Monday, September 2, 2013

'ahab love – love unto righteousness

Instead of going straight into saying what is 'ahab love, let me say what I mean by love unto righteousness, which from time to time, readers would come across in my articles on my blog or my comments on blogs I follow.

Love unto righteousness
Love unto righteousness is referring to a party loving another in such a way, where there is no unrighteous element whatsoever in that love.  In such a love, righteousness is either fostered or maintained. 

The love of God for men is first of all, that way – love unto righteousness.  Meaning, God cannot love you and I, unrighteously or unto unrighteousness.  In fact, NOT only God cannot love you and I unrighteously, He must foster or maintain righteousness in (the party of) His love.  The fostering or maintaining of righteousness is with reference to men, for God Himself is holy and righteous, and God cannot act against His own nature, ultimately. 

In His love for us, He behooves us to righteousness or maintenance of righteousness.  In other words, you can’t, for example, expect God to accede to this request of yours, in the name of love, His love for you: “Lord, the sight of him irks me, if you love me, why don’t you cause him to fall into the dirty drain over there!”

Just because the sight of someone irks you, it is NOT righteous, is it, for you to get him to fall into the dirty drain!  When it is unrighteous, God cannot do it, and God cannot foster unrighteousness in you; He can only foster righteousness in you.  His love for you has to be loving you unto righteousness.  Why is this paramount?  Because that is the only way we can be with God in a love relation, for God is holy and righteous.

What is 'ahab love?
Yes, generally, you see me equating “love unto righteousness” to 'ahab love; what is 'ahab love?

'ahab (H157) is an Hebrew word for love.  This Hebrew word for love is found extensively in the OT (The OT was written in Hebrew, almost entirely; and the NT, in ancient Greek, mostly).  The Hebrew language is a rich language, and the way it was and is, is that a Hebrew word can have multiple meanings, NOT to mention the varying degrees of shade of a meaning.  'ahab is one such word, and in it, is the concept of love unto righteousness.  You can see it in the short-form Strong’s Lexicon, I am giving below:

'ahab (H157) – either love or like, and for love, it is broken down to:
human love for another, includes family, and sexual;
human appetite for objects such as food, drink, sleep, wisdom;
human love for or to God;
act of being a friend: lover (participle), friend (participle);
God's love toward man: to individual men, to people Israel, to righteousness;
lovely (participle), loveable (participle);
friends, lovers (fig. of adulterers).

From the underlined portion, you can see it – the love unto righteousness; God’s love for men is love unto righteousness; and men, to love God back, are also to love Him, righteously.

The direct linking of love unto righteousness by me to 'ahab love is solely because the Greek love word, agape, the equivalent love word used extensively in the NT (written in Greek), does NOT have the meaning of love unto righteousness, traditionally.

Why this righteousness element is missing from agape?
Why is it (this righteousness element) missing, or missed out in the Greek word, agape?  The ancient Greek language was of course from the Greek people, although in those times of writing, it was the scholarship language of even the Jews, meaning the authors themselves, not Greek, but they wrote in Greek. 

I submit to you this reason: The Greek (people)’s ancient cultural and historical religious beliefs background had NOT, that idea (love unto righteousness) comprised in love words.  In other words, it was one of the occasions of, “it was NOT the word to use, but the best (Greek) word to use”, when the non-Greek authors were writing in Greek. 

I argue for love unto righteousness to be imputed into “agape”, just as “sacrificial” and even “unconditional” were imputed into it, subsequent to the writing of the biblical books of the Bible, in this article: Agape’s meanings need to be expanded.

Until, it is widely accepted, love unto righteousness as part of agape love, I will still be referencing love unto righteousness as 'ahab love. 

It is NOT plucked from the air!
I do encourage you to read the article given above arguing for the imputing of “love unto righteousness” into agape. Just in case, people think I pluck this whole thing out of the air, I will give you the “pillars of love” found in both the OT and NT, and you can see for yourself if I am justified to build a case for the need to impute “love unto righteousness” as embodied in the Hebrew love word,'ahab, into the Greek love word, agape, before I end this article.

The love pillars:
OT:   Deu 6:5 - Love ('ahab) the LORD your God with all your heart and with 
        all your soul and with all your strength.

Lev 19:18 - " 'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love ('ahab) your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

NT:   Mark 12:30 - Love (agape/agapao) the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

         Mark 12:31 - The second is this: 'Love (agape/agapao) your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

Whether it is called 'ahab or agape, my revelation is that God’s kinda of love is firstly, love unto righteousness, and then, charitable, sacrificial, selfless, and to a good extent, unconditional.

It helps understanding, in knowing this
It, love unto righteousness ('ahab love) should help you, a bit more, in your understanding of God’s actions when you view them or the absence of them (actions by God), under the lens of love.  God’s love is sacrificial, but it is NOT unconditional all the time, for He can only love you and I, unto righteousness, ultimately.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

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