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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

VaEtchanan 45-2

And I begged

Deuteronomy 4:5-40 

The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you. There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deut. 4:27-29 NIV

Who worships a stone?

In this section of the Torah the Eternal warns severely against false worship of any kind of image made by men. Since the Eternal is invisible and has no form, shape or body, it is forbidden to make any kind of picture that attempts to represent Him.

Pagan cultures, especially the Greco-roman, were plagued by different gods represented by images and icons made of stone or wood. When Christianity was formed in the IV century, it adopted and welcomed the cult to those images and just changed their names. One of the most revered images is the cross, whose origins go back to Babylon. In many countries, the cross itself is worshipped with expressions of reverence, kisses, flowers and candles.

The words of the Torah were fulfilled in the apostate Jews who have bowed down before such things. A Jew who wants to return to the Eternal will have to give up any kind of idolatrous practice related to images, statues, icons, crosses and other objects of worship.

A non-Jew who wishes to serve the living God will also have to give up all these things to stress the fact that the Eternal is Spirit not matter.

The Torah points out two elements that men use to create a false worship: wood and rock or stone. The cult to the cross is an example of the worship of a wooden object. Stone is also used to create representations of deities that are objects of worship.  

It's true that the Torah says that the stone that corrupt leaders of Israel rejected in its day was made a precious, chosen cornerstone placed in heaven by the Eternal (Isa. 28:16; Ps. 118:22-23; Matt. 21:42-45; Luke. 20:17-19; Acts 4:11; 1 Pt. 2:6-8; Rom. 9:33). But men have transformed that stone into an object of cult thus creating a kind of spiritual replacement theology in their concept of God.

The Hebrew word for stone is evenאבן. It has the letters aleph, bet and nun. The aleph represents the Eternal who is One. Letter bet represents the creation which is dual and the nun represents redemption as we've already mentioned. The Hebrew word formed by the two first letters aleph and betאב, av – means "father" and the word formed by the last two words bet and nunבן, ben – means son. In this way, we could interpret the meaning of the word even – stone – as the heavenly Father's action for the world's redemption through His earthly, created son.

However, the Eternal can't give birth nor reproduce or breed as biological creatures can, therefore we can't understand the word Son as someone born of him. As we've said before, we have to understand the word Son as an imitator, servant and representative (1 Cor. 4:17; 1 Pet. 5:13; Rev. 21:7). Each one of Solomon and Israel is called son of God in the Scriptures (1 Chron. 22:10; Ex. 4:22). Yeshua is the son of God par excellence, but that doesn't mean that he is a heavenly reproduction of the Invisible and Infinite One.

Now, the fact that Yeshua is an expression of the Eternal in human form, similar to the first man, Adam, yet superior, has given rise to the introduction of elements of idolatry in the perception of his being. This portion of the Torah shows an indication of this. To mix the heavenly Father with the earthly son, saying that the son is eternally divine or that he is God, sharing His essence is to create a stone – even, אב-בן (Av-Ben) – that becomes an object of idolatry.

The one who worships the son as he worships the Father is practicing a deceiving kind of idolatry. Honouring is not the same as worshipping. The one who honours an emissary, a representative, is honouring the one who sent him. But we are not talking about that now, but of the creation of a "stone" which has to be considered a form of idolatry. When someone says that the Son is the same as the Father, he has created a stone of idolatry.

May the Eternal who is good and understands that these things are difficult and that men can be easily deceived, have mercy of those who, believing that the Scriptures teach that a man is God in the flesh, worship him as if he were the Eternal himself.

The fact that many who practice this deceiving form of idolatry, in their ignorance and honesty in their hearts, receive answer to their prayers and salvation in their needs, does not confirm that their cult to the Father-Son stone, created in their minds, is correct. It only confirms that their hearts are sincere and that the Eternal is merciful with the ignorant ones. But the one who deepens in the Eternal's revelation in the Torah and realises this fact, will have to give up this deceiving form of idolatry. Before, we were ignorant and the Eternal helped us. But now, we are not ignorant anymore and we must leave behind the Father-Son-as-a-God cult and return to the Invisible Eternal Father who is not a man and cannot reproduce. If we seek Him with all our heart and all our soul, we will find Him.

Blessed be His name for that!


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