Considering blamelessness


you-may-be-blameless2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

1Th 5:23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

To understand the fullness of what it means to be blameless, we have to go back to the beginning. Noah was described as “blameless,” and God instructed Abraham to “be blameless,” and Moses commanded the children of Israel to “be blameless.”

Gen 6:9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless [tameem] in his generation. Noah walked with God.

Gen 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless [tameem], Gen 17:2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Gen 17:3 Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, Gen 17:4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.

Deut. 18:13 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.

The Hebrew word is tameem [pronounced taw-MEEM], which Strong’s Concordance defines as without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely, sound, without spot, undefiled, upright. Brown, Driver, Briggs Lexicon adds: whole, entire, healthful, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity, and what is complete or entirely in accord with truth and fact.

Blameless Noah “walked with God” and “did all that God commanded him” (Gen. 6:9,22, 7:5)  Regarding Abraham, God told Isaac that he would bless him because Abraham walked in obedience to His instructions for righteousness:

Gen 26:2  And the LORD appeared to [Isaac] and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you.  Gen 26:3  Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you…Gen 26:5  because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Gen 26:12  And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The LORD blessed him,  Gen 26:13  and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy.

We should note that neither Noah nor Abraham were sinless. Being tameem does not mean that one never sins. Rather, it means that one knows what to do with his sin, as we can see from King David’s example, the man after God’s own heart, in Psalm 51.

Most often translated as “spotless,” or “without blemish”, tameem is also the term used to describe the standard for the lambs that were to be chosen at the first Passover in Egypt, a prophetic picture of Jesus/Yeshua our Passover Lamb.

Exo 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish [tameem], a male a year old… Exo 12:6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. Exo 12:7 “Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.

This term, tameem, is also the standard for every animal sacrifice that was to be brought to the tabernacle in the wilderness and later to the Temple in Jerusalem. Understanding this enables us to discern the fullness of Paul’s exhortation for believers to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Rom. 12:1)

The books of Psalms and Proverbs are filled with the Hebrew word tameem. Here are a few examples:

Psa. 101:6 I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless [tameem] shall minister to me.

Psa. 119:80 May my heart be blameless [tameem] in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame!

Prov. 11:20 Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD, but those of blameless [tawmeem] ways are his delight.

Pro 28:10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless [tameem] will have a goodly inheritance.
Paul urged the new congregations to be blameless and to search for leaders and deacons who are blameless.

1Th 5:23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 

Php_2:15 so that you may be blameless and innocent, God’s children without any faults among a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.

1Ti 3:2 (Tit. 1:7) A bishop then must be blameless

1Ti 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

Has the definition of being blameless changed?  If being blameless [tameem] in the Old Testament meant walking in the instructions of God, His statutes, ordinances, laws, and commandments, can we rightly assume, as many have, that Jesus/Yeshua and His disciples taught a different way to walk with Him?  And if that is true, would that make Him a “respecter of persons”?

Exo 12:49  There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”

Num 15:16  One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.”

Num 15:29  You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the people of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them.

Act_10:34  So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, [Peter quotes Deut. 1:17] Act 10:35  but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

Isaiah’s gospel makes essentially the same statement:

Isa 56:2  Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”  Isa 56:3  Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from his people…Isa 56:6  “And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant—Isa 56:7  these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”  Isa 56:8  The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”

“By the mouth of two or three witnesses shall a matter be established” declare Moses, Yeshua, and Paul (Deut. 19:15, Mat 18:16, 2 Corin. 13:1).

You have heard it said that it is impossible to keep the instructions of God and that Yeshua/Jesus did it for us, making it unnecessary for us to worry about it. But, is that what Scripture says?

Mat 4:4  But [Jesus] answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Deut. 30:9b “For the LORD will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers, Deu 30:10  when you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deu 30:11  “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.

Mat 11:29  “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.Mat 11:30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

1Jn 2:4  Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 1Jn 2:5  but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 1Jn 2:6  whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

 Abba, Yahweh, we cry out to YOU to help us to understand and realign our thoughts, word, and deeds so that we, too, can be blameless, in Yeshua’s name. Amen.