Keeping & Doing the Commandments of God
“And you shall guard My commands and do them. I am יהוה. ~ Leviticus 22:31 (ISR98)
Most bible translations do not use the word “guard” in this verse. Instead, it is often translated as “to keep”. If we look up the Hebrew in this passage we see the word, “shamar” (שָׁמַר). The overall translation in the Hebrew lexicon for H8104 is – to keep, guard, observe, give heed. Further investigation illustrates an even better picture of what it means to keep, or to guard something; a primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to.
Shepherds would often build a hedge of thorns around their flocks as a pin to keep predators out and to protect the young. In our modern world, we see protected areas with high fences and barbed wire all along the top.
We are instructed by our Creator to shamar – to guard – His instructions; Torah. This should illustrate the importance of the Torah and why we should guard them; not allowing them to be twisted.
When we’re first confronted with the Torah our first thought is usually something about legalism or bondage. What is legalism but understanding and knowing the Law? Would any of us use the term legalistic to our lawyer if they were helping to defend us. Or even calling a lawyer legalistic if they are prosecuting a murderer? They know the Law, they practice it and uphold it. This should not be seen in a negative light. As for bondage:
“I am יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery. ~ Exodus 20:2 (ISR98)
Would our creator take us ‘out of the house of slavery’ only to put us under additional slavery? Not in the since that we picture slavery, no. But, we are called to be slaves to Messiah as even Sha’ul (Paul) calls himself as such.
Looking at the word for “do” we find the Hebrew word “asah” (עָשָׂה). This is translated very literally to – to do, fashion, accomplish, make – in the broadest sense and widest application (as follows): —accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, bruise, be busy. A lot of pictures can be illustrated here but let’s focus on something I found interesting: bruise.
Our English thesaurus gives us a really nice picture of what a bruise is, simply a mark. How does this apply to doing the commandments?
The Hebrew word closest to “mark” is H226 owth (אוֹת) – sign, signal, a distinguishing mark. But we don’t stop there! The root of this word is H225 uwth (אוֹת) – to consent, agree. Amazing isn’t it? There are so many verses that discuss signs and marks in Torah.
We can conclude now that by doing His Torah; the instructions of our Creator, we are willingly consenting or agreeing to also guard them or place a hedge of protection around them. This one verse in Leviticus can now be read as:
And you shall protect, with a hedge of thorns, My commands and you consent; agree, to do them and they are to be a sign, a mark.
Yeshua answered him, “If anyone loves Me, he shall guard My Word. And My Father shall love him, and We shall come to him and make Our stay with him. “He who does not love Me does not guard My Words. And the Word which you hear is not Mine but of the Father Who sent Me. ~ John 14:23-24
We pray this teaching will be a blessing for you. Shalom.