The notion of God’s love for humanity is a common concept throughout the Bible. Notoriously, it appears in John 3.16 and guarantees “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” What does this kind of love consist of?
In Hebrew, the original language of the Bible, we find the answer.
The First and Great Commandment says:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6.5
But how does a person force the heart to feelthis love? This is impossible.
The truth is that biblical love is different from emotional love, which is vulgarly used among humanity and liberally expressed in music, poetry, movies, and TV shows.
The word “love” in the biblical Hebrew is “ahav.” This word has nothing to do with romantic love. Ahav, in its most basic level, means faithfulness. To love God means to be faithful to His Commandments. As they were led by the Holy Spirit, the writers of the Bible were not looking to transmit emotions when they wrote the sacred texts. Their minds did not focus on subjective feelings. Instead, they were concerned with objective actions.
Love had to be practical and involve a personal surrender, sacrifice, fidelity, commitment to a word of honor, dignity; this is, principles based on justice, mercy, and faith.
Love without justice is not love; Love without mercy is not love; Love without faith is not love either.