Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, February 10, 2023
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

A Law To Themselves – Romans, part 24

Romans 2:14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the Torah, do by nature the things of the Torah, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the Torah. 15 They show that the work of the Torah is written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts switching between accusing or defending them 16 on the day when God judges the secrets of men according to my Good News through Messiah Yeshua.

Romans 2:14 very clearly tells us this is about Gentiles, who do not have the Torah.  The next verse says they “show that the work of the Torah is written in their hearts.”  Then finally, verse 16 says that God will judge “the secrets of men.”  The summary of these three thoughts is that God will order the lives His people to line up with Torah even though they “do not have the Torah.”

How is this possible?  God promises to send the Holy Spirit to lead His followers (both Jewish and non-Jewish) into all truth (which is found in the Law of the Torah).  Before I quote Hebrews 8:10 (which quotes Jeremiah 31:33), I want to say a word about being “grafted in.”  In the kingdom of God, the house of Israel (likened to a cultivated olive tree in Romans 11) will include those from the nations who have been transformed by faith (grafted in).  Is there biblical evidence to support that thought?

Receive this from the beginning of 1 Corinthians 10:1 For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea. 2 They all were immersed into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.  Do you share the heritage of the Corinthians, who were mostly not Jewish?  Then your fathers (and by extension, you yourself) have been baptized into Moses, and the Law is written on your heart.

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Adonai. I will put My Torah into their mind, and upon their hearts I will write it. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

These “people of God” are called “the house of Israel.”  And the house of Israel is made up of both Jewish and non-Jewish people.  And we all have one path of righteousness.  If you follow Yeshua, then the house of Israel is your house too.

Rabbi Trail:  It is possible to take this message too far.  Actually, there are several ways to get it wrong.  One such error is called “One Law,” and like every error, there is some truth in it.  It is true that God has one standard for righteousness.  But it applies differently depending on who you are.  Men and women have different commandments and expectations.  The same is true of slave and free.  And, yes, as you might expect, there are some differences for Jews and non-Jews (circumcision for instance).  End RT.

I want to write more about this for Monday.  For now, keep this thought… If you know Yeshua as your Lord and Savior, He has written His Law on your heart to seal you into His “cultivated olive tree.”  With His law written on our hearts, how can we go out and sell ourselves (cheaply) to violate it?  Shabbat shalom, blessings to enjoy it.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Fri 10-Feb-2023 19th of Sh’vat, 5783
Ex 19:20-20:17(14) 2 Ki 6 Ps 128-129 Jn 8:1-30 (1 Ti 4)