Thursday, October 15, 2020

Christian Political Theory (3) Torah

If you want a political theology you need to go back to the Torah in Exodus and Deuteronomy. If we want God’s political theology, we have to study his law, because that is where he sets it out clearly.

Unfortnately, there was a big problem, like most Christians, I needed a change in attitude to the Torah. I had read it, but I was quite ambivalent about it, because I assumed that Jesus had made it redundant. One time when I was reading Psalm 119, the penny dropped. I always understood it as applying to the whole of scripture, but I suddenly realised it was a Psalm in honour of God’s law.

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.
Your commands are always with me
and make me wiser than my enemies.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me (Psalm 119:57-102).
These verses stunned me. I wanted to be wise in the political space. This Psalm explained that I would only get wisdom if I loved God’s law.

I resolved that I would love God’s law. I understand the love is not a feeling, but a decision, so I decided I would love God’s law and look for the good in it. I put all the laws into a spreadsheet, so that I could sort them by topic and theme to see how they fitted together and when they applied.

I would seek for the precious insights it contains. I believed that everything that had been put in the Torah by the Holy Spirit for a purpose. If I found something, I did not like, I would ask the Holy Spirit to show me what he was saying when he put the passage in the Torah. Over a time, I began to understand God’s law in a totally different way. Loving it became natural. More important, the Holy Spirit gave me some amazing new insight.

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