
This translates into ENGLISH (World English Bible):
“Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one: and you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
Yahweh God said “teach these words diligently to your children.” (Deuteronomy 6:7) God wants us to know His Word and to live by it!
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Moses was the Prophet who led God’s people out of horrible slavery in Egypt. God gave Moses some basic laws to follow commonly called the “Ten Commandments”. Following these rules would help the Israelites live peacefully with one another.
But the First Commandment God gave Moses was:
“”I am Yahweh your God … You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:2-3
You may wonder what that command has to do with living peacefully. Only YHWH God is a God of perfect love. He loves us and wants the best for us. No other god is willing to die for His people as Yeshua did for us! No other god is love.
When we realize how much God loves us, it should lead us to love Him! If we love God with all our heart, we will not put anything before Him.
Now when Moses lived many years ago, (c. 1450 BC) other people worshipped many gods. Of course, they were not true gods but false gods. These false gods were created beings not the Creator-God. People worshipped the sun, the moon, the stars, animals, creatures and various spiritual beings or demons. But God does not approve of any of that. He wanted His people to be a holy people, a holy nation, set apart from the evil ways of the other nations.
So God added the next part, the Second Commandment:
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them…” Exodus 20:4-5
God the Creator of all does not want us to worship creatures that He made! There is only ONE Creator-God and His name is YHWH!
(Variations: Yehovah, Jehovah, Yahweh, and shortened to YAH as in “hallelujah!” or “alleluia!” . Yeshua (or Yahshua or Yahoshua) means “YAH saves” and that is who Jesus is, YAH who saves us!)
Maybe you have seen people bowing down to statues in other religions. They might even bring food or candles and place it at the altars of these idols. They pray to these idols. This is against God’s commandment for His people. God’s people worship only YHWH, the great I AM. Therefore, we should not have any of these idols or their religious objects in our homes! Sadly, some people bring idols back from trips to exotic places as souvenirs, but this is NOT pleasing to the Spirit of God.
Maybe bowing down to statues sounds strange and foreign. But we ourselves must be careful not to bow down to idols in another sense. We must not make television shows or electronic games more important than God. We must not make sports or dance or money or other people more important than God.
When everyone else is doing something that God says is wrong, we should not bow down to or go along with the crowd just to fit in and be liked. Our friends, our own popularity should not come before God! We should choose to love God first, above all else. To show our love for God, we obey Him, even when it is hard, even when everyone else is disobeying God. (The stories of the fiery furnace or Daniel in the lion’s den show this truth.)
Yeshua said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3
God loves us and has given us rules and laws to follow so that we may lead happy lives before Him. God’s rules protect us. We will be learning about God’s laws in our next lessons.
The Ten Commandments are listed in the book of Exodus 20:1-17 and also in the book of Deuteronomy 5:6-21.
The first five books of the Bible are called the TORAH in Hebrew.
The Torah was written by God and given through the Prophet Moses. Now we use books, but for many years the Torah was handwritten on scrolls and kept in containers such as the ones pictured. Many places of Jewish worship still have scrolls today.