Since Valentine’s Day is this week, let’s do a quick study of God’s love.
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Jeremiah 31:3
The Bible has a lot to say about love. In fact, after God or Jesus, love probably has more entries in your concordance than anything else. Love originates with God. He defines it and He embodies it. Interestingly, the first mention of the word love is a father’s love. It comes in Genesis 22 referring to Abraham’s love for Isaac.
The Bible uses two unique words to try to describe God’s love for us.
In the Old Testament, writers chose the word hesed. It’s usually translated mercy, lovingkindness, steadfast love or unfailing love. Wrapped up in that one word is the idea that we, in our weakness, rest in the protection and blessing of God. He offers it with a generous unyielding commitment, not borne of obligation but of choice. It is God’s particular love for His chosen people. Psalm 136 uses hesed in its refrain.
In the New Testament, we see agape used. It’s the unshakeable, sacrificial love that prompts action. It’s the love that initiated the plan of salvation, the love that caused Jesus to die for us and the love the causes us to obey God and serve others in grace.
While you could easily devote your life to studying, meditating on and basking in the love of God, here are a few verses worth considering, but keep in mind, hesed, may be translated any number of ways.
What do these verses tell you about love? About God? About us? What actions does love prompt God to take? What should love lead us to do?