The Ahab — Love

Everyone has an opinion or concept of love. What’s yours? You might want to write down your thoughts on love before I develop what God has to say. I’ll wait a few moments while you pen your thinking . . . (While you are writing, pretend I’m playing the music for Final Jeopardy.)

Now you can contrast what you wrote with ahab, the love of the Bible. In Hebrew, words have root sounds rather than root meanings. Ahab is made up of two root sounds ah and, of course, ab. This newsletter beginning our sixth year is going to deal exclusively with the word study of ahab.


Ahab means to have affection for (sexually or otherwise) according to Strong’s Concordance, from which all my definitions are derived. If you have this concordance, you can follow along.

What is it God loves? He loves justice and righteousness. Justice relates to God’s divine law found in the first five books of the Bible, particularly the Ten Commandments. God demands that any who disobey His Law must pay the death penalty. We have all broken the Law and deserve that penalty. But instead of assigning us all to a permanent death,
God, in His love, had His only begotten son, who never sinned, die in our place for us. Thus, his justice and love were fulfilled.

God loves righteousness, that is, doing right by faith. When we faithfully accept Jesus’s sacrifice for us and prove that faith by faithful obedience, we are made righteous. Then, when we demonstrate our love for God by keeping the Law of Justice, we are made in His image by loving the Law of Justice and acting in love by being righteous.

Psa. 11:7 For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness;
The upright will behold His face.
Psa. 31:23 ¶ O love the LORD, all you His godly ones!
The LORD preserves the faithful
And fully recompenses the proud doer.
Psa. 33:5 He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD.

Father’s Love

One of the two root sounds of ahab is ab, father or abba, daddy. The heart of love rest on the strong shoulders of Our Father who is the epitome of righteousness. Our loving father is a wonderful provider, a powerful protector of his family, and a caring discipliner of his family. Our loving Father seeks to redeem His children from selfish stubborn waywardness to His righteousness, which is found in His commandments.

Jesus increases our understanding of God as our Father because of his intense appreciation of his and our Father. He demonstrates that our Father is “a father to the fatherless” and a foundation of granite to the foundering.

We have a Father in heaven who loves us to the utmost extent that He gave up His only begotten son to die for our sins.

Psa. 68:5 ¶ A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
Psa. 89:26 “He will cry to Me, ‘You are my Father,
My God, and the rock of my salvation.’
2Sam. 7:14 “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,
Is. 63:16 For You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us
And Israel does not recognize us.
You, O LORD, are our Father,
Our Redeemer from of old is Your name.

The Father as the Creator

The ah in qanah gives us a root sound for creator, or Creator. By definition qanah first means to erect. This definition provides us with an expanded understanding of how God created the universe, by erecting the systems that make all facets of that universe. Scientists have yet to discover this principle. Qanah secondarily means to create, and then to procure by purchase and have ownership.

Thus the God who created the universe has ownership of our world. He willingly provided this magnificent planet for us. All He asks is that we pay a small rent for living in God’s Earth, a ten percent of our increase, of our profits if you will.

In Deuteronomy, Moses chides the Israelites by asking them isn’t God their Father who formed and made them. Isaiah further asks haven’t you heard that the everlasting God created and stretched out the universe and gives breath and life to its inhabitants. We belong to God, His people, and His sheep of His pasture.

So how do we connect Creator to Love? Obviously, God’s desire to make for Himself a family by creating the universe and us, and giving us Jesus, illustrates a powerful love.

Deut. 32:6 “Do you thus repay the LORD,
O foolish and unwise people?
Is not He your Father who has bought you?
He has made you and established you.
Is. 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
Is. 42:5 ¶ Thus says God the LORD,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread out the earth and its offspring,
Who gives breath to the people on it
And spirit to those who walk in it,
Is. 42:6 “I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness,
I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you,
And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the nations,
Is. 42:7 To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.
Mal. 2:10 ¶ “Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?
1Cor. 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him
Psa. 100:3 Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

The Father as the Builder

The eben, which is a sad spelling of the Hebrew, has the eb, as a variation of ab, with the suffix, en. The meaning is to build, probably out of stone. So God constructs a strong haven of safety for His people.

