HaAhavah

אהבה
Is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not over iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. אהבה never fails FOREVER…
 
Many, if not most people, equate this only to romance between a man and a woman.
 
This tells me that the believing community does not understand אהבה at all…
 
Sha’ul was writing to and about the BROTHERHOOD.
 
He had just written about the BODY of Messiah as a single unit, and explained that, though we all serve different purposes with different gifts from G-d for the purpose of serving, yet, we are ONE.
 
Then, he tells us that to LOVE in this manner is GREATER than our actual service and use of His gifts!!!
 
I was reading this first in English, (sourced from Aramaic), and the word ‘fails’ caused me to be curious to go into the Hebrew. ‘nafal’, for ‘fails’, caused me to stop and meditate…
 
הָאַהֲבָה לֹא תִּפֹּל לְעוֹלָם
 
Love does not fail FOREVER….
 
Because of the overuse and almost exclusive use of this scripture at weddings, we do not stop and understand what Sha’ul writes here, and the incredible importance to the BODY this passage has. We relegate to an earthly, sensual, emotion-only ‘love’, to which only humanity can relate. We are NOT like the world, nor should we THINK like the world, nor should we love like THE WORLD, which is temporal and conditional love. We SHOULD be ‘understanding’ this in this way:
 
Love [for a brother/sister] Is not easily provoked [to anger],
 
Love [for a brother/sister] thinks no evil [of a brother/sister]
 
Love [for a brother/sister] rejoices not over iniquity [in the Body of Messiah] ,
 
but Love [for a brother/sister] rejoices in the truth [in the Body of Messiah]
 
Love [for a brother/sister] bears all things [with a brother/sister] ,
 
Love [for a brother/sister] believes all things
 
Love [for a brother/sister] hopes all things
 
Love [for a brother/sister] endures all things
 
Love [for a brother/sister] never fails FOREVER
 
This has been one of my favorite, unsung passages. It governs my heart.  I keep it near in my mind, especially when I am struggling with a brother/sister in Messiah over some issue of the flesh.
 
There are those in my past that I have been very, very close to, who, for one reason or other [most of which has been antisemitism, but some of which has been a misunderstanding of the above, a perversion of His Love] have come to HATE me, even though they say they follow the Messiah who inspired the teaching above about HaAhavah.
 
The way the last phrase reads in Hebrew is actually:
 
הָאַהֲבָה לֹא תִּפֹּל לְעוֹלָם
 
Ha’Ahavah WILL NOT FAIL [lo tipol] FOREVER [L’olam].
 
It is NOT a function of our ‘will’ that says it will not fail…but a function of the NATURE of the LOVE OF MESSIAH, the LOVE of ELOHIM, that is INSIDE of those who trust in Him and have HIS RU’AKH.
 
GOD IS LOVE!!!!
 
If HE is inside of us, then we WILL love…. not ‘must’.
 
I HATE it when someone says, “I have to love you because I’m a believer”….
 
And I hate ‘love’ that is a false display, pretense.
 
Others that have come to hate me, even of late, I STILL love.  I STILL desire reconciliation.  His LOVE does NOT ‘fall away’, which is what ‘tipol’ means… it CANNOT, because it is FOREVER.
 
HIS LOVE endures EVERYTHING, even hatred returned for love, which is what Yeshua endured while hanging on the tree.  I am getting a sense of that these days.
 
Some people think that there are no ‘degrees’ to this kind of love, and that there is only ONE ‘kind’ of love.  They think that this ‘kind’ of love is or should be equally shared among the brethren from individual to individual in the exact same quantity. If this is the case, then Yeshua and Yokhanan broke the command. Sha’ul did too, as there were several men that he loved very dearly, more than others of his friends.  Timothy and Onesimus each was to Sha’ul like a son.  That is a deeper form of this godly love.  We are ‘joined together’ in the Body of Messiah, which implies closeness, tight binding. [Kol 2:19, Efisim 4]:

“that we be sincere in our love, so that in everything we may progress through Mashi’akh, who is the head.It is through Him that the whole Body is closely and firmly united at all joints, according to the measure of the gift [Ru’akh] which is given to every member, for the guidance and control of the Body, in order to complete the edifying of the Body in love.”

It is NOT that love fails…  It is that we fail to follow love, that is in our hearts, if Messiah is indeed inside of us.

This past Shabbat, I spoke about the ‘blessing’ of Elohim that is inside of us.  This is it.  “HaAhava”.  And our verse from the Haftarah was a command that we should “LOVE COMPASSION.”

“It has been told you, O man, what is good, and what  יהוה  does require of you, only to do justly, and to love compassion, and to walk humbly with your Elohim.”

The LOVE of ELOHIM in us produces this ‘khesed’, which is a deep ‘compassion’ for the failures of our brothers.  We, as a people, the people of G-d, are yet far too bent on judging others, holding grudges, keeping people at bay, doubting each other.  Self included.

This is my prayer this week, and perhaps for a while, for the local Body into which I am knitted:

הָאַהֲבָה לֹא תִּפֹּל לְעוֹלָם

 
Ha’Ahavah WILL NOT FAIL [lo tipol] FOREVER [L’olam].
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