As I read this Torah portion, I am drawn to one particular sentiment in the first two verses of this passage. Verse 12 begins with Elohim using the word “if” as a noun- which denotes that one must meet the following condition in order to receive the consequence. In no uncertain terms does our Abba say, “If you hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them…”
His response to the obedience of the commands begins with verse 13 stating, “He will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee…”
It would almost seem that the love of our father is conditional. Wow! I thought that our Abba loved us unconditionally- and He does, by the way. But the mystery lies within the affection demonstrated by that love and not within the existence of the love He has for us in itself.
I love my children unconditionally. They do not have to do a single thing right or wrong to earn that love. One only needs to look at the love of a mother or father with a child in prison to recognize that love extends beyond the actions that put their child there. The love for my children will always be there. Yet it is when they obey me or do something pleasing that my love for them is expressed in a more profound way.
Don’t get me wrong. There are many many many times I have “loved” on my children simply because they were sitting next to me and the heart of a father just did what it naturally does. But, when I have expressed a desire or a rule or a task and they responded in accordance to my wishes, then the love that I already had for them is, in turn, rewarded with a demonstration of my appreciation for their obedience.
It is the same with our Good Abba. He loves us beyond our imaginations and even expresses this love on so many occasions undeservedly. But, let’s be clear; It is when we act in obedience to His law and commands that that love is expressed in a manifold way. His demonstration of that unconditional love is rewarded when we meet the conditions of the reward. Not the love itself, it is the love already there being rewarded by our obedience.
So, let us receive the unconditional love of the father without question. Then, let us please Him by following His Torah. Then we shall know His love expressed in manifold blessings and rewards of His goodness! Amen!