One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

Understanding Torah Society
Part 2 – Public Goods – Order

In the introduction to “Understanding Torah Society,” we briefly mentioned public goods. In this study we are going to examine the first of the six aspects commonly known as public goods—order. Once again, public goods consists of six categories: 1) order, 2) defense, 3) public health, 4) infrastructure, 5) education, and 6) social welfare.

According to the commonly held modern idea of government, it is government that should have the responsibility to maintain order. However, as we are about to see, according to Torah, it is not government which is charged with keeping order, but rather, it is every single individual member of Israel who YHWH has commanded to keep order. This is done by obeying His commandments.

1st Corinthians 14:40
But let all things be done decently and in order.

Regardless of what it is that Israel is doing as a nation or as individuals of that nation, it should all be done in order and according to Torah. When Israel is living according to Torah, then order is present. No man-made government can cause any person or group of people to keep and do the commandments of YHWH’s Torah. Obeying the commandments of Torah is an individual choice. When a person makes that choice and follows up on that choice with life actions, then the natural outcome is order in the society of Israel.

Shemot (Exodus) 12:50
Thus did all the children of Israel; as YHWH commanded Moshe and Aharon, so they did.

After leaving the bondage of Egypt, it is recorded that all of Israel was doing as YHWH was commanding them to do. There was order in the camp. However, it was not to be long lived. The following passages clearly illustrate what happens when Israel turns her back on YHWH and fails to obey His commandments.

Shemot (Exodus) 32:8
“They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made themselves a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed unto it, and said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’”

The first great sin which brought disorder into the camp of Israel was the making and worshipping of the golden calf. Sadly, they named this golden calf YHWH. While they had the name of our Creator correct, they did not correctly understand who and what He was/is. He was not one of the pantheon of idols that had been a part of their lives in Egypt, which is where they had borrowed the idea of the golden calf. The whole structure of Israel was temporarily changed because of this sin. One of the major changes this sin caused was that, instead of the first-born male of each family being a priest, all the firstborn were replaced with the tribe of Levi. This change also included provisions of sacrificial offerings, by which, if a person was to sin and break a commandment of YHWH, that same person could then be restored back into fellowship. In some of the more drastic cases of sin, a person would be temporarily cast out of the camp, and these offerings allowed such a person to re-enter the camp of Israel. All of this was to maintain order in the camp.

Vayyiqra (Leviticus) 4:2
“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, ‘If any one shall sin unwittingly, in any of the things which YHWH has commanded not to be done, and shall do any one of them,’”

What follows this verse in the rest of the chapter is an outline of what is to be done to restore a person back into the full life of Israel. Depending on the individual, the sacrifice needed for restoration is specific for his station in life. There is also a specific sacrifice for the nation as a whole if the whole nation sins against YHWH. This was all for the purpose of keeping order within Israel.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 28:1-2
1 “And it shall come to pass, if you shalt hearken diligently unto the Voice of YHWH your Elohim, to observe to do all His commandments which I command you this day, that YHWH your Elohim will set you on high above all the nations of the earth;
2 and all these blessings shall come upon you, and overtake you, if you shall hearken unto the Voice of YHWH your Elohim.”

To encourage order in the camp of Israel, YHWH promises through His prophet Moshe, that if Israel is careful to do and keep all of His commandments, then Israel shall be blessed by YHWH, which includes being the leading nation in the world.

However, if Israel refuses to keep and do all of His commandments, then they shall be cursed until that day when they shall begin to keep and do all of His commandments.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 28:15-16
15 “But it shall come to pass, if you will not hearken unto the Voice of YHWH your Elohim, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you this day, that all these curses shall come upon you, and overtake you.
16 You shall be cursed in the city, and you shall be cursed in the field.”

If Israel as a nation, or any individual thereof, makes the unwise choice of not keeping and obeying each and every one of YHWH’s commandments, then what will follow are curses—lots and lots of curses. No matter where he goes and no matter what he does, there shall be curses, once again, all to promote order within the camp of Israel.

In modern day society, man depends upon the local police force to keep and maintain order and to make sure that every person is obeying the law. However, this is not what one finds in Torah. What one finds in Torah is something quite different.

Vayyiqra (Leviticus) 19:17
“You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.”

Each and every member of Israel has the same authority when it comes to witnessing sin, i.e., wrong doing. When a person witnesses sin being committed by another person, then he is commanded by YHWH to go directly to that person and take care of it face to face. Yeshua also emphasizes this same principle.

Mattithyah (Matthew) 18:15
“And if your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone; if he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”

The verses following this passage then outline what is to happen if the person does not listen and put away the wrong doing from his life (which is the essence of repentance). This is commonly referred to as a Matthew 18 process. The process is designed to maintain order, including restoring order if it is lost. In the process of keeping order, to restore one who has broken that order, obeying Torah must be brought back in line. In this way order is restored and maintained.

Mattithyah (Matthew) 12:35
“The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good things; and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil things.”

Torah is a matter of the heart. What is in a man’s heart will manifest outwardly for all to see, and become a witness against him if he is bringing forth that which is evil. Or, if a man is bringing forth good, it will be a witness for good. Furthermore, since no man can change the heart of another man, it is therefore impossible to force another person to do right, i.e., that which is good in the eyes of YHWH. Each man must be changed from within in order for him to be able to live Torah in his everyday life. This is why YHWH tells us through the prophet Yirmeyah that He shall write His Torah upon our hearts and minds. Only in this way can Israel as a nation and as individuals keep and do His Torah. Only in this way can order be properly achieved.

Yirmeyah 31:33
“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says YHWH; “I will put My Torah in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.”

It is the writing of His Torah upon the minds and hearts of His people that will bring order to Israel. No outside force can do such a thing. Torah must be internalized in order to properly walk therein.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.

These are the things YHWH writes upon one’s heart when a person surrenders his heart to YHWH through Mashiach Yeshua.

In this time of Ephrayim waking up to his true identity and his return to YHWH and His Torah, there are many who are self-appointed “Torah-police.” These individuals have taken it upon themselves to attempt to force every other person to live and do as they understand Torah and the commandments thereof. This will never work, simply because those individuals who attempt to police the actions of others are not following Torah themselves, in that, rarely, if ever, do they go to the individual to lovingly dialog with the person in an attempt to restore. Rather, what often happens is the situation is used as an opportunity to show one’s knowledge of Torah and thus an attempt is made to “lord” it over others.

True order comes from within one’s own heart. True order is a by-product of one’s solid relationship with his Creator. That relationship then in turn will allow one to have a loving relationship with his neighbor in such a way that is pleasing to YHWH. As an individual of Israel, I do not need to force my neighbor to do YHWH’s Torah commandments in exactly the same way that YHWH has led me to keep and observe them. YHWH is his Elohim as well as my Elohim. As such, order is present when I give my neighbor the same freedom to obey YHWH as I expect to receive from him.

ABBA YHHW, teach us to live in harmony and order with You and with one another, in the name of Mashiach Yeshua. Amein.

Zerubbabel ben Emunah