The Reward of a Mitzvah
Deut. 5:16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Deut. 22:6 If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young:
7But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days.
Here we read two commandments, a hefty one that takes a lifetime to fulfill, which is honoring your parents. It takes, blood, sweat, tears, emotions, money, TLC and much more to fulfill this mitzvah, but the reward is a pleasant long life. The second mitzvah is called the “least” among the commandments. This commandment takes little effort, just by walking up to the bird can scare it away, or perhaps at most a loud noise or a shooing away with the hand. In other words this mitzvah takes very little time and effort to perform.
“The equality of the reward is the point. The “lightest” of commandments is rewarded as much as the “weightiest” in order to teach us to treasure and observe all the commandments equally, since the reward of any mitzvah is incalculable.” – Rabbi Irving Greenberg
What did Yeshua the Messiah say about such things?
Matt. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Here is what Rabbi’s of old have said about keeping the commandments from small to great ones:
Perkei Avoit 2:1. Rabbi [Judah HaNassi]* would say: Which is the right path for man to choose for himself? Whatever is harmonious for the one who does it, and harmonious for mankind.
Be as careful with a minor mitzvah as with a major one, for you do not know the rewards of the mitzvot. Consider the cost of a mitzvah against its rewards, and the rewards of a transgression against its cost.
Contemplate three things, and you will not come to the hands of transgression: Know what is above from you: a seeing eye, a listening ear, and all your deeds being inscribed in a book.
Perkei Avot 4:2. Ben Azzai would say: Run to pursue a minor mitzvah, and flee from a transgression. For a mitzvah brings another mitzvah, and a transgression brings another transgression. For the reward of a mitzvah is a mitzvah, and the reward of transgression is transgression.
11. Rabbi Eliezer the son of Yaakov would say: He who fulfills one mitzvah, acquires for himself one angel-advocate; he who commits one transgression, acquires against himself one angel-accuser. Repentance and good deeds are as a shield against retribution.
YHWH said to Moses that the Commandments bring life, not death as many Christians falsely believe.
Deut. 32:46-47 And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law For it [is] not a vain thing for you; because it [is] your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong [your] days
Keeping a commandment has its rewards as well as punishments (Deut. 26-28) And just as one sin usually leads to another, one good deed usually leads to another. The path of life and death lay before us. Choose life.
Duet. 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Don’t keep the Torah as in a way to earn brownie points with G-d instead:
I Cor. 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Also consider the price of a Mitzvah:
Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
29Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
30Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
31Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
32Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
33So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Yes, a life of Torah Observance, walking in the footsteps of Moshiach is definitely worth it. One commentary of our focus text says:
“Disregard the cost in time or money in fulfilling a mitzvah. Likewise, do not be misled by the pleasure or profit of a sin. Instead, calculate the eternal reward for a mitzvah against the temporary loss it may cause; and the eternal cost of a sin against the temporary benefit it may bring.”
Yeshua Ha Moshiach said:
Matt. 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Prov. 10:2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.
Let us not become desensitized to the very real fact that we have Someone above us, a “watchful Eye” an “attentive Ear” always on us and that our every action is put in the Heavenly Record Books. Let us fear G-d in reverence yes, but let us also fear in hurting Him by our sinful actions. This will indeed, if done in all earnestness it will keep us from sin.