Friday, 12 February 2021
What are the rules related to Your identity
"Now these are the rules that you shall set before them." (Exodus 21:1, ESV)
In the verse above, the ESV translates the Hebrew term Mishpatim as rules. Other translations use judgements or ordinances. Sometimes these terms can create confusion. As we look toward our Torah study this week, let's take a preliminary look at what "rules" or "judgments" means for our identity. How we define the term in question, will make a good bit of difference in how we view much of the rest of the Torah.
As a natural extension of how we are created, we are meant to view the rule giver through the rules given. Thus, how we view God the Father is going to be greatly impacted by the rules given to the people of Israel in the book of Exodus. Moreover, it is not only the "what" in terms of rules but the purpose for which those rules are given that will make a difference in how we view things.
Thus, there is a common perception of an Old Testament God of judgment handing down rules from rules from heaven. Then again, there is a common perception of a New Testament God of grace saying "its alright". Yes, perhaps a bit oversimplified. I do believe most people reading this understand what I mean though. What we also need to know is that how we view God, through the Torah, will make a difference in how we view our identity in Yeshua. As it says in John 13-17, we receive our identity in Yeshua. Yeshua receives his identity from the Father.
Back to the rules. The term "mishpatim" is more accurately translated as judgments. It comes from the root, which means to judge. However, it is not really a neutral term. It is meant to be defined in terms of "rightly judging". If that's true then the question then becomes, what does it mean to judge rightly? The answer is that right judgment is based in the law of God.
That kinda makes it circular doesn't it? It might. That is, unless we add the "of God" part. Then it isn't the law in a vacuum that explains what's right. It is reflexive and it is the God part that makes the law right. So, let's try this again.
Mishpatim really means God's right judgments. So, then we can see the verse as saying, "these are God's right judgments that you shall set before them." It's a picture of righteousness ... For the sake of time, let me skip a little.
It's meant to communicate faithfulness to God's covenant. God's righteousness, is his faithfulness to his covenant ... The study focus is meant to be connected to this idea in terms of identity. These right judgments are demonstrative of how we display God's identity in us. In other words, by these things, we display the image of Yeshua to others.
Our Shabbat Meeting Information: We will be meeting at 10:45am to begin fellowship. You may join us online by going to Google Meet and entering the following code: wqg-wmqb-fcb
Daniel and Berelyn,