The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

God gives the first Biblical mention of love when He gives Abraham a task to perform. Genesis 22: Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”[1] The first mention of essential words of the Bible makes us sit up and notice. In what context does God introduce the concept of love?

Biblical Examples of Love

The Hebrew word translated as “love” is the word ahab. It can mean human love for another, human love for or to God, or God’s love toward man.[2] In the context of this week’s story, the love is of a father for a son. Love is an emotion found in the context of a relationship. But it also can be a deliberate choice based on the depth and duration of a relationship.

There are several nuances of love that the Bible brings to light:[3]

  • Clinging – Deuteronomy 11: 22 Be careful to obey all these commands I (God) am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him.[4]
  • Seeking the loved one – Psalm 40:16 But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”[5]
  • Faithfulness – Jeremiah 31:Long ago, the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love, I have drawn you to myself.[6]
  • Being knit soul to soul in desire and purpose – 1 Samuel 18:1After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David… And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David because he loved him as he loved himself. [7]

God’s Love and Our Response

Humans can understand the love between a parent and a child. Yet, we are to understand that God’s essence is love. 1 John 4: 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. [8] This verse speaks of a relationship with God. Unfortunately, sin breaks that relationship.

Yet, God provides a way for a restored relationship in His love. And just like our story, it requires a Father to sacrifice His Son. God provided a ram to be the substitute for Isaac. In contrast, God provided His Son to be the substitute for us and to pay the price for our sins.

John 3: 16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world but to save the world through him.[9] We need only to trust Jesus to forgive our sins and restore our relationship with God.

To hear more about the first Biblical mention of love, listen here:

[1,4-9 ] Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. 

[2] Strong, J. (1995). In Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship, H157.

[3] Carpenter, E. E., & Comfort, P. W. (2000). In Holman treasury of key Bible words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew words defined and explained (p. 120). Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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