In reference to Deuteronomy 33:2, the Talmud mentions rabbi Simeon (Raish) Ben Lakish who said that, “the Torah, given to Moses, was written with black fire upon white fire, sealed with fire, and swathed with bands of fire.”

The Jewish rabbis say that the “black fire” has traditionally been understood as the literal words on the pages. The “white fire” is God’s wisdom and meaning behind the literal words on the pages. The white space is the “mystery of God.”

So subjectively, the “white fire” can be things like the great traditions of old, commentaries, and debates throughout Jewish history.

However, objectively, the “white fire” is the realization that there are often paradoxes that we must be comfortable living in as believers. And we must use those opportunities to grow in faithfulness to our God who knows all. We do not have perfect understanding. We can’t! The white fire is how we wrestle with the mysterious complexities of the text.

We should not let go of the humility of “white fire” NOR the truth of the “black fire.” But instead, hold them both in our hearts and in our hands and let God’s power and love do the reconciling.

On the surface, that sounds postmodern. However, it is ancient wisdom. We have much to learn from our Jewish friends! After all, our Jewish Rabbi said that it is through the lens of love that the fulfillment of the law and the prophets is realized.

“Love love love.. all you preachers wanna talk about anymore is love. Not justice, not commands, not judgement…just love love love….”

Perhaps that’s because love is the final word. Love is the lens through which all else is seen. Not the world’s love, but the real, fulfilling, everlasting, unconditional kind of love. The mercy that triumphs over judgement. The greatest command. The restorative justice. The most beautiful, perplexing, and awe-inspiring thing about God is that He IS love.

God is unconditional love. God unconditionally loves the world. I am unconditionally loved by God. I am to unconditionally love who he unconditionally loves as he unconditionally loves. Nothing can separate us from his unconditional love. His unconditional love endures forever without end. Love wins. And Love gives us the vision to understand the will of God through Jesus the Christ. It is in a loving community that we best understand the heart of God and His intentions.

But how can that work when there is so much division, anger, pride, pain, and tribalism in our communities? Unity comes by the Spirit (Ephesians 4) NOT by perfect agreement, not by human effort, not by silencing those with different opinions, and not by insisting on your own ways. Unity comes when a family of diverse people put first things first and rely on the Spirit to move mountains and split seas when there SEEMS to be an impasse.

Theres a lot I don’t know about life… but I do know that God promised to make ALL things right, ALL things new, ALL things work out for good, to reconcile ALL things to Himself.

Either He will keep that promise or He won’t. If He doesn’t keep that promise He’s a liar and isn’t worthy to be called God.

If He does keep that promise, there is nothing He can’t do, there is no way too far, there is no hurt too painful, there is nothing worth comparing to the glory that is to come.

Either He keeps His promises or He doesn’t. I don’t know how or when or why. I don’t have those answers. But He sees the end from the beginning. He isn’t surprised by anything done to you or anything you do to others and He still says, “trust me, it’ll be worth it. You’ll know by and by. Meanwhile, do ALL things to encourage one another in the faith.” THAT is what “church” is supposed to be about.

But if your *main* motivation for following Jesus is waiting to receive whatever Heaven is, or trying to avoid receiving whatever Hell is later, you are missing the *primary* point and purpose of the Gospel (good news). Would you still follow Jesus if neither of those places existed? Your answer tells you a lot regarding your true motives for following and loving Jesus. But really, eternity starts NOW! You are in the kingdom NOW! Jesus came to give you a fulfilled and abundant life NOW! Sure, look forward to what is to come, but don’t sit and wait. There is work to do NOW! There are blessings to enjoy NOW! There is a family to love and encourage NOW! You might be missing out on receiving heaven today while you are separating yourself from others and waiting for tomorrow. – Jesse