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A2. Walking in God's Ways.    [Make a Comment]

We are to walk in God's ways and adopt them as our own.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed is He):

Key Scriptures

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (Maimonides RP8; Chinuch C611)
So now, Isra'el, all that ADONAI your God asks from you is to fear ADONAI your God, follow all his ways, love him and serve ADONAI your God with all your heart and all your being; to obey, for your own good, the mitzvot and regulations of ADONAI which I am giving you today.

Deuteronomy 13:5(4) (Maimonides RP8)
You are to follow ADONAI your God, fear him, obey his mitzvot, listen to what he says, serve him and cling to him;

Deuteronomy 28:9 (Maimonides RP8; Meir MP6; Chinuch C611)
ADONAI will establish you as a people separated out for himself, as he has sworn to you - if you will observe the mitzvot of ADONAI your God and follow his ways.

Psalm 25:4
Make me know your ways, ADONAI, teach me your paths.

Luke 9:23
Then to everyone he said, "If anyone wants to come after me, let him say 'No' to himself, take up his execution-stake daily and keep following me.

John 10:27
My sheep listen to my voice, I recognize them, they follow me, ...

Ephesians 5:1
So imitate God, as his dear children;

Supportive Scriptures

Leviticus 11:44
For I am ADONAI your God; therefore, consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am holy ...

1 Peter 1:14-16
As people who obey God, do not let yourselves be shaped by the evil desires you used to have when you were still ignorant. On the contrary, following the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in your entire way of life; since the Tanakh says, "You are to be holy because I am holy."

1 John 2:6
A person who claims to be continuing in union with him ought to conduct his life the way he did.


"Following" God, "imitating" Him, and "walking" in His ways are different ways of saying the same thing - learning God's ways and adopting them as our own. We see from the above Scriptures that this principle traverses both the Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant, and that adopting the ways of Yeshua (who is more visible to us than the Father) assures us of adopting the ways of our Father in heaven as well. Yeshua Himself modeled this for us as we read His words in John 5:19:

Therefore, Yeshua said this to them: "Yes, indeed! I tell you that the Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; whatever the Father does, the Son does too."

There is a common misunderstanding that the Scriptures quoted in this Mitzvah should help dispel; the misunderstanding is that only through the indwelling of the Ru'ach HaKodesh brought by the New Covenant, can men succeed in obeying God. It is wrong because God never holds us accountable for that which we cannot do, and Scripture teaches that, at Mt. Sinai, God gave us instructions for conduct that He expected of us. On the other hand, to think that man on his own can accomplish God's will is wrong also, so what of the Spirit was available to man before the coming of the New Covenant? Since man in his own strength cannot fully accomplish God's will, it must be that the Holy Spirit was available at Sinai and before, but that the level of the Spirit's availability was limited and was greatly increased with the coming of the New Covenant. Jeremiah 31:32-33(33-34) partially explains this:

"For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra'el after those days," says ADONAI: I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, 'Know ADONAI'; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more."

Jeremiah prophesies both the Messiah and the Ru'ach HaKodesh - the Messiah to provide a just means for God to forgive our sins, and the Ru'ach to implant God's very own nature within us in order to bring Him closer and assist us to walk in His ways. Ezekiel 36:24-27 also prophesies a New Covenant in which God would enhance our obedience through the Holy Spirit placed within us, yet God assured us in Deuteronomy 30:11-14, that we were able to obey Him in pre-Yeshua times as well:

For this mitzvah which I am giving you today is not too hard for you, it is not beyond your reach. It isn't in the sky, so that you need to ask, 'Who will go up into the sky for us, bring it to us and make us hear it, so that we can obey it?' Likewise, it isn't beyond the sea, so that you need to ask, 'Who will cross the sea for us, bring it to us and make us hear it, so that we can obey it?' On the contrary, the word is very close to you - in your mouth, even in your heart; therefore, you can do it!

Classical Commentators

Meir and Maimonides agree with each other - that we are to model ourselves after God and expect to become like Him in nature. HaChinuch agrees, and references Micah 7:18:

Who is a God like you, pardoning the sin and overlooking the crimes of the remnant of his heritage? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in grace.


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