Let’s look at the word ‘do’ in the Greek.
That word is poieo, pronounced poy-eh’-o apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do (in a very wide application, more or less direct):–abide, + agree, appoint, X avenge, + band together, be, bear, + bewray, bring (forth), cast out, cause, commit, + content, continue, deal, + without any delay, (would) do(-ing), execute, exercise, fulfil, gain, give, have, hold, X journeying, keep, + lay wait, + lighten the ship, make, X mean, + none of these things move me, observe, ordain, perform, provide, + have purged, purpose, put, + raising up, X secure, shew, X shoot out, spend, take, tarry, + transgress the law, work, yield.
Isaiah 1:10 – 14 ¶ Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before Me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread My courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto Me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hateth: they are a trouble unto Me; I am weary to bear them.
Yahwey spoke through the prophet Isaiah that He wanted these wicked people to give ear to His Torah. Their offerings (sacrifices) were in vain and just as wicked as the sin filled cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the beginning of chapter one, Yahwey is mourning over the predicament of Israel. He says He has done so much for the children of Israel, and that even He brought them up. Yet they were a sin filled nation, laden with iniquity. It doesn’t make any sense that Yahwey would say that their offerings were in vain as if they were no longer commanded. Isn’t that what He required of them?
Yahwey had brought them out of slavery to their captors in Egypt and gave them His Torah, His Teachings. He gave Moses very intricate details as to how He wanted His people to serve Him. In verse three, Yahwey spoke of how the donkey knew his Master and the ass knew His crib but for some reason, the people of Israel continued to ignore their one true Master, Yahwey. They still turned away from Him and continued to rebel against Him.
Their plight because of their rebellion was horrific. The countryside where they lived had been reduced and deposed to rubble because of war and the cities were burning as a result of these wars. They and their land were being pillaged and devoured by strangers, all because they had turned away from Yahwey. This sounds much like the future described in Revelation doesn’t it?
They had been treading His courts. Treading means to walk abusively.
It wasn’t just the people, but the priests were doing evil as well in His sight. It wasn’t that they were lacking in what they were commanded to do because they were commanded to offer sacrifices during the assemblies, on the new moon and the Sabbath. (Verse 13)
So what was the problem? They were just not ‘doing it’ with true repentance in their hearts for all their sin, with faith in His promises. They did not offer Him the same hearty love that He offers all mankind. Their devotion in serving Him in the way that He required was not sincere. They were offering only a dead carcass instead of a living sacrifice They were not conforming to the values that are found in Torah.
This is basically the same thing that the Pharisees asked Yahushua in Matthew 22:23: ¶ And when He was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto Him as He was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? This is why He went on to discuss the parable about the man and his two sons working in the vineyard.
The father called them to work in his vineyard and the first one said no and the second son said that he would and never did. The first son later repented and did go to work. The first son later made a choice to listen and heed the word of His father while the second son said that he would work in the vineyard and never did anything worthy of producing new fruit. This is a sample to us that when we are called into service by our Abba, we must first repent for our lack of giving ear to His word and then get busy in the vineyard.
The vineyard is a type and shadow of our own lives, surrendering our lives to the Vineyard Owner, Who then prunes and cleanses us so that we are able to produce more fruit that is worthy.
This is exactly why Yahwey went on to speak through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, the following words: Isaiah 1:15-20 ~ And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
To sacrifice means to give up. In order to sacrifice, we must relieve ourselves of ourselves and submit to Him being the ruler and leader of our life. He does this through the Spirit. When we make a sacrifice to Yahwey, we are just returning to Him what was His in the first place. I am not saying that sacrifices are not important, because they are. However, sacrifices only represent that we acknowledge Him and trust Him and this is the way in which He commanded that His people serve Him.
Obedience, however; is something different.
When most people think of the word obey, they think of slavery or perhaps something negative or evil. Obeying Yahwey isn’t wrong. If it were, why is it so oftend spoken of, like when Yahushua said, If ye love Me, keep My commandments. ~ John 14:15 If He didn’t think that man was able to keep the commandments, why would He say this? Was He just toying with man? Just because one does not choose to obey, doesn’t mean that it cannot be done.
The definition of obey is as follows: 1. To give ear to; to execute the commands of; to yield submission to; to comply with the orders of; 2. To submit to the authority of; to be ruled by; 3. To yield to the impulse, power, or operation of; as, a ship obeys her helm.
Perhaps this is why Yahwey say’s, “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken.” Heaven and earth have often been used as a witness to what Yahwey speaks. If we remember correctly, in the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth, before He even spoke a word.
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Deuteronomy 31:28 Gather unto Me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.
Deuteronomy 4:26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.
We say we are willing to follow the word of Yahwey, as long as it does not upset our comfort level. However, we need to recognize a simple fact. The word of the God of Israel ‘is’ the word of the God of Israel, and we must be consistent in that.
It isn’t our word and it surely isn’t anything that we should be in rebellion too when we know that His word is healing to our ailing bodies. The act of submission is just not something that we can get away from nor should we run from it either. When we are fully submitted to Yahwey, we do not control our destiny, He does.
We have to trust Him. Our life is literally in His hands. This means relinquishing all power, knowing that His will supersedes that of our own. We are bound by His promises if we expect to receive all that He offers us; just as He is bound to keep His promise to those who obey Him and receive His blessings. In the same token, we are to be committed to preaching, teaching, learning, understanding and internalizing the word of the God of Israel.
These are not things that are optional or debatable. These are things that Yahwey has commanded us to obey. When we view these things as sacrifices, often we view them as a means to gain something in return. We love Him and obey Him, simply because He first loved us. Once we can wrap our brains around this fact, we begin to see things so much differently.
We see the truth in that He chose us rather than us choosing Him. We only respond to His calling.
He is the One Whom has chosen us and when we trust in Him, we are also trusting in His love.
The people of Israel did not fully comprehend Yahwey’s instruction, His teachings. They thought that by their doing what they were called to do, that they would somehow gain His obligement just because they gave their sacrifices. The minimum of the law is what they thought that they were required to do, if even that, would somehow show their holiness and righteousness.
We must know His love toward us so that we can respond to His love. No amount of us doing His commandments or offering our lives as a living sacrifice is going to make any difference if we do not do these by faith, because we love Him and want to please Him.
Yahwey didn’t bring them out of slavery and bondage just to make them slaves and in bondage to His Torah.
Sometimes I think that it is completely the opposite, in that we should make His word slave to us and bend our will towards obedience. This is how we honor Him by keeping and ‘doing’ His commandments, because we love Him. We do not do what Yahwey commands, sacrificing our own will to do as we please but to please Him by our faithful trusting that He knows what is best for us.
We need to be obedient as we work in the vineyard of our master, paying due diligence to the One who has given so much for us, providing us breath and equipping us with His Spirit to do so. Obedience ‘Is’ Better Than Sacrifice. I consider this a promise because it relates to life eternal.
We just cannot enter through the gates of the city unless we are ‘doing‘ what is commanded of us. Exercising, preforming on a daily basis, purging out those things that are not His will, working out our own salvation with fear and trembling are all part of the ‘doing’ of His commandments. Even the obedience to present our bodies as a living sacrifice is our reasonable service, holy, acceptable into Elohim, all by the compassion of Yahwey Whom has given us His Spirit to guide us. We are indeed blessed.
And what does Isaiah say later on? “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” ~ Isaiah 5:20-21 What man calls evil, Yahwey planned for our good.
Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Romans 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
1st Timothy 1:8-11 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
What good is a sacrifice if we do not obey the word of Yahwey? If we are willing and obedient we shall eat of the good of the land, beyond the gates of the city.