Two quick comments on the parsha:
1. "V'haya eikev tishme'un es hamishpatim ha'eileh..." Why the focus on mishpatim as opposed to chukim or other categories of mitzvos?
2. "V'shamar Hashem Elokecha lecha es habris v'es hachesed asher nishba l'avosecha." Why does the Torah need to reiterate that Hashem will keep his word and deliver all the chesed he promised to the Avos -- if Hashem makes a promise, surely he will keep it?!
The Torah is perhaps telling us that even if we obey Torah only because it makes sense to us -- when we see halacha as mishpat, just and fair laws -- but we lack the commitment to obey even when things don't make sense, still, Hashem will keep his word to deliver the full measure of reward he promised to the Avos who had a far superior level of emunah. No wonder the parsha opens with "V'haya," a term of simcha!
On a different note, in the comments of the post on matnas chinam from last week the important point was made that matnas chinam means recognizing that there is no quid pro quo with G-d. A person can't say that because he/she did good deed X, therefore G-d "owes" them one and they deserve some particular reward in return, so special treatment (and the abuse of so-called segulos in this regard goes without saying). Moshe Rabeinu did not demand entrance to Eretz Yisrael in "exchange" for all the good deeds he had done. So here's an amazing Ksav Sofer on this week's parsha that hits the same theme:
"...HaKeil hagadol hagibor v'hanora asher lo yisa panim v'lo yikach shochad." (10:17)
"Oseh mishpat yasom v'almanah v'oheiv ger...." (10:18)
What does it mean that G-d doesn't take bribes -- how could you even try to bribe G-d? And is Hashem defender only of the weak, the widow, the orphan, the convert? Doesn't Hashem do chessed for all of us?
Ksav Sofer writes that the pasuk is not talking about Hashem -- it's talking about people. It takes someone special to go out of his/her way to defend and protect those who everyone else in society ignores and has no pity for. You might think that someone like that deserves "protektziya," deserves to be treated a little differently than everyone else, deserves to have some failings overlooked, deserves to have some special requests granted. But, says the Ksav Sofer, Hashem doesn't do things that way. A good deed done in one area doesn't excuse a lapse in another -- G-d is not a horse-trader. The pasuk should be read as one sentence: "V'lo yokach shochad," Hashem does not take bribes, "Oseh mishpat yasom v'almanah," from those who do charity and good deeds for the widow and orphan. Charity and kindness are important, but they cannot be used as a means of "buying" off G-d to get a favor in return or to excuse lack of attention to other areas of Torah and mitzvos.