God’s Love for Us Is Unwavering
Yael Eckstein | April 25, 2022
In this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been. He is to do the same for the tent of meeting, which is among them in the midst of their uncleanness.” — Leviticus 16:16
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Acharei Mot, which means “after the death,” from Leviticus 16:1—18:30.
As a mother who has raised four children from infancy, I remember well those sleepless nights and the constant changing of diapers. I’m sure most parents can relate! And what got me through those difficult first weeks and months was my unwavering commitment and love for that beautiful child I held in my arms. There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t have done for my child.
It’s so true. Even when the baby is a complete mess, a mother would never abandon him. The baby may stink, she may be dirty, and she may be screaming unpleasantly, but a mother will hold her child lovingly and clean her up. This is exactly how God relates to us. We can be completely soiled, and yet God will “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7).
God’s Love for Us Is Unwavering
We read about God’s unwavering love for us as His children in our verse today. In Leviticus 16 we read, “In this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy . . . He is to do the same for the tent of meeting, which is among them in the midst of their uncleanness.”
This verse teaches us that God’s glory rested in the midst of the people even when they were in a state of uncleanness, tainted by their sins. No matter what kind of mess the people would get themselves into, God would still be among them, waiting for them to reach out and repent.
One of the most tried and true methods of Satan — or in Hebrew, the yetzer hara, the evil inclination — is to first tempt a person to sin, and then once he or she sins, to thrust that person into depression. The yetzer hara gets us to sin and then makes us feel so bad about our sin that we think that we can never repair the damage that we have done. The ultimate goal of the yetzer hara is to distance us from God – or at least to make us believe that God has cast us off. However, as our Torah portion reveals, God is always by our side, even when we sin.
So many people fall into the spiritual pitfall of thinking that God is mad at them and that the relationship is permanently damaged. In these cases, we distance ourselves from God and not the other way around. While God may hold us accountable, and even punish us at times, God’s love for us is unwavering. He always loves us and is always close to us. In fact, God especially loves those that He holds accountable. As we read in Proverbs 3:12, “the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”
Don’t think even for a moment that God has abandoned you because of your sin. God is with us, loving us, and ready to cleanse us; it’s up to us to turn to Him. Like a loving Father, He’s there waiting.
What is the state of your relationship with God right now? Are you feeling distant from Him, or like a beloved child? Remember that God’s love for you will never waver!