We’d like to believe that God loves us, and in fact, the Torah says that God loves us. But if what we do doesn’t really count, and if whether we follow his commandments and Mitzvahs or not doesn’t really matter to him that much, then what does it mean that he loves us?
You can’t really have love without vulnerability. If what I do can’t hurt you then you can’t love me. If I say I love you very much, but if you’re not interested in me then I don’t care, or, I love you very much but if you don’t play along with what I want then that’s okay because I I don’t need you, then that’s not love, it’s manipulation. It’s like saying love me and you’ll benefit, but if you don’t only you lose, that’s not love. If it doesn’t hurt me, if I don’t need your participation, if I don’t need your relationship with you, then I can’t claim to love you.
Without recognizing that God has an investment in his creation, we can’t say he loves us. Obviously, he created the world for a purpose, and that purpose needs to be realized. It’s not like “yeah I had a purpose, but if it doesn’t work out it’s also good.” God creating the world for a reason means he’s got an investment, which means that it matters to him. He cares, he needs to have it a certain way so that whether we choose to do it or choose not to do it makes a huge difference. We can hurt him. That’s why when he says he loves us it’s real love, because you can only love that which could love you back or might hate you back. If you can’t afford to love someone who might hate you back it’s not real love.