Notwithstanding: To not be willing. To not consent, yield, accept or desire. Deuteronomy 1:26 - Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God.
I have just embarked on my reading of Deuteronomy. This is such an exciting book for me to read. I love it! It’s filled with so much in-your-face real life stuff. It’s where we live. It’s who we are.
But is it … for us? What are we who name the Name of Yeshua/Jesus supposed to do with all this good material? Is it just for the “Jews”? Or could it be that it’s for all that have been washed in the blood of Yeshua?
I do believe so. Here’s why …
Paul said in Romans 15:4 - For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
One of the great blessings of the Hebraic mindset is that you no longer have to figure out which things in the OT are OK to take to heart and practice. If you’re one that doesn’t believe all the OT is for us, prey-tell, how do you tell which parts are?
Once a person comes to realize and understand that in Yeshua he’s been grafted into the true Israel of God, then the whole of Scripture becomes his own home territory. It’s wonderfully liberating. It’s actually quite exciting.
So now when I come to a verse like v. 26, I can take it as personal application for me. I can read all the events around this verse in context and realize it’s talking to me because I am a part of Israel. These are my people I’m reading about. It’s no longer just for, as some say, “Those stupid, dumb, rebellious Jews.” No! It’s me that is stupid, dumb, and rebellious. That’s why Paul encourages us to look to their history and learn.
When I, while still pastoring, saw that by virtue of being in Yeshua I was grafted into Israel and thus an Israelite — it was a game changer. Over time, the scales began to slowly fall off. I couldn’t believe it. The Scriptures, the very whole of it, were for me.
Knowing now what’s involved with taking on this Hebraic life of obedience, I have to wonder if some, many, of God’s people are not willing to consider any of this because they already know the cost involved. They aren’t willing to consider the possibility this is worth looking into. This giant is just too big.
I know that worshiping on the Sabbath, wearing funny looking strings and not eating bacon seem like huge hurdles to leap over. And don’t get me wrong -- these are real giants. You feel like a walking bullseye. And you are! But why not look into seeing how you can obey and follow your Father more rather than less. There really is more to walking like Yeshua than just “love.”
I know it’s hard for some to accept that Yeshua lived out all the Torah. But, He did. And now we can too through Him. He didn’t come to do away with it. He came to restore it back to what it should be rather than what the leaders and people of Israel had turned it into. And one day, when Yeshua comes back and the Temple is up and running, it will all be practiced once again. That is what Ezekiel tells us.
Yeshua did, however, come to do away with all the wrong teachings and practices that were attached to the Torah like barnacles on a boat: the Oral Torah.
To the Jews of the day, the Oral Torah was as binding/authoritative, and even more so, than the Scriptures themselves. They had developed a “systematic theology” into which they endeavored to fit the Scriptures. Sound familiar?
The next time you’re reading the OT be willing to ponder and consider that perhaps, just perhaps, it’s all meant for you too. Once you do, you’ll be amazed and surprised how many things come alive to you that weren't before. They will become present realities that you’ll long to incorporate into your life.
Don’t be a “notwithstanding” person. Be willing to be willing to consent, yield, accept or desire that what God has in His word, every part of it, is from your Father. All I ask is that you will at least consider this.
Take your theological glasses off and allow the Scriptures themselves to define who you are.