Sunday, March 20, 2022

Hebrew Word Study: Ahaveth ‘Olam ‘Ahavethik, Love everlasting Love

ahaveth ‘olam ‘ahavethik = Love everlasting Love

How many of you have a pet, a dog, a cat, a bird, or some lovely creature God created? Many, many of us do. I always had dogs and cats growing up. We even briefly had ferrets, gerbils, and even a turtle for a while.

Animals are wonderful aren’t they? I really love animals. My life would be incomplete without the fellowship of animals. And that is how God made us, to love and care for animals.

We love our animals. They love us back. It’s a constant flow, love given, love received.

It’s similar, though deeper, with our family members, parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, close friends, a deep love, in which we give love, and receive love from them. Back and forth, back and forth it goes. Give love, receive love.

What is it exactly, this thing we call love? A feeling, a commitment, a desire, a calling, a joy, a true thing, a right thing.

So it is. That brings us to our Hebrew phrase for today, from Jeremiah 31:3.

ahaveth ‘olam ‘ahavethik = Love everlasting Love

“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3

Our context is found within the pages of again, the weeping prophet’s words from the Lord, the prophet Jeremiah, who saw the nation of Israel destroyed and dragged into the Babylonian captivity.

Jeremiah’s book contains some of the harshest judgments against the wayward nation of Israel. Yet we find nestled within the pages of Jeremiah, in chapter 31, a hopeful future, despair turned into joy.

“I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.”

2 This is what the Lord says: “The people who survive the sword
will find favor in the wilderness; I will come to give rest to Israel.”

Then in verse 3 Jeremiah seems to be visiting a dream that he had of God’s love.

In fact if you jump down to verse 26 it says, “26 At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me.”

So really Jeremiah is detailing a dream from God he had while he was asleep. And in this dream he perceived the love eternal love of God. The 
ahaveth ‘olam ‘ahavethik of God. But how does one perceive eternal love in a dream or vision? How is that possible?

Jewish scholars have tried to understand how various deep truths of God can be perceived by prophets and priests in the scriptures. And the conclusion some Jewish scholars drew was that perhaps in these experiences the biblical prophets were experiencing all five senses rolled into one panoramic depiction of God’s truth.

All senses, brought together into perfect, eternal sense, limitless, infinite in all directions. Then the challenge for the prophet must be, to take that infinite view, and translate it into words us finite beings can understand.

Love can be something difficult to understand, don’t you think? We’ve each been hurt in this world in different ways, which damage our ability to give and receive love. Perhaps our parents neglected us. A lover betrayed our trust. We were bullied in school. People we thought were friends used us. Enemies defeated us. Dark times seemed to surround us. And we suffer the inability to receive love and give love effectively. These are wounds only God himself can redeem and repair. Turn to Him. God, heal my broken heart. My heart, become so rock hardened, it seems impassable. No one can enter, nothing can leave. Only God can change that hard heart into softness, freshness, with wide hallways to enter in, and to pour out.

Let me see if I can help you perceive what true love is.

Five senses… touch, see, hear, taste, smell.

Touch – A deep long hug with a dear friend or family member. Warm embrace

Sight – A beautiful sunset, a star filled sky, glorious green valley, sunny day

Hear- the whispered words of a lover, I love you.

Taste- the sweet taste of a kiss from your lover, or the sweet taste of fresh fruit, or honey.

Smell- the smell of autumn, or, the smell of a fresh flowers, the smell of Christmas tree.

The feeling of being completely loved, in all these ways, eternally, in both directions forever. God’s love, eternal love.

ahaveth ‘olam ‘ahavethik

The famous Christian poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, born in 1806, wrote, “You were made perfectly to be loved and surely I have loved you in the idea of you my whole life long.” -Elizabeth Barrett Browning

You were made in the image of God, perfectly, to be loved, and to receive love from God.

And I imagine even before God crafted your soul and placed you into the body you have now, while still inside the womb of your mother, he loved you, even simply the idea of you, the dream of all you could become. And for those who ascend to paradise in heaven, God’s everlasting love will always be with us.

And even for those of us here who descend into the torments of hell, God may yet still love the idea of who we could’ve been if we’d only listened to his calling before it was too late. What sorrow it must cause God when one of us he loves chooses to reject Him and drop down into the sorrows of hell.

Ahaveth is a verb form of love, to be loved, the action of being loved. And in-between the two loves, we have o’lam, which means infinite, eternal, perpetual, without end. Then the second love is ‘ahavethik which is love in feminine noun form. God’s love for his people. Both Hebrew words for love can mean God’s love for man, and man’s love for God. So you have this two way give and take happening.

God loving us, us loving God, God loving us, us loving God, and in the center, infinity. God verb love God’s noun love, for us, us for him.

Recently God revealed something to me, that he loves me, he has never left me, and indeed he indicated that he is close to me, so close to me, closer than my carotid artery.

Now there are two carotid blood vessels, major blood vessels on the neck one on both sides. One sends blood into the brain from the body, the other sends blood back from the brain to the rest of the body. He’s that close with me, always giving me love, and receiving love from me. It’s the same with you if you truly know Jesus as your savior, he’s closer than your carotid artery, giving love to you, and receiving love back from you.

That my friends is 
ahaveth ‘olam ‘ahavethik, Love everlasting love. Perfect love, given and received forever.

As Christians it overflows from us, the waters of life bubble out of us, and toward other people, down from God, out of us toward others. This is perfect love. I think a beautiful example is that of the love for a child. Children are innocent, unknowing, a blank canvas you might say, that is why the enemy targets children with things like abortion, and transgenderism, trying to destroy children in the womb, and destroy their minds with transgender ideology.

As I was thinking about this… I kind of drifted back and wondered, at all the people who would be here in this country, if it weren’t for abortion. Over 63 million people have been cancelled from living on Earth in the United States since the day abortion was legalized. 63 million, there are 330 million people in the USA today. And I wondered at all the people who might be part of this church, or living in my neighborhood or even friends of mine, who were never born, because they were murdered before they could be. Worldwide, since 1980, 1.6 billion abortions. Truly tragic, and terrible beyond reckoning.

Our enemy, demons and Satan, try to destroy our ability to receive love and give love. They destroy these things through crime, violence, household abuse, domestic violence, abortion, pornography, sexual immorality, and adultery, to name just a few. All of this damages our ability to give and receive perfect love.

So in conclusion today brothers and sisters, if you are hurt in your heart, from past pain and abuse, and struggle to give and receive love, seek God’s help in this. Ask God to heal the broken places in your soul. Ask Him to help you receive love and give love. God will help you. If you have past sorrows, consider writing them down on paper, and sharing them out loud with someone, like your pastor, or a trusted friend, if necessary, consider seeing a Christian counselor who can help you work through past pains. But it all starts with Jesus, whose perfect love, grand love for us, brought Him to the cross, where he suffered and died not for anything he had done, but for your crimes, he was crucified, to pay off our debt of sin, and make an open way for us to heaven, where we can live in perfect love forever. Amen.