PART II

Judaism's Love Branches &

The House of Abba: Ahava, Chesed, Rachum

1st Branch of Love:

(Ahava אהבה): THE HEBREW WORD FOR LOVE IS AHAVA. AND IT'S ALL ABOUT LOVE, ISN'T IT?  LOVE FOR GOD, LOVE FOR OURSELVES, AND LOVE FOR EACH OTHER! Did you notice the important order? Love for God comes first. Through a deep love for God, only then are we able to love ourselves as our Father intended. Therein, are we  filled with the capacity to love others, i. e." love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39.) It touches upon the fact that every relationship entails some level of cost and sacrifice – giving and receiving. In a marriage, this is plain, giving and receiving sustain the love between husband and wife. But with God, it is not Ahava, but ahavat nersakh, or eternal love.

    Ahavat nersakh love, is unconditional love with no responsibility on our part because it existed before we were born. Just like the love go God that sent His Son, it exited before we were born. Notable, isn't it? What makes His love so extraordinary it a love that springs from the womb of immortality to live mortally in hearts of flesh. It is so empowering that it enables us to give back to others His love so they can experience God's for themselves. Here again, lies the importance of first receiving the Father's love. Without it, we cannot love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

2nd Branch of Love: CHESED(חֶסֶד

LOVING KINDNESS.)

The second branch is Chesed, "loving kindness." Studying Jewish writings and their daily lives, we discover the value of kindness (Chesed.) Above all, Jewish faith and ritual observances aim to achieve perfection of the human relationship and create a better society. But without Yeshua, Jesus, this is all but doomed.

       At the same time, how much more should kindness characterize the New Covenant

body? Simon the Just said: "On three foundations does the world stand: On Torah, on divine worship and acts of kindness." We could make only one adjustment here by replacing the Torah with the Living Torah,[ii] Yeshua, Jesus, but worship and acts of kindness should be the foundations of the family of God. The sages further say that the ancient Jewish principle of Chesed (loving-kindness) is the light and fruit of love. The prophet Micah said, "He, (God) has told you, O man, what is good, and what does God require of you but to act justly, to love chesed, and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)

 I suspect that many people would acknowledge the fact, we are seeing diminishing lovingkindness, and gentle people are around. Sadly, this seems real in the House of our Father today. To turn away this dark tide from our Father's House, begin with what mimics God's character, which is abounding goodness. Someone who is good and who does good reflects God's attributes and character. Can you imagine the family of God without Chesed? We must learn a new way of conducting ourselves with one another for Chesed to be visible, and begin seeing one another with new eyes!  

A NEW WAY!

SEEING OTHERS IN HIS IMAGE

Chesed's awareness of each other then begins with the understanding that everyone is essential. This is not because of any significance that emanates from us, because we are all children of our Abba Father. Everyone lives and has His being through the spirit and work of adoption, and each has been found worthy of our Father's ultimate sacrifice. Only upon this foundation can we bring one another up to a higher level of dignity. Then we can pull the family of God upward. Wow! It is revolutionary! When was the last time we considered one another in this light?

     

   TO SHOW EACH OTHER VALUE THEN, LET'S FIRST STRIVE TO BE HONEST, SINCERE AND KIND TO ONE ANOTHER. IT COMMUNICATES WORTH AND RESPECT ABOVE ALL ELSE. This should not be based upon one's likes and dislikes of each other. But kind loving actions should not only a duty of the heart but an indiscriminate act of love! Yeshua stated in Matthew 5:46," If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that ?"

    Second, Peters words towards love are the following: "Yea, and for this very cause adding on your part is diligence, in your faith supply virtue; and in your virtue knowledge; and in your knowledge self-control; and in your self-control patience; and in your patience godliness; and in your godliness brotherly kindness; and in your brotherly kindness love," (II Peter 1: 5-10.)

   Though the above passage represents a process of growth for every person, God's people are expected to show brotherly kindness and love. Not just sometimes, but all the time. Beloved, let our minds not be influenced by earthly thinking here. No one can hide such truths as we discuss in their works, self-righteousness, or self-perceived spirituality. One day an expert in the law asked Yeshua, our Messiah, "what is the greatest commandment? He said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

    James 1:27 states, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." John states, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love" (I John 4:8.) Beloved, this is the essence of Chesed, the importance of our Father, and our Lord Yeshua Jesus. Let us begin to show value to each other, and let Chesed define more of our life.

3rd Branch of Love: Rachum (Compassionate רַחוּם)

The third and final branch, Rachum, means to be compassionate. Twenty-six times David declares God's "mercies endureth forever." The works of redemption, grace, and divine providence trace back solely to the everlasting mercy and compassion of God. Scriptures declare that His mercy is great and plenteous, tender and abundant, from everlasting to everlasting. (See 1 Kings 3:6, Luke 1:78, and 1 Peter 1:3.)

     But can you have love without compassion for one another? No! God speaks to Isaiah about this very thing in chapter 1 verse 23, "They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow's case does not come before them."   This single facet of Rachum then is "forbearance". Forbearing with one another is to restrain an impulse to do something in our anger, hurt, or offense. The polar opposite is acting out in our carnal nature.

     Be patient with one another cries Rachum!

     Do not gossip or slander one another, and restrain your carnal impulses.

   Now imagine if God failed to show forbearance to us in light of our sins. Wouldn't we melt away within ourselves, swallowed up in hopelessness.

   Therefore, His forbearance for us compels us to forgive others and makes room in our hearts to let others be who they are. Frankly, when forbearance marries compassion, the genuine spark of our Father is seen.

References:

  1. Deuteronomy 5:1-3; Ezekiel 16:8, 43; 60-63; 15-34;

  2. Jeremiah 3:6-10; 31:1- 5, 32; Hosea 2:2-5; 6-13; Isaiah 50:1; 54:1-8; 62:4-5

  3. I Corinthians  11:25

  4. Matthew 18:20

  5. Nehemiah 4:17

  6. 2 TIMOTHY 3:15-16

  7. Genesis 45:3

  8. Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:10--4:5; and 2 Corinthians 5:1-10.

  9. (I Corinthians3: 12-15; Mathew 25:21: Luke 19:17.)

  10. "Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me [proclaim my name holy] in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them. '" (Numbers 20:12)

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