Love is, arguably, the most popular subject in the world today. Millions of magazine articles, books and TV plays are about ‘love.’ But most are about ‘romantic love;’ the well known attraction between lovers and spouses. This article, however, is not about romantic or sexual love. Nor is it about maternal love, that wonderful bond that dwells in the heart of a mother for her child. This is about love for Elohim and Yahweh Elohim's command concerning this type of love is as follows:
Deu 6:5 "And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might.
An amazing command by any standard, you will agree. But what does the word ‘love’ mean in this context? What must one do or feel towards Elohim to love Him with all one's heart, soul and might? Obviously romance and sex are totally excluded here. Sexual love and romantic feelings have absolutely nothing to do with the kind of ‘love’ Elohim is requiring of us. So what does Elohim mean when He uses the word love? What does He want us to do, or not do to show our love for Him? To arrive at the answer we must turn to other Bible texts where Yahweh couples this word ‘love’ with certain actions and mental attitudes. Searching the Scripture we find many, many texts that help us understand what Elohim means when He commands us to love Him with heart, soul and might. I will list just a few texts for the reader's benefit. Study them carefully: because this command concerning ‘love for Elohim’ is the most important commandment in the whole Bible. It is referred to in Scripture as the ‘great commandment.’ When Messiah was asked which commandment was the greatest, he quoted this commandment. So you will agree it is important.
Mat 22:36 "Teacher, which is the great command in the Torah?"
Mat 22:37 And יהושע said to him, “ ‘You shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind.’
Mat 22:38 “This is the first and great command.
Now to those verses which explain what Elohim desires His followers to do in order to show that they love Him with heart, soul and mind.
Deu 11:13 ‘And it shall be that if you diligently obey My commands which I command you today, to love יהוה
your Elohim and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your being
Deu 11:22 ‘For if you diligently guard all these commands which I command you, to do it, to love יהוה your Elohim, to walk in all His ways, and to cling to Him,
Deu 13:1 "When there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he shall give you a sign or a wonder,
Deu 13:2 and the sign or the wonder shall come true, of which he has spoken to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other mighty ones – which you have not known – and serve them,’
Deu 13:3 do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for יהוה your Elohim is trying you to know whether you love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being.
Deu 13:4 “Walk after יהוה your Elohim and fear Him, and guard His commands and obey His voice, and serve Him and cling to Him.
Jos 22:5 "Only, diligently guard to do the command and the Torah which Mosheh the servant of יהוה
commanded you, to love יהוה your Elohim, and to walk in all His ways, and to guard His commands, and to cling to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your being."
Did you carefully read all those texts? If you did you will have noticed that to ‘love the Lord thy Elohim with all thy heart and with all thy soul’ means to keep His commandments. In other words to love Elohim is to obey Him, to do what He says, to carry out His will. Before you can do this you must you first acquaint yourself with His commandments; just as a motorist must first learn the highway code before he can obey it. In the new testament the word ‘love’ is used in exactly the same way as in the old. Love means obedience. Obedience proves that we love Elohim. Disobedience proves that we do not love Him. Yahshua said to his disciples:
Joh 14:21 "He who possesses My commands and guards them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and manifest Myself to him."
1Jn 2:4 The one who says, "I know Him," and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands,1 and His commands are not heavy, Footnote: 1See 5:2, 2 John v. 6, John 14:15.
Joh 14:15 "If you love Me, you shall guard My commands.1 Footnote: 1See Ex. 20:6, vv. 21&23, 1 John 5:2-3, 2 John v. 6.
Some Christians assume that the commandments Yahshua refers to are different from those of his father. They are mistaken. As mentioned above, Yahshua didn't formulate a new set of commandments. When he spoke of ‘the law,’ he always meant his Father's commandments - ‘the commandments of Yahweh Elohim.’ In the New Testament we find that the church is advised to, and does keep - the ‘commandments of Elohim’ (1 Corinthians 7: 9, Revelation 12: 17, Revelation 14: 12)