Being a father helps me to understand more about my relationship with God. Whether it’s understanding His love more through my love for my children or His desire for what is best for us, I have come to know God deeper through being a father. Especially, when it comes to the idea of obedience.
Our parasha this week is called “Mishpatim” which means “laws, agreements, judgements”. While there are a myriad of possible things to note, one thing grabbed my attention – the words naase vnishma – “We will do and we will hear” (Shemot/Exodues 24:7). These are the literal words that our people said to God as they received the Torah. In other words, “Everything that the LORD said we will listen to and obey!”
What is remarkable here is the people’s desire to obey.
What is remarkable here is the people’s desire to obey. The type of obedience that God desires is total and unconditional – an obedience that depends on trust in Him and not necessarily on understanding what He’s commanded us to do. This is a key to help us to understand God and what His will for us is. People often say, “I need to understand in order to do or to obey”. God says, “Obey and do and then you will understand.“ While this might sound a bit harsh, if we have a living relationship with God, then we can obey commands without understanding them, much like children obey the commands of their parents. Why? Because God is totally and completely trustworthy and the commands He gives are for our benefit! Think about Abraham’s unconditional devotion in being prepared to offer Isaac on the altar. It’s not a case of switching off our brains, but rather submitting our understanding to a much higher understanding – God’s.
Today we rely on knowledge and reason, rather than on obedience to a God who knows best.
Our people back then answered in a way that we today would no longer think to do. Today we rely on knowledge and reason, rather than on obedience to a God who knows best. As believers in Mes-siah, we have to make sure we are living according to the principle of naase vnisma. Yeshua Him-self states, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)
What about you? Are you willing to obey God if He asks you to do something you don’t understand, just like Abraham? Are you willing to put your trust in Messiah Yeshua, even if there’s many things about Him that you don’t understand yet?