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13 To keep [be shomer] the commandments [mitzvot] of Yahweh, and his statutes [His chukkot], which I command thee this day for thy good?
THE EXCELLENCE OF THE LA W
"THE Law", said Paul, "is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good" (Rom. 7 : 12).
How truly he spoke, we have had ample reason to see. None can disagree with his verdict after the researches and discoveries which we have made thus far. We have seen the Law perform to perfection its wonderful work of educating Israel in the things of God. We have watched literal and symbolical ordinances alike make plain to them that the goal of their national existence was absolute "Holiness to the Lord".
As His Covenant People they were to regard themselves as His representatives on earth, letting their light so shine before men of other nations that these would see their good works and glorify the Lord in heaven. The things of the Spirit were to be their meditation all the day, and oust completely the things of the flesh.
Whatever they did was to be done heartily, as to the Lord, knowing that He beheld all their doings and delighted in their worship of Him in spirit and in truth.
....His choice of them had been made with the express purpose that they should honour those demands and be in fact, as well as in status, a holy and peculiar people. The function of the Law as a whole was to bring that momentous fact urgently home to them, constraining them so to live in purity and holiness that He could rightly and truly dwell among them, they being His People and He their God.
Yet the Law is no more! It has waxed old and long since vanished away. Why should so superlative a code have been abrogated to give place to something else? The question clamours for an answer. But we have not far to look to find it. It is within the Law itself, so much clearer still for us to behold than for those who lived under its jurisdiction, because we have learned of Christ.
Law and Grace Ch 12
15 Only [Yet] Yahweh had a delight in thy fathers [Avoteicha] to love them, and he chose their seed [zera] after them, even you above all people [kol ha'amim], as it is this day [yom hazeh].
16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin [arlat] of your heart [lev], and be no more stiffnecked.
Circumcision - The token of the covenant
"This," said God, "is My covenant which ye shall keep, between Me and thee and thy seed after thee: every man-child among you shall be circumcised; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt Me and you, Abraham."
The appointing of this token in their flesh was the establishment of the covenant with Abraham's seed in the time of Isaac and Jacob in their generations. When, therefore, Israelites behold the mark in their flesh it reminds them that they are "the children of the covenant which God made with their fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy Seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed" (Acts 3:25); that the land of Canaan, all of it, is promised to them for an everlasting possession; but that an everlasting possession in it can only be attained by belief of things promised in the covenant being counted to them for righteousness in the way of God's appointment.
... It is circumcision of the heart, of which circumcision of the flesh is but the sign of the circumcised heart of Abraham, that confers a title to the land and all its attributes. Before Israel can inherit the land for ever, and so be no more expelled by "the horns of the Gentiles," they must "circumcise the foreskin of their hearts, and be no more stiff-necked;" and "love the Lord (Jesus) their God with all their heart, and with all their soul, that they may live "
...while Moses exhorted them to circumcise the foreskin of their hearts, the Lord says that He will change their hearts Himself; not, however, by "the foolishness of preaching," for that has failed even by the mouth of apostles energized by the spirit: but by means in reserve which will astonish Israel and the world, and of which He has spoken at large in the holy Scriptures.
Elpis Israel 2.2.
He was not to boast in his physical circumcision. It was but a token of his Covenant status (which was enjoyed not on merit but only in the mercy of God) bringing with it an obligation to realize its spiritual meaning in the leading of a life befitting a member of the Covenant People, in which the desires of the flesh were to be consistently disowned.
Law and Grace Ch 3
17 For Yahweh your Elohim is [Elohei HaElohim], and Lord of lords [Adonei HaAdonim], a great El [HaEl HaGadol], a mighty [HaGibbor], and a terrible [v'HaNorah], which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward [shochad (bribe)]:
18 He doth execute the judgment [mishpat] of the fatherless [yatom] and widow [almanah], and loveth the stranger [ger], in giving him food [lechem] and raiment [simlah].
Kindness (Deut. 22 : 1-4), humaneness to both men and animals (Deut. 22: 6-7), chastity (Deut. 22: 13-21), generosity (Deut. 23 : 19; 24: 19-22) - these were the kind of virtues which befitted God's People. Cursed indeed were those who flouted them (Deut. 27 : 11-26). (It was as Moses said,
"And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good ?" (Deut. 10 : 12-13).
Israel therefore had no illusions as to what was meant when God declared,
"Ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people that ye should be mine" (Lev. 20 : 26).
And, though that divine wish seems to have been utterly frustrated by Israel's past record, yet fulfil itself it will nevertheless. Like all God's purposes, it will yet translate itself into fact. God's word will not return to Him void, but accomplish that which He pleases, and prosper in the thing whereto He sent it, when finally the time comes for the Deliverer to come out of Zion and turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
Law and Grace Ch 6