No commander, no command – the need for God in the Noahide commandments

A command without a commander is not really a command. A real command implies that an authority external to yourself has imposed a rule upon you. By recognizing the source of the authority of that rule and committing to following it, a relationship is created between you and the commander, a bond. This is shown by the fact that the Hebrew word for commandment implies connection.

Someone who rejects God may do good deeds. They may be blessed with natural consequences from those good deeds. The world is made a better place because of good deeds. They may avoid punishment if a Torah-observant­ court were in place. And because they do such good they may become more open to accepting the authority of God. But as long as they reject God, they are not keeping commandments as defined above. They are simply doing what they want based on their own desires.

Based on this then, there are some things that can be drawn from this. It is a good thing to encourage others to do good deeds even if they reject God. It improves the world and that person to at least be more open to God. Although that person may have no place in the future world to come as they have established no connection, no bond, to that which is forever – God – there is still much good God has given in this life for anyone to enjoy. And there is always a chance they will embrace God’s truth. Just do your part with good well-placed encouraging words and are a good example.

But it is one thing to be a noahide. It is another thing to know that God created everything, including you, to know that He has a will and a purpose for everyone, that we can connect with Him by doing what He says because He said it.

Revere and respect God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of a human.


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