This week's Torah portion comes from Genesis 25:19-28:9.
Genesis 26:2-5 (KJV)
And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
God appeared to Isaac and told him to live in Canaan and not to go down into Egypt. God would be with him and bless him. God affirmed that the promises made to his father Abraham would be carried out also to Isaac and to his descendants. This was great news not only for Isaac and the Jewish people, but for all the nations of the earth as well, because through Isaac's seed (Messiah Yeshua) the whole world would be able to partake in the relationship between God and His people.
Verse 5 gives the reason for why Isaac would be so blessed. Abraham obeyed God's voice, kept His charge, His commandments, His statutes, and His laws!
But what charge, what commandments, what statutes, and what laws did Abraham obey? Traditional Christianity has long claimed that the Torah was only given to Moses and was somehow fulfilled (meaning set aside) by Yeshua's death and resurrection. However, if Christianity has been wrong about when the Torah was given, couldn't it be wrong about believers being able to set aside the "Mosaic Law?"
The Hebrew words used in verse 5 are: mishmeroti meaning "my charge or safeguards," mitzvotai meaning "my commandments," chukotai meaning "my inscribed statutes," and torotai, meaning "my instructions." This last word translated into English often becomes Law or Torah. Abraham obeyed the Torah! Although it is true that the Torah in its full sense was given to Moses at Mount Sinai, God's people were aware of many of God's desires prior to Moses. The seventh day Sabbath was revealed in Genesis 2. The rules of clean and unclean food were known by Genesis 8. And circumcision began in Genesis 21. So whatever parts of the Torah that Abraham knew about, he obeyed. And God was pleased by his obedience. If God was please by a Saturday Sabbath, the eating of clean foods, and circumcision, why would that change? How could Yeshua's death and resurrection change God's laws, especially those of a God that never changes?
Malachi 3:6a (KJV)
For I am the LORD, I change not;
May God one day see our obedience in the same way that He saw Abraham's!