The Torah: Freedom from Bondage

The Torah: Freedom from Bondage

By James Scott Trimm

In the last chapter we learned that the Torah is Truth (Ps. 119:142) and that Yeshua said:

“… if you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
(John 8:31-32)

Therefore the Torah brings freedom. This is completely contrary to what most people have been taught. The common wisdom is that the Torah is bondage and that “freedom in Christ” means freedom from Torah. For example one author writes:

“Many Christians today would return to Sinai. They would put upon the church the yoke of bondage, the Law of Moses.”
(God’s Plan of the Ages; Louis T. Tallbot; 1970; p. 66)

However as we shall see the scriptures teach that exactly the opposite is true.

The central story of Judaism is that of the Exodus from Egypt. The children of Israel were in bondage in Egypt. God promised to gring them out of bondage and give them freedom. Upon leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, YHWH led them to Mt. Sinai where he delvered the Torah to them. Note that the theme of this central story is that God promised freedom from bondage and gave the children of Israel Torah. Now why would YHWH lead the people out of bondage in Egypt, lead them to Mt. Sinai, and deliver them right back into bondage again? And why would he at the same time promise them freedom. God is no liar. He promised the people freedom and he gave them Torah because the Torah is freedom from bondage. The Torah is truth (Ps. 119:142) and the truth will make you free (John 8:31-32).

This truth is proclaimed by the Psalmist:

“So shall I keep your Torah continually forever and ever, And I will walk in freedom: for I seek your precepts.”
(Psalm 119:44-45)

As well as by Ya’akov HaTzadik (James the Just) who called the Torah “the Torah of freedom” (James 1:25; 2:12).

However the ANOMOS teachers today teach that the Torah is bondage and that Torah-lessness is freedom. They have exchanged the truth (Torah) of God for a lie (Torah-lessness) (Rom. 1:25). Of these 2Peter 2:19 states:

“While they promise them freedom, they themselves are servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought into bondage.”
(2 Peter 2:19)

according to Kefa these men “turn from the holy commandment delivered to them” (2Peter 2:21) they promise freedom but deliver bondage.

By contrast Yeshua said:

“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my load is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30)

Now many of the teachers of Torah-lessness use this this passage as a proof text. To them this passage refers to freedom from the bondage of Torah. However notice the boldfaced portion. This bolfaced portion of Yeshua’s statement is a quotation from the Tanak. A quotation which gives a great deal of context to Yeshua’s statement. Lets look at this Tanak passage:

“Thus said YHWH, stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein.”
(Jeremiah 6:16)

Notice that this “way” which gives “rest” is “the old path”. Now lets read a little further down in Jer. 6 to obtain more context:

“But they said, we will not walk therein.”
(Jer. 6:16)

“…they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my Torah, but rejected it.”
(Jer. 6:19)

Notice that the “old path” that brings “rest for your souls” to which they said “we will not walk therein” (Jer. 6:16) is identified by YHWH as “my Torah”. This takes us up a bit further in the text of Jeremiah:

“…they are foolish, for they do not know the way of YHWH, the requirements of their God. So I will go to the leaders and speak to them; surely they know the way of YHWH, the requirements of their God. But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds.”
(Jeremiah 5:4-5; see also Jeremiah 2:20)

Here we find that the “yoke” which brings rest is the yoke which was being rejected. The yoke of Torah. Now lets look again at Yeshua’s saying:

“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my load is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30)

The yoke that Messiah asks us to take on ourselves, the yoke that will give us rest for our souls is the Torah. The Torah is freedom from the bondage of Torah-lessness. The freedom of Torah is freedom from the bondage to sin that results without Torah. Without Torah there is no true freedom, only bondage. True liberty does not include a license to sin (Romans 3:8; 6:1-2, 15)

 

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