In human terms, God’s Son made in the image of Our Father becomes the rock, or the foundation of our faith. Not only does God provide Jesus as our living foundation, but also the prophets and apostles make up the pillars of the edifice. Those who reject the ones God has given to participate in saving the world, must stumble over the rock, if not be crushed under its inexorable weight of Truth.

Further, God explains that unless He builds the house, the mason labors in vain. Unless, God is the boulder under our feet, anything we do is an exercise, as they say, in futility.

Psa. 60:1 ¶ O God, You have rejected us. You have broken us;
You have been angry; O, restore us.
Psa. 118:22 ¶ The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone.
Psa. 127:1 ¶ Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
Eph. 2:20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,
1Pet. 2:4 ¶ And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,
1Pet. 2:8 and,
for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

The Father as the Provider

The word for provider in Hebrew is yahab, where the prefix yah is added to the ab. Yah, of course is a root of Yahweh, the Eternal One, the I Am. Certainly God provides everything on this planet for us.

The word also means to give, put and come. So Our Father also comes to those of us who believe Him. A further meaning of provider is something saved, deliverance, and thus, victory and prosperity. These meanings provide a wealth of information about how God views His wayward and faithful children. His providence provides salvation through Jesus, who gained victory for us over sin, sickness, and death. Jesus said he came to give life and life more abundantly. Our Father and provider is so generous that we can expect prosperity, if not materially (which is not of great importance), certainly spiritually.

Psa. 24:5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

The Father as the Sovereign Lord

Here the reference is to Lord and sovereign, that is, the controller. In spite of the prevailing opinion, God is in charge. He will not force His authority on people because that would make them automatons rather than people who freely choose to have the Eternal Father as their Lord. Nonetheless, God still controls everything according to His plans.

He has shown his mighty works, first, in the creation, then in demonstrating His control in the Exodus, Sodom and Gomorrah, and other activities, particularly when He raised Jesus from the dead to be our intercessor. His Lordship, as the rulers of old did, provides safety. Praise God who shoulders our burdens.

Deut. 3:24 ‘O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours?
Psa. 68:19 ¶ Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden,
The God who is our salvation. Selah.
Psa. 68:20 God is to us a God of deliverances;
And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.

The Father as Gatherer and Harvester

Our Father gathers not only the necessities for life, but also gathers the ones He calls to be a part of His Family. Jesus says that God works. Those made in His image might consider that their working is praiseworthy imitation of Our Father.

Interestingly, the root words for gathering and protection have the sense of high stems for plants and high strips of wood curving over a person for protection.

We look forward to the great harvest when Jesus returns.

Prov. 10:5 He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely,
But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.

The Father as Savior

As suggested above Our Father protects us and saves us, from all evils. The Hebrew for savior and righteousness has similar root sounds, although they are not otherwise related. A savior, the Savior, Jesus, from God, has to be righteous to fulfill God’s plan for our rescue from sin, sickness and death. So there is a theological connection between saving and righteousness.

When you think about Our Father’s love for us, remember that He is the Creator, Builder, Provider, Sovereign, Gatherer, and Savior. While God’s love is exemplified by His Fatherhood, His love has even greater scope.

Psa. 40:16 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“The LORD be magnified!”

Love Is a Pure Light

Several Hebrew sounds are formed from the ahab. Words meaning clear, luminous, lightning and happiness are firmly rooted in love. God’s love makes clear and bright His bold plan to make for Himself a family. The light of His commandments shines on the rocky road to prevent our stumbling over the stony deceits and sins that could impede our way to the Kingdom of God.

God’s light of love takes away our fears. He makes our righteousness from God through Jesus shine like sunrise and our justice beam like the sun at noon.

We know that God’s face shines brighter than all the suns in the universe. We also know that Jesus’s face shines like Our Father’s. All those who will enter the kingdom of God will shine like God's.

