Forgetting Not God’s Law

A high-visibility battle on varied social media platforms continues as those in various stripes of Christendom engage in a battle of words with those they unflatteringly refer to as “the Torah Keepers.” If you’re not familiar with the term, Torah refers to the first five books of the Old Testament canon. These writings are also referred to as the Pentateuch.

The battle rages, really, over one question: Are Christ-followers obligated to keep the Torah, the Law of Moses? The Torah Keepers will say “Yes” while the non Torah keepers say, “No.”

Full disclosure – I am not a Torah Keeper. You can usually discern that you’re interacting with a Torah Keeper by the language they use. Rather than “God,” they will say “Yah,” or sometimes “El.” Instead of “Jesus,” they will say, “Yeshua,” or the longer, “Yeshua Hamashiach.”

What, then, is the Christ-follower’s relationship to the Law of Moses or, really, to anything found in the Old Testament? We all understand that we are saved by grace through faith, and that this is not something we attain through works of the Law, lest any one of us should find cause for prideful boasting.1 From that baseline, then, how are we to understand and relate to God’s law?

Let me suggest just one of many benefits we glean from studying and knowing God’s law, or Law, depending on how we are using the term. The most impactful benefit I get from studying the Law of God is that doing so helps me recognize that the Law itself is a demonstration, even a declaration of God’s holiness. He is holy. Apart from him, I am not.

We know from the apostle Paul that the Law of God is holy, just, and good.

So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
– Romans 7:12, ESV

If, then, the law is holy, just, and good, even though I can never attain salvation through it, does it make sense that I should desire to know and to cherish the Law of God precisely because it is holy, just, and good? To me, that seems logical.

My son, do not forget my teaching,
    but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life
    and peace they will add to you.

– Proverbs 3:1-2, ESV

If we look at the 119th Psalm, a favorite of many, seven times in that Psalm the Psalmist will speak of refusing to forget God’s law, statutes, or word. I feel like I would be lying if I proclaimed a similar devotion for even the New Testament commands.

Blessed are you, O LORD;
    teach me your statutes!
With my lips I declare
    all the rules of your mouth.
In the way of your testimonies I delight
    as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts
    and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
    I will not forget your word.

– Psalm 119:12-16, ESV

Oh, God, give me a heart with that level of devotion!

For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,
    yet I have not forgotten your statutes.

– Psalm 119:83, ESV

If your law had not been my delight,
    I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts,
    for by them you have given me life.

– Psalm 119:92-93, ESV

I hold my life in my hand continually,
    but I do not forget your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
    but I do not stray from your precepts.
Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
    for they are the joy of my heart.
I incline my heart to perform your statutes
    forever, to the end.

– Psalm 119:109-112, ESV

My zeal consumes me,
    because my foes forget your words.
Your promise is well tried,
    and your servant loves it.
I am small and despised,
    yet I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is righteous forever,
    and your law is true.

– Psalm 119:139-142, ESV

Look on my affliction and deliver me,
    for I do not forget your law.

– Psalm 119:153, ESV

And finally, look at how this beautiful Psalm closes.

My lips will pour forth praise,
    for you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your word,
    for all your commandments are right.
Let your hand be ready to help me,
    for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, O LORD,
    and your law is my delight.
Let my soul live and praise you,
    and let your rules help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
    for I do not forget your commandments.

– Psalm 119:171-176, ESV

We learn God’s Law and remember God’s commands because the Law is holy, just, and good,2 and because God’s commandments, Old Testament or New, are not burdensome.3

Blessings upon you, my friends.

Victoriously in Christ!

– damon
X – @DamonJGray
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1. Ephesians 2:8-9
2. Romans 7:12
3. 1 John 5:3

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Damon J. Gray

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