After a teaching on Psalm 15, on who to be righteous, the christian speaker that followed, although praising the quality of the teaching, felt the need to state how such a teaching shows him how unworthy he is and how much he needs Jesus.
On a Facebook page, a christian states that the term “merit” doesn’t exist in the Jewish Bible (yes, he doesn’t know Hebrew), essentially showing his bent and presupposition that no man can be worthy, can be righteous, can be meritorious. The same mistake is perpetrated in his words, “a man is unable to keep the law” because somehow it demands God’s perfection.
Such a mindset amongst christians betrays their mutilated beliefs that prevents them from actually reading the Jewish Bible for what it says.
We have Deuteronomy 30, Psalm 19 and Psalm 119 which show that righteousness (not absolute perfection) according to the Torah is possible and within reach for any human being. But the question can be asked, how can the Torah righteousness be within reach if people make mistakes and commits sins?
This is the blinding mistake christians make in order to put down and insult God’s teachings within Torah in order to raise higher their devotion to a man, Jesus. I just want you to think about this:
How can it be claimed that the Torah demands perfection when the Torah itself provides remedy for mistakes, transgressions and sins?
I’ll ask this another way:
Is it sensible to say that Torah tells a person that they must do everything right and absolutely perfect on one hand (never making one mistake), and then on the other hand give a person instructions on how to get forgiveness for when mistakes occur?
Can I be blunt with you? Knowing what God’s Law says and knowing the message of the Jewish Bible, it is utterly ridiculous to make such a claim of everlasting unworthiness, that nobody can meet the Law’s “impossible” standards. Why? Because in those same teachings you learn beautiful lessons of forgiveness. Take for instance:
GOD, GOD, compassionate and generous, patient, and abundant in kindness and truth. He preserves kindness unto the thousandth generation. He forgives iniquity, transgression and sin …. (Shemot [Exodus] 34)
When you have places, more than just the quote above, in the Torah that tell you that God forgives, it shows you that the teachings of the Torah include a place for people to mess up and for them to receive forgiveness. Such a person is not cast off from God or becomes unworthy for one mistake, but can use the teachings of the Law itself to draw back to God.
So when a person talks about keeping the Law, it’s not just about getting every single command right. Being righteous is not about being absolutely perfect. It’s about using the teachings of God’s Law to draw close to his truth. It includes both the procedure for correct behaviour and also the procedure for correcting yourself if you go wrong. This is why even though there isn’t a righteous man who has never made a mistake (Qoheleth [Ecclesiastes] 7:20), it is rightly said that a righteous man falls seven times, but he gets back up (Mishlei [Proverbs] 24:16). And that man is still righteous even though he has fallen because he can use the very same principles in the Law to draw close to the righteousness God has given to man.
Don’t fall into the christian mistake of equating righteousness with perfection. Don’t fall into the erroneous teaching that no man can be worthy. Noah was righteous before God. Moses had enough merit to say to God “if I have found favour in your sight,” something that a wicked man can never say.
A person can be worthy.