While tôrāh (H8451) speaks of God’s Word in general, it is also used to refer specifically to the Law God gave to Israel at Sinai—the Mosaic Law, with all its ceremonies, sacrifices, and ordinances. Through Moses, and in the minutest detail, God gave Israel 613 commands that covered every area of life—moral, civil, and ceremonial.
First, there was the Ten Commandments, the Moral Law, the Decalogue, “ten words” (Exo_20:1-17), followed by the judgments, directing the social and civil life of Israel (Exo_21:1 to Exo_24:11), and concluding with the ordinances (Exo_24:12 to Exo_31:18), dictating the religious life of Israel. What is also significant is that it was necessary that they keep all that Law. To “keep the whole law,” in fact, “and yet offend in one point” meant they were guilty of breaking all 613 laws (Jas_2:10, from Deu_27:26).
We will return to the latter two aspects of the Law tomorrow, but we note today that this Moral Law was written in the hearts of men everywhere (Rom_2:15). This demonstrates that men know in their heart (i.e., by their mind and conscience) not to lie, steal, murder, or violate the other moral commands. Again, such moral law is found in legal codes of nations throughout history.
These moral laws (except for keeping the Sabbath, which was replaced by the Lord’s Day, March 20–21) are also found restated several times in the NT: having no other gods (Exo_20:3; Deu_5:7; Act_5:29); making no idols or images (Exo_20:4-6; Deu_5:8-10; Act_17:29-31; 1Co_8:4-6; 1Co_10:14; Col_3:5; 1Jn_5:21); not profaning God’s name (Exo_20:7; Deu_5:11; Jas_5:12); honoring one’s father and mother (Exo_20:12; Deu_5:16; Eph_6:1-3; Col_3:20); not murdering (Exo_20:13; Deu_5:17; Rom_13:9-10; Jas_2:11); not committing adultery (Exo_20:14; Deu_5:19; Rom_13:9-10; 1Co_6:9; Heb_13:4; Jas_2:11); not stealing (Exo_20:15; Deu_5:19; Rom_13:9-10; Eph_4:28); not lying (Exo_20:16; Deu_5:20; Eph_4:25; Eph_4:31; Col_3:9; Tit_3:2); not coveting (Exo_20:17; Deu_5:21; Rom_7:7; Rom_13:9; Eph_5:3-5; Heb_13:5Jas_4:1-3).
Let us rejoice in and obey God’s Law.
Scriptures for Study: Read the many verses listed in today’s study and apply them to your own living.