Article submitted by Chaz L.
Why would I say that? “Of course He loves me and His Church just as much as them,” you say. I agree with you. Like any loving parent, YHWH loves all His children equally, not based on merit, not based on looks, not based on anything other than being born. And like any loving parent, He gives us guidelines for how to live our lives, instructions for what to avoid for our own good, rules to live by. Hebrews 12:7-9 reminds us that
“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?”
So IF Father YHWH gave his Jewish followers commandments as rules to live by as a loving Father, and IF we as non-Jewish believers don’t follow these same commandments, THEN does the Father love us?
Of course He does!
Now I’m not by any means saying we have to follow His rules to be saved. The Law, the Torah, the loving Instructions of our Father have a purpose, but it’s not to bring salvation. Think of the history of the Exodus. First, the Israelites were under bondage in Egypt (the world system, or sin itself). Then YHWH saved them with the first Passover (the blood of a spotless lamb covering them). Then they pass through the Red Sea (baptism of water). Finally, after a trip through the wilderness, He entered into Covenant with his Bride, giving them Torah/Instructions. The model we are given is: Love comes before Salvation, Salvation comes before Covenant.
As with any covenant, there were rules for both sides. Yah said IF you, Israel, live by my rules, THEN there will be blessings. IF you do not, THEN there will be curses. Remember that both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms were idolatrous and then taken into captivity. Only the Southern Kingdom of Judah, the Jews, repented and returned to His covenant.
By the time Yeshua was born, the Jews had insulated themselves as much as possible from the world, so as not to be “contaminated.” The Northern Kingdom was scattered and out of covenant, but many of them still lived in the countries surrounding Judea, living as gentiles. The mystery the Jews could not figure out was how is the Father going to bring the Northern Kingdom back into Covenant? The Prophets told how the Father had divorced them because of their idolatry and unrepentance, but that the Messiah was going to bring the two Houses back together as one stick in His hand. But how to do it, because Torah says that if a man divorces his wife and she marries another, the original husband cannot remarry her even if she repents and returns to him. A just God lives by His own rules.
Because Yeshua died on the cross, He could then bring the Northern Kingdom back into covenant/marriage. Talk about Good News! Thus the question to Yeshua of Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel? in Acts 1:6. They remembered that Yeshua had said that He had only come for the lost sheep of Israel, so they assumed that He was about to do that. They did not realize this one thing: that He was to come back on the Day of the Lord to fulfill the fall Feasts, just as his death, burial, resurrection, and giving of the Holy Spirit fulfilled the spring Feasts.
Instead, He commissioned them to go out and make disciples of the whole world. Look at how many lost sheep they saved in the book of Acts. The Northern Kingdom was hungry for Covenant with the Father again. They were the Prodigal Son of the parable.
Now to return to our original question: does Father YHWH love us if we are not a part of the Southern Kingdom of Judah? Yes, He loves us and He desperately wants us to be in Covenant with Him. The Good News for us (and the lost Northern Kingdom), is that by believing that Yeshua died to save us, we are grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel! And after being grafted in, we are then expected to live by His rules, no longer by the rules of the world. And there true freedom lies!