The power behind the light of life is love, the root of light. Love is the power behind all goodness, righteousness, and life.
Psa. 139:12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.

Psa. 27:1 ¶ The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
Psa. 37:6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.
Psa. 44:3 For by their own sword they did not possess the land,
And their own arm did not save them,
But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence,
For You favored them.
Psa. 56:13 For You have delivered my soul from death,
Indeed my feet from stumbling,
So that I may walk before God
In the light of the living.

Love Is Mighty

Love is also the power behind God’s infinite strength. He did not create the universe for Jesus and through him, us, by the might of his arm, but by the might of His love.

God’s love created all life on Earth and the ingredients to maintain that life. His love worked the mighty wonders from the Exodus to Jesus’s resurrection. Finally, His love will destroy this temporary Earth and create a new one to bring the New Jerusalem down from heaven.

Who is like the mighty God of Love? His majestic holiness is awesome in glory.

The Desires of Love

Love has a desire, a longing, wishes for the righteousness of God’s Laws. The righteousness growing out of faith in Jesus brings out our desire for God’s salvation. The Hebrew for ones ardent desire toward God is ta’abah, where we see the prefix ta added to father, ab. The ahab syllables are reversed to abah. So even turned around, love remains a powerful longing for Our Father.

In the Hebrew the sound sense of longing or desire is a sound of breathlessness as an aching for God. That is because one of the root sounds of love is ruwach, which is the Spirit of God. Ruwach further has the relevant meanings of wind, breath, perceive, anticipate, enjoy, and life. God’s Spirit has a desire for our salvation, which the New Testament calls grace. By the power of the Spirit, we can perceive God’s love for us and His call to our loving to Him by our obedience. Certainly we anticipate our election to the Kingdom of God.

Ruwach harkens back to Creator because it is by the power of the wind or Spirit that God formed the universe. The Spirit inspired (note the wind sound of our English word, inspire) the prophets of old and us, by God’s Word, of new or now. It is God’s breath that gives us life — our every breath — and the ability to love. God’s Spirit inspires us to understanding and wisdom to know the fullness of love.

God’s loving Spirit desires that His people accede to Him in a special way. His love provides us with a willing spirit, willing to walk in His way. His love leads us on level ground. His Spirit fills His people with power, justice, and might.

God breathed into Adam the breath of life. His Holy Spirit fills His people with the power of love. God’s great desire is that many will learn to love like Him.

Love Brings Life

A mighty root sound of love is life, chay, where the ay is equivalent in sound to ah in ahab. We have seen the power of love in giving life. We know that life grows out of love, as evidenced by the children loving couples engender. To live without love is not living but existing. To live without loving God is futility. God created us in love to love Him first and foremost and loving our neighbors as ourselves. How do we love God? Thoughts and words are insufficient. We love God by our righteous deeds growing out of faith in Jesus.

God set before Israel life and death. He desired that they would choose life, a life filled with loving obedience to Him and justice for all people. Choose life!

God Is Love

The root of Lord, Yahweh, eh and ah, is love. The root of God, Elohiym, Elowahh, has the ah sound of love.

David meditated on God’s unfailing love. He gave thanks to God for his enduring love. John tells us God is love.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.
To him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.
Who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever.
Who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.
Who made the great lights-- His love endures forever.
The sun to govern the day, His love endures forever.
The moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.
To him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures forever.
And brought Israel out from among them His love endures forever.
With a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever.
To him who divided the Red Sea asunder His love endures forever.
And brought Israel through the midst of it, His love endures forever.
But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea; His love endures forever.
To him who led his people through the desert, His love endures forever.
Who struck down great kings, His love endures forever.
And killed mighty kings-- His love endures forever.
Sihon king of the Amorites His love endures forever.
And Og king of Bashan-- His love endures forever.
And gave their land as an inheritance, His love endures forever.
An inheritance to his servant Israel; His love endures forever.
To the One who remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever.
And freed us from our enemies, His love endures forever.
And who gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.

Psalm 136

Gil Kovacs
for the Sabbath Christian Church