The Love of God

Isaac’s love for Rebekah was a true biblical love that is not based only on emotions but on knowing someone deeply.

Toby Janicki

Theology

Abraham God Isaac love Proverbs Rebekah Sarah

In the middle of Proverbs 2 is a curious section about a “strange woman” who “flatters with words”:

To deliver you from the strange woman, from the adulteress who flatters with her words; that leaves the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God. (Proverbs 2:16-17)

Here is a description of a daughter who has spurned the guidance of her youth and chosen rather to follow her own passions. In doing so she tempts others to join in with her and be led astray. What is particularly interesting is the line that she has forgotten “the covenant of her God.” This covenant represents the Torah. Essentially, she has neglected the love of Torah and God and chosen to follow the love of the world. To “forget” is the opposite of to “know intimately” and to know in Hebrew is essentially to “love.”

In today’s society love is often pictured as an emotion based upon what we see or feel. Yet, the problem with this outlook is that just as easily as we can “fall in love” we can also “fall out of love.” The Torah definition of love is much different.

A good example of this is Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac was lonely after the death of his mother and Abraham his father sent his chief servant out to find a wife for him. When the servant returns with Rebekah, we read the following:

Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and he took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her; thus Isaac was comforted after his mother's death. (Genesis 24:67)

Notice something out of order here? First Rebekah became Isaac’s wife and then he loved her. In our minds we would figure that first Isaac would love Rebekah and then marry her. But Isaac’s love for Rebekah was a true biblical love that is not based only on emotions but on knowing someone deeply. Their relationship was not solely based on physical attraction but on learning to love each other for who they really were.

So it was with the daughter in Proverbs 2. She left what she had known deeply [God’s covenant] and choose fleeting passions that would not last. She did not understand the love of God.

About the Author

Toby Janicki is a teacher and writer for First Fruits of Zion. He is also the Theological Support Coordinator for the Torah Club program and has authored several books including God-Fearers and a comprehensive commentary on the Didache titled: The Way of Life.

Theology

Abraham God Isaac love Proverbs Rebekah Sarah

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