I recently spoke to a group of people when I made the statement: "G-D is G-D of love; He is also a G-D of judgment."
One of the hardest concepts for people to comprehend is that G-D can both love and judge at the exact same time. All of His judgments are made through love and, in His judgments, He is demonstrating His great love for his creation.
Once we begin to understand that G-D's judgments are a demonstration of His love, we begin to realize that a large portion of the Bible, both Tanakh (Old Testament) and Brit Chadasha (New Testament), was written to help us understand this concept.
For instance, Exodus 21:1 (TLV) says, "Now these are the ordinances which you will set before them."
The word translated "ordinances" in this text is the Hebrew word משפטים (Mishpatim), which means "judgments." When we keep the text in context, everything that follows Exodus 21:1 is a list of judgments that G-D lovingly put in place for Israel. G-D didn't provide this list of judgments because He wanted Israel to have Hebrew slavery (Ex 21:2-11), murders (Ex 21:12-14), children cursing their parents (Ex 21:15), assaults (Ex 21:18-21), infanticide (Ex 21:22-24), and the list goes on.
G-D didn't provide these laws because He was hoping these activities would become a normal part of Israel. We know this because His Word tells us that, if Israel listened to His voice and obeyed His commandments, they would be prosperous and blessed in every possible way.
So, these chapters in Exodus were written by G-D through Moses' hand in the form of "ifs," not "whens." "If" you fail to hear My voice and obey My commandments, then these are My judgments that you must obey.
For those of you who are a little averse to "Old Testament laws," simply turn in your Bible to Colossians 3:18-25 (as well as other places), and you will find similar instructions provided in the New Testament.
These were G-D's preestablished judgments provided for Israel so that if Israel fell into sin, there were clear instructions provided for them to obey to make sure they didn't add sin to sin. Every one of these preestablished judgments demonstrates G-D's love for His people.
If you are still having a little difficulty understanding the concept of these judgments, please stop for just a moment and remember that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Before man was formed from the earth, G-D provided a preestablished judgment for sin that would allow for man's restoration: the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua.
G-D didn't preordain that man must sin. G-D did, however, preordain the judgement for sin "if" man would sin. G-D loves you and me so much that He provided judgment even before man was created.
Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer, Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians and Galatians in Context.
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