Friday, July 23, 2004


When I study the Scripture, I attempt to keep away from speculating as much as possible. I know that this is difficult to do, since I come to the Scriptures with my own set of understands, and I am not always aware of the source of these understandings. That is one of the reasons why we need to read the Bible over and over again. It is by continually re-reading that our wrong assumptions and interpretations are challenged.

Last night I was discussing the big subject of "what is the purpose of life?" with a friend of mine. At some point he referred to God regularly spending time with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. I have heard references to this regularly. Preachers will mention how God used to walk with Adam and Eve in the garden in the cool of the day, etc. But the fact is the Bible only records one incident of this (Genesis 3:8), after Adam and Eve sinned.

The Genesis account provides us with no information as to how much time went by between God's putting them in the garden and when they sinned. It may have been a short time or a long time; we don't know. We may think it would be interesting to know, but if it would do us well to know this information, then God would have provided it in the Scriptures.

Therefore I don't think it is worthwhile or helpful to us to spend time and energy extrapolating meaning from silence. We would do much better to consider the things that have been revealed, rather than thinking about things we don't know anything about.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

My understanding of Torah

The word Torah means "direction." It is God's direction for life. While the five books of Moses are traditionally referred to as "The Torah," the Torah is actually all God's revelation, primarily and authoritatively contained in the Bible (both Old and New Covenant writings).

Torah is not about rules, but about the ways of God. It requires the wisdom of God (see the Book of Proverbs) to understand how to apply what God says to our lives.

That doesn't mean God has no rules - far from it! But his rules are his directions for successful living, not cold restrictions to prevent us from living well. Some of his directions are restrictive, but that is because we need to learn that not all potential activity is good for us. All God's directives are for our good and for our true freedom.