Ahabah is the Hebrew word for love that is translated in to agape in the Greek. Ahabah is the most Godlike love known on earth. This kind of love centers on the lover rather than the lovee. It is an unconditional, unbreakable, sacrificial kind of love. You cannot ahabah popcorn. It’s not about how you feel. When you know for certain that you have ahabah is when the subject of your love has betrayed, abandoned, cut out your heart and you remain committed to their well-being.
Ahabah is not being a doormat. It is not putting a band-aide on the lovee’s cruel treatment. It is born out of a struggle with hate, revenge, punishment and unforgiveness. The journey to ahabah will take you to places within yourself that decent people never want to recognize. You cannot truly have ahabah until you have recognized that you are capable of being equally as cruel and disgusting to God as the person you despise, yet He sees you as worthy of His ahabah. He asks you to see that evil criminal the same way as He does. He wants to give you His ahabah to heal your soul so that you can express ahabah.
Ahabah’s source is the goodness of God. You will never express ahabah from your own soul without having received it from God. Once you truly know God’s ahabah for you, He will ask you to show ahabah to your worst enemy. Why? Because He is good and He doesn’t want you to miss out on the experience of ahabah in your lifetime.
It’s the love that made seven years feel like a few days for Jacob as he waited for Rachel in Genesis 29:20. It’s the rationale Moses used for God’s faithfulness even with Israel’s rebellion in Deuteronomy 7:8.
When it comes to us humans, the greatest test of whether we have risen to true ahabah is when we are dealing with our adversaries. In Psalms 109:4, David describes his expression of ahabah; “In return for my love they accuse me, but I give myself to prayer.” Ahabah is only arrived at after strenuous prayer. For David, and most of us, it will involve a little releasing of negative energy toward the betrayer. Psalm 109:6-20 contains some intense requests of God against the one he claims to ahabah. God never said ahabah is easy. If you never get a chance to ahabah anyone in your lifetime, I think you will be missing out on a deeper discovery of how much God truly loves you.
One of my favorite expressions so God’s ahabah for me is in Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” God’s heart breaks out in loud song from the source of His ahabah for me. That thought draws me to Him and causes me to thank Him for opportunities to ahabah a person in my world. I know for certain it is not as challenging for me to ahabah anyone as it is for God to ahabah me. My heart rejoices. Maybe I will follow God’s example and write a song of love for the one I am wrestling to ahabah!