Is the Sinai Covenant Conditional?

Whenever I am studying a topic, I always like to look at it from all angles. That’s why I enjoy discussions with others who strongly oppose what I believe. It gives me the opportunity to check my own understanding for flaws. I am ever changing, ever conforming to His image in the light of His Word.

“Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:3-6

When I formulate a response to those who believe differently, it is never good enough to look up someone else’s pat answer and then regurgitate that to anyone who argues with me.  I’m not looking for an excuse to continue believing what I already believe. If I’m wrong, I want to open myself to instruction so that the Lord can teach me from His Word. The whole reason I began following Torah is because I discovered some things I had been wrong about. I believe Torah is still true today. Truth itself doesn’t change. Psalm 119:142: “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.”

A couple weeks ago, an acquaintance of mine brought up some very interesting and well-prepared arguments that are certainly worth consideration. Today, I’d like to address the first of those arguments.

 

Argument #1: “God made a conditional covenant.”

Do we have scripture that supports this? I am not trying to be arrogant, and I may very well be missing something, but I could not find any real basis for this argument. What we do find are some “If…then” statements, explaining what the consequences would be if the children of Israel were either obedient or disobedient. It is the blessings and the curses that are conditional. Those conditions are part of the covenant, not outside of it. Read all of Leviticus 26 for instance. God never says that He won’t keep His covenant. God made a pact with us to bless us when we obey and turn against us when we disobey. When God brings evil upon us, it is in order to turn us back to Him. (God’s redemption in spite of man’s sin is the theme of the entire Word, but we can easily read Isaiah and Jeremiah to see a glimpse of the big picture.) This time of correction is not done in abandonment of the covenant, but in keeping with it. After that time of correction, the covenant still stands: “And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the Lord their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 26:44&45

If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” Psalm 89:30-34

His covenant with us stands forever, and because we cannot meet the conditions on our own, God Himself provides the way: Jesus Christ – the perfect, obedient Son of God.

Creative Writing Worksheets – Your Requests

For the past couple months, there has been a drastic increase in the number of folks hitting my blog looking for creative writing worksheets. My question to you is – what is it exactly that you are looking for? Is my blog meeting your need in this area, or would you like me to create specific types of worksheets for you to download? For instance, my older posts have things like days of the week, months of the year, and proper names beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Is this the sort of thing you’re looking for? I have been thinking about maybe doing presidents, periodic table, memory verses, etc. I could also do sight words or anything else you all need. Just let me know!

Psalm 19 1-3

 

 

 

An Easy Read through Psalm 119 – Schin & Tau

gavel“All thy commandments are righteousness.” (Psalm 119:172)

161 Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.

162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

163 I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.

164 Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.

165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

166 Lord, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments.

167 My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.

168 I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.

169 Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord: give me understanding according to thy word.

170 Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.

171 My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.

172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.

173 Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.

174 I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight.

175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.

176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

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An Easy Read through Psalm 119 – Koph & Resh

gavelThe Word is capable of speaking for itself. What is it saying to you today?

145 I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes.

146 I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.

147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.

148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

149 Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgment.

150 They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law.

151 Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.

152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.

153 Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.

154 Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.

155 Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.

156 Great are thy tender mercies, O Lord: quicken me according to thy judgments.

157 Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.

158 I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.

159 Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O Lord, according to thy lovingkindness.

160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

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An Easy Read through Psalm 119 – Pe & Tzaddi

gavelThy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. (Psalm 119:142)

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

And in case we’re a little slow in understanding how these two verses work together, John explained it to us: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) (I John 1:1-2)

Jesus is the Word made flesh. He does not change. The Word does not change. They are one and the same thing.

129 Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.

130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

131 I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.

132 Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.

133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

134 Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.

135 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.

136 Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.

137 Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments.

138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.

139 My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.

140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

141 I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.

142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.

143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.

144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.

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An Easy Read through Psalm 119 – Samech & Ain

gavel

126 It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law. (Who are “they”? Could it possibly be us – the modern Christians? Yes. Yes, it could.)

127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. (Are they precious to you? If not – why not?)

128 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. (I still have people telling me that the Law was given merely to set apart the Jews as a nation, or merely to give us something that we couldn’t live up to so that we could understand the need for salvation. Others say that it’s function was to point to Christ. That must be an incredibly tiny box they have put God in. Does it not seem possible that the Creator of the entire universe could accomplish all these things through a righteous Law? Or do you think He needs to make up random rules just to prove a point? I don’t know about the god you serve, but my God has only ever given commands that were for the benefit of mankind. His holy Law does not change with the passing of time or with the whim of a man-made god.)

113 I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.

114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

115 Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.

116 Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

117 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.

118 Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.

119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.

120 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.

121 I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors.

122 Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.

123 Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness.

124 Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes.

125 I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.

126 It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.

127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.

128 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.

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An Easy Read through Psalm 119 – Mem & Nun

gavelWhy, oh why, does David love the Law? This used to drive me crazy. We’ve been taught that it is our enemy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Disobedience is our enemy. Disobedience is what brings about the curse of the Law. Once I realized that the Law was for our benefit and protection, I started adopting it into my own lifestyle, and now I am in love with it too! Isn’t this what we should have expected from a loving God? “Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!” Deuteronomy 5:29 (This is precisely what God accomplished by sending His Son – Jeremiah 31:31-34)

It makes us wiser than our enemies. Unless the Law is perfect and holy and right, how could it do this? If it was given just to set apart the Jewish nation, how would that bring wisdom? But the Law is perfect, and the nation was set apart because the Law is holy. Obeying it protects you. Did you know that the Jews were blamed for the outbreak of the Black Death because they were getting sick at a slower rate than the general population? Why? Because they were obeying God’s Law. Dead bodies were buried outside the city. They washed in running water, etc. These Laws are here for our benefit. But don’t take my word for it; read your Bible and see what God’s Word has to say about it. Deuteronomy 11:26, I John 5:3, Deuteronomy 4:40, Deuteronomy 6:17-18, Deuteronomy 10:12-13, Romans 7:12, 14, 16, 22, 25 (Just read Romans, lol).

97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.

99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.

103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word.

108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me thy judgments.

109 My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.

110 The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.

111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

112 I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

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