Leviticus 27 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“And these are the commands the L_rd gave Moses for the Israelites on Mount Sinai” Leviticus 27:34
Many years ago, when I read the Torah for the 1st time, I was shocked to learn that G_d gave Moses more than 10 commandments! He gave 613, to be exact. These are not the commands of men, but from God, Himself.
The “10 Commandments” act as overriding principles, while the remaining 603 commands act as practical situational guides, teaching Israel how to honor G_d by living-out the 10 Commandments in day-to-day life.
In religious (Orthodox) Judaism, several literary sources are drawn from. First, there is Torah and the Haftorah. (The Law and the Prophets) aka: the Tanakh, or “Old Testament”. These are the Divinely-inspired Scriptures.
In His sermon on the mount, Yeshua said, “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For I assure you: Until Heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished. Therefore, everyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called ‘least’ in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches these commandments will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19
In addition to the Tanakh, there are other Jewish literary sources: Talmud, Mishna, Kabbala… These are volumes of rabbinical teachings and interpretations of the Tanakh. Imagine all the great “Christian” teachers, Moody, Spurgeon, Wesley, etc… Imagine, all the greats, every sermon, compiled throughout the ages. Well, that’s basically what these extra-Biblical volumes are: rabbinic commentaries.
The problem rabbinical Judaism faces is that so much of its religious practice is based on the teachings of men. Most rabbis spend the majority of their studies buried in the commentaries, instead of the Torah.
The reason I have challenged you (and myself) to aggressively read the Bible, is because the Messianic community tend to have the same problem as the Orthodox (non-Messianic) Jewish community. Messianics have a tendency to elevate teachers above the Scriptures. Paul addressed this problem, even in the early Messianic community. 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
We should study the Bible so we can weigh the value Bible teachers, and not the other way around.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Wednesday, May 7, 2014