As I have started to write some of the things I have found, particularly regarding the commandments of God (lately the dietary things), I note that there is a sort of generalized resistance. I understand it. In fact, I have offered many of the same arguments internally as I have walked down this road. I grew up with the same general teaching of Christianity that many of you did. The theological arguments about the “cancellation of the law” are not new to me; they are within my upbringing and years of study. But there are always questions to be asked and when the answers are different than we expect, we should be willing to dig deeper.
I could honestly take this post in about ten different directions, but I want to focus so I have decided to present an interesting concept that came to me during the last session of the HaYesod (the Foundation) class I recently took from First Fruits of Zion. It involves a prophetic passage from Zechariah 8. Let’s look at the verses:
This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, 21 and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the LORD and seek the LORD Almighty. I myself am going.’ 22 And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him.”23 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’ ”
It is the last verse that I would like to discuss further. The idea of ten men taking hold of one Jew is a symbolic picture. Since there are obviously more than 10 nations or languages (and there were in Zechariah’s day as well), this is an image to represent a group from all nations collectively. The number 10 is significant because it represents the number of men needed to form a minyan or congregation in Hebrew. Thus we can see that a “congregation of the nations” is spoken of here. Be patient and we will tie the images together in a moment.
These people will take hold of “one Jew.” Personally, I always took this verse a little more literally(not completely so), so I had this picture of groups of Gentiles gathered around individual Jews begging to follow them to Jerusalem or something. If there is “one Jew” that men from every nation would want to grab hold of, who do you think that would be? If you said Yeshua, or Jesus, go to the front of the class. This part of the prophecy is already a little clearer. We see men from all nations coming to Jesus even today, but there is still more to see.
These people take hold of the “hem of his robe.” This word in Hebrew is used for the corners of the garment, and I want to point out something very interesting about this. Let me give a couple of verses to help this picture.
Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear. -Deuteronomy 22:12
“Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. 39And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. 40So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. -Numbers 15:38-39
The word “corners” in these verses is the same Hebrew word used in Zechariah 8:23. The corners of Jewish man’s robe would have the tassels (Hebrew tzitzit), to stand for the commandments of God. It is these that the men of the nations are to grab firm hold of on the person of Yeshua (Jesus).
This is all of the commandments of God. As it turns out, Jesus said something that makes this verse so meaningful to you and I:
21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”22Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
Let me make this abundantly clear. These commandments aren’t about salvation. You cannot be saved by doing them. They are about love. Do you love Jesus enough to take hold of the corner of His garment (the commandments)? Will you follow Him wherever He goes? Because He walks in the Ways of God and the path of Torah, God’s instructions.