Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Do First, Understand Later

Exodus 10:7-8 So Moses wnet back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the L-rd had commanded him to speak.  The people all responded together, "We will do everything the L-rd has said."  So Moses brought their answer back to the L-rd.

The Israelite people, the people who G-d had called out of the darkness of slavery to Egypt (sin) did not hesitate to say, "Yes, L-rd."  They did not stop to contemplate, intellectualize, or try to understand all the words of the law.  They did not even ask, "why?".  They simply said, "Naase V'nishma - we will do first and afterwards understand." 

I was listening to a devotion this morning and the person sharing quoted an Oswald Chambers statement, "Simplicity is the secret to seeing things clearly."  In the course of this devotion the speaker gave an illustration of a parent teaching a child to look both ways before crossing the street because a small child doesn't yet understand the dangers of traffic and the reasons for looking both ways.  But once a child matures and grows and understands the danger and his own mortality he know longer looks both ways out of obedience but out of understanding. 

As I listened to this illustration I couldn't help but make the comparison to the state of mind of the Israelite children when Moses presented the L-rd's words to them and their response.  They were like the little child who obeyed first before he understood because the child first recognized the authority of the parent and understood the necessity of obedience and dependence.  They first obeyed because they recognized G-d's authoruty and in obedience to His authority they followed literally the words in His law recorded in Deuteronomy 6:4-8: write the commandments on their hearts, to teach them to their children, to talk about them all the time. 

So in accordance to the example and commandment set before us, every Shabbat we read a portion of the Torah, we discuss it with our children and with each other.  We learn more and understand more each and every Shabbat that we obey G-d and spend time in His Word.  And we are eternally grateful to our people for protecting and guarding the Torah these 6000 or so years so that we still have it today.

1 Corinthians 13:11-12 - When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

One day, L-rd willing, we will leave this temporary residence and spend eternity with our L-rd and Savior.  We will know fully then but for now, we are children feasting and growing on the Word left for us. 

If you want to know why we need to still keep and do the commandments the illustration of the little child and these verses should shed a little more light on the whys.....

But in spite of the evidence I have now with 20-20 hindsight.....I say

Na'ase V'nishma - Yes L-rd.....

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