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The Meanings of Love in the Bible

Man’s Love for God

Another way to describe the stance which a person must assume in order to receive the fullness of God’s loving help is that the person must love God. “The Lord preserves all who love him; but all the wicked he will destroy” (Psalm 145:20).

Man’s Love for Man

If a person admires and worships God and finds fulfillment by taking refuge in his merciful care, then his behavior toward his fellow man will reflect the love of God. The second great commandment of the Old Testament, as Jesus called it (Matthew 22:39 God says, “The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as a native among you and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

We can understand the motivation of love here if we cite a close parallel in Deuteronomy 10:18). Especially worthy of note is the Song of Solomon, which expresses the wholesome delight in the sexual fulfillment of love between a man and a woman.

Man’s Love for Things

There are a few instances in the Old Testament of simple, everyday love of things: Isaac loved a certain meat (Genesis 27:4;12:13).

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John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. John is the author of more than 30 books and more than 25 years of his preaching and teaching is available free at DesiringGod.org. © Desiring God.