Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, February 5, 2022
Growing in Love for God 2 by David Harwood
Please think about this word from the throne: the Great Command.
Mark 12:29 Yeshua answered, “The first is, ‘Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. 30 And you shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
What is the heart behind this? God doesn’t tell us to do something without a reason. Let’s inquire, “Why?” After all, we want to know God’s ways. He is willing to reveal what is beneath the surface, and our desire to know His heart is something He desires to satisfy.
Let’s continue to consider love towards God that pre-existed the material creation. We touched upon the pre-incarnate Messiah’s relationship to His Father. We stressed that He was loving, facing, the Father, before time, all the time.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
On the night He was betrayed, Yeshua revealed His awareness of His eternal past. He said:
John 17:24b for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
Apart from revelation we would never know of an eternal interaction within the Creator as Father and Son. This relationship is one of ultimate glory. And then, we are given another example of wholehearted love for God.
Until the creation of the material universe, of secondary glory, mutual love was exchanged between God and multitudes of myriads of angelic creatures. He loved them as a whole. He loved them individually.
His utter awareness of who they are, what they are, and His love for them, is amazing. Seeing Him, knowing His holiness-love, they reciprocated. God is seen by them, and all they comprehend they understand as worthy of their love.
There is a relational dynamic of angelic love for God that originated in a revelation of their majestic Creator’s love for them. One reason these personal-beings were created was to know Him, His loving knowledge of them, and thus be truly aware of themselves. Being aware of His awareness of them may, possibly, have been their first “waking” thought. What I mean is this: as soon as they were created they saw Him. His relational knowledge of them became the foundation of their view of themselves as He revealed Himself to them. This is still going on. They always see His face.
Here is a description of this dynamic:
Matthew 18:10b angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father in heaven.
They are privileged to behold and relate to Him. They were fashioned to be glorious beings (2 Peter 2:10; Jude 8 TLV). Their freely given love for Him is enjoyed by Him. As sons of God (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7 TLV) they bear a family resemblance to Him and their love for God resembles the Trinity’s love within and amongst God, Himself. Their love is joyfully appreciated by Him. This love is not only emotional, it is emotion motivated by successive degrees of revelation that was only, and is only, accessible to them.
And then, overlapping with the angelic, along came the material creation culminating in humanity. We are simultaneously amazing, and mere animated dust. We reveal the glory of His humility. Like the angels, we were purposely, creatively, successfully made to be the type of creature whose love for God is meaningful to God. As the material image of God we are able to relate to God analogously to the way the Creator interacts within Himself. This is comparable to, and compatible with, the way the angels relate to God.
Not only is our love significant to our Creator, but our love for Him has been invested with additional deep significance. As kohanim, humanity represents the material cosmos. By proxy, that which is material enters into a meaningful relationship to Him as we actively love Him. It is true that the earth has been given to the children of men (Psalm 115:16 TLV). We have the authority to stand for, and speak for, the earth to the One who gave it to us. We were created to be the type of creature in the material realm whose love for God is meaningful to God.
In the midst of all this glory, let’s bring to mind this simplicity: He sees Himself as our Father and loves being loved by us.
Consider this reason behind the foremost command given to all humanity.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 05-Feb-2022 4th of Adar I, 5782 Parashat Terumah
Ex 27:9-19 1 Ki 5:26-6:13 Heb 8:1-6