“Love command” sounds a bit awkward, doesn’t it? We all know that nobody loves on command. So it’s pretty obvious that the body of law penned down in the Torah is not meant to be obeyed but lived and breathed. It is a gross misunderstanding to think of the Bible as a rule book. The Bible is a testimony of God’s love relationship with His creation, us humans included. It’s meant to encourage and invite all sons and daughters of Adam and Eve back to the Garden of Eden.
Leviticus 22:31-32 explains how we get back to the Garden:
“Keep my commands and follow them. I am the Lord. Do not profane my holy name, for I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the Lord, who made you holy”
The Torah was written to carve God’s personality traits into stone. All His character traits flow into one pool and come under a common denominator: holiness. Holiness has an interesting push-and-pull effect. Drawing close to the Lord we become sanctified and are integrated into His kingdom. We become holy because God is holy. His holiness actively transforms us. And yet, if we are unwilling to change, we will stay apart from the Lord. It is impossible to be with Him and not be transformed.
In the stellar core of the Sun, hydrogen nucleus is merged under incredible pressure to form helium nucleus. Some elements are destroyed in this process called “nuclear fusion” while some are reformed to become part of the Sun’s energy. Comparatively speaking, we either merge into God’s holiness becoming part of His kingdom or we keep separate and get busted. With this imagery in mind, I believe it is no accident that Moses encountered God in a burning bush – a bush that was burning, yet not consumed by fire. That’s what holiness is all about. It is the paradox of a life-altering (not destroying) fire.
Meanwhile, outside of Eden, death has profoundly damaged and altered our DNA. We can say that nature has become corrupted. All of creation is subject to that. However, this situation can be reversed.
We stopped trusting in the Lord back in the Garden when we could still taste and see His goodness in an unspoiled creation all around us. Now, outside the Garden, we are called to trust again. This is a circle that cannot be broken: because of lack of trust we once lost Eden. And by way of trust we’ll get reintroduced.