Where is the fist place the word “love” is used in the Bible? No cheating by looking below, so what do you think? I asked this question to a group of men this past weekend in the county jail and the answers ranged from, the first two chapters of Genesis all the way to the Gospels.
Genesis 22:2 is the correct answer! This is where God comes to Abraham and says:
Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.
The Hebrew word used is Ahav, which is a love that is willing to do more for another person than oneself. This is a sacrificial type of love that is given to a spouse, child, a friend, and to God.
Abraham loved his “only” boy. He was the son of promise, his miracle, his future, and his pride and joy. He would do anything for him. And yet Father God asks Abraham-as a test of his Ahav-to lay down his “only” beloved son as an act of worship.
In this powerful love story Abraham willing gives Isaac back to God on the altar, thankfully God intervenes and provides a ram in Isaac’s place. This act by Abraham demonstrated Ahav, he completely trusted in the Father and this response of worship overwhelmed the Father’s heart.
This potent love passage is a paradigm that displays the perfect love of God the Father has given to His children.
Father Abraham placed the wood for the sacrifice on his son’s shoulders – Father God placed the wooden cross on the shoulders of His Son for the sacrifice. The son carries the wood up the mountain – The Son carries the wood up the same mountain. The father binds his son to the altar – The Heavenly Father binds His Son to the Cross. The father lifts up the knife of sacrifice but is stopped – The judgment of the Father is lifted upon the Son but is not stopped. The Father’s only Son is sacrificed in our place for our sins. This is Ahav – This is love! (John 3:16)
A man in his early 20’s sat to my left in the sterile jail room as I shared the Ahav of the Father. His eyes filled with tears whispered, “I need that love!” My response, “so do I!” No jail, prison, or darkest moment can stop the Ahav of the Father from setting you free.
Tomorrow is Valentines Day, RECEIVE The Father’s act of Love for you and RELEASE back to Him your life as Sacrifice of Loving Worship! This is Ahav!
As we enter into the season of Lent I would like to invite you to follow Oceans on Instagram @oceansministries to get daily prayer meditations from Climbing Prayer Mountain starting this Wednesday.