2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. |
Moses convenes the whole congregation of the children of the Children of Israel who came out Egypt. He calls in the tribes' heads, the elders, the officers, all the men of Israel. Moses also includes the little ones, the wives, the sojourners, or strangers who live with Israel. Each human soul of the Sinaitic congregation is to stand alone before its Maker and be made personally responsible for the terms of the covenant (Deuteronomy (29: 10-12). The people are to understand the resultant blessings for obedience, and the retributions for disobedience. Moses' lecture betrays his insight into the future. It is as if he could predict Israel's apostasy, two exiles, and overall future spiritual condition.
Moses especially warns of the cynic, he who thinks he can ignore the covenant terms and get away with it. He says, Beware lest there be among you a man or woman or clan or tribe whose heart is turning away today from Hashem our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Beware lest there be among you a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit, one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, 'I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.' This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike. Hashem will not be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of Hashem and his jealousy will smoke against that man, and the curses written in this book will settle upon him, and Hashem will blot out his name from under heaven (Deuteronomy 29: 18-20). The Book of Hebrews alludes to this verse in, See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled (Hebrews 12: 15-16).
This idea flies in the face of those who comfort themselves with an erroneous idea of 'grace', of a 'grace' which through a clever perversion of the enemy becomes the gate for un-retributed licentious living, a 'grace' where a man says to himself, "I need not to fear sin; there is no condemnation for me; I am forgiven". The 'Son' who teaches this is certainly not the 'Son' of the Father who spoke the words in Deuteronomy 29: 10-12 (2 Thessalonians 2:3; John 3:16)!
'Grace' as implied in the Apostolic Scriptures is of a different nature. Paul, the Jewish apostle defines the Hebrew word, 'chesed' translated as 'grace' in English texts. He says, God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8). In other words, Grace is given to us that we may abound in every 'good work' which in the mouth of the apostle refers to 'every mitzvah', which in turn refers to 'every commandment'. Grace therefore is given to us that we may have the love, strength, and power to be obedient, not to be forgiven for being disobedient. There is a place in the Torah for making the proverbial slate clean, but this is not the idea of grace.
May His grace help us abound in those 'mitzvot' (commandments) which we fail the most in, those Messiah claimed to be the weightier matters of Torah such as love, mercy, humility, temperance, unity, and gratefulness.
Patrick Gabriel Lumbroso
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