God has had this problem since He created Adam and Eve. It is a problem that He cannot resolve unless He changes what humans are or humans learn to do it for Him. So, what is God’s problem?
It is getting people to love Him.
Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor explained the meaning of the ancient Hebrew word translated “love” in the May 2014 edition of our newsletter Discovering the Bible.
When we in the modern world hear the word “love,” we think of an emotion, but when we look to the Bible we see a different meaning. In the Hebrew Bible, the word for “love” is “AHAVAH.” The root of the word is “HAV”, which means “to give” – “to love is to give.” The Hebrew Scriptures have a strikingly pragmatic character. There, “love” includes “conscious acts done in behalf of the person who is loved.” So, “to love the Lord” and “loving your neighbor and yourself” involve “concrete acts.” This is what both the Jewish tradition and the Jewish Jesus teach. Real love is the guide as we walk through the darkness.”
What concrete actions of love can people do to demonstrate that they love God? The only thing a human can do “to love God” is “to love what God loves” – God loves people. God measures all actions involving people with His “TOV Standard.”
● Acts of love protect lives, preserve lives, make lives more functional, and increase the quality of life.
● Acts of love are also acts of TZEDAQAH – acts of loyalty to God and loyalty to God’s family (everyone created in His image).
● Acts of love increase SHALOM – “a social environment in which people’s lives are complete,
And, as Rabbi Leynor said, “Real love is the guide as we walk through the darkness.” Bookmark the BHC Vocabulary Page and make sure your Explorers Vocabulary is up to date. In closing I want to tell you what the opposite of AHAVAH is:
“It is indifference; unbiased impartial unconcern;
apathy demonstrated by an absence of emotional reactions.”
So, unless God changes what we are, it will be up to us to love Him by loving other people -- and teaching them how to love.
May SHALOM Increase in 2021,
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