"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
TO LOVE THE LORD THY GOD - Spiritually, Part 17 quotes
1) The Emotion of Love Dealing With Family Members -- Love of Children to Their Parents
We have already seen the type of love and obedience that children should show to their parents in part 12 in this series (click here), which included adult children to their parents. But what about In-laws? Many times spouses believe that God only desires them to honor and obey their own birth parents, and as a result many only show reserved respect and polite toleration for their in-laws.
But because of you marrying and being united in and of one flesh with your spouse, then through that union your in-laws are your real parents, because if it were not for them, you could not be married to your spouse in the first place!
2) Love for Father In-Laws
“So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.” Exodus 18:24.
“Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father's house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.” Genesis 38:11.
These verses reveal that even though Jethro was not Moses’s birth father, yet Moses still honored, respected and obeyed him as his real father. And even though Judah was not Tamar’s real father, yet she still honored, respected and obeyed him as her real father.
“And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance [humbly bowed to show honor and reverence to a superior], and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent.” Exodus 18:7.
This verse showed that even though Moses was living far away from the home of his father-in-law, yet he still held him in high honor and showed him great respect when they met together.
“And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace.” Exodus 4:18.
This Scripture revealed that even though Jethro was not his birth father, yet Moses still submitted to be under the authority of Jethro, since Jethro was recognized as being the eldest or the patriarch of the family.
“...a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah. And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father's house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months. And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, and to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father's house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him. And his father in law, the damsel's father, retained him; and he abode with him three days: so they did eat and drink, and lodged there. And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel's father said unto his son in law, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way. And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the damsel's father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry. And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again.” Judges 19:1-7.
These verses showed that even though his wife had played the harlot against him, yet her husband still held his father-in-law in great honor and respect, even to the point of changing his own travel plans in order to accommodate the wishes of his father-in-law.
So even though a father-in-law is not our real birth father, yet they are still to be treated as if they were our real father. We are to show them the same self-denying and self-sacrificing love that we do to our birth father, as well as the same great honor and respect; because in a way, through being united in one flesh with our spouse, they are our real father!
3) Love for Mother In-Laws
“And they [daughters-in-law of Naomi, all whose husbands had died, and Naomi was now without a husband or any sons] lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me....And the women (of Israel) said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD...for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee...is better to thee than seven sons”. Ruth 1:14-17, 4:14-15.
We see in this Scripture that Ruth showed her mother-in-law true self-sacrificing love, and was willing to do all she could for her welfare, and therefore would not leave her destitute of all immediate family members. Ruth truly treated Naomi as if she were her real birth mother!
“And Boaz answered and said unto her (Ruth), It hath fully been showed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust....So she gleaned in the field (of Boaz) until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley. And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.” Ruth 2:11-12, 17-18.
This reveals that if our mother-in-law is incapable of supporting herself, then we, just like Ruth, are to do all we can to provide for her support.
Because Ruth manifested such self-sacrificing love for her mother-in-law, God rewarded and blessed Ruth by allowing her to marry Boaz (Ruth 4:13), who in turn became the great grandfather of David (Ruth 4:21-22), and from his linage Jesus Christ was eventually born (Matthew 1:5; Luke 3:32)!
All these verses revealed that even though a mother-in-law is not our birth mother, yet she is still to be treated with great honor and respect as if she was our mother, because in a way, through being united in one flesh with our spouse, they are our real mother!
4) Love of Siblings For One Another -- Love of a Brother for his Brother
“...a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17.
This adversity is often seen in the older brother becoming jealous of and even hating the younger brother. While the younger brother tends to out due the older in most everything.
This adversity is evident in the history of Esau and Jacob. Jacob the younger out did Esau of his birthright and blessing, and Esau then hated and wanted to kill Jacob for doing so (see Genesis 27:18-41). Or with Joseph the younger relating his dreams of superiority over his brothers, and his older brethren then hating him and selling him to the Ishmeelites (see Genesis 37:2-28).
On the other hand, this rivalry between brothers can often lead to a very strong bond becoming established between them. This strong bond is evident when the older brother Judah quickly came to the rescue and defense of his younger brother Benjamin, when Benjamin was accused of stealing and then for his punishment of having to become a servant for ever (see Genesis 44:18-34).
So then how can this natural adversity between brothers become diminished and overcome?
“But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” 1 Thessalonians 4:9.
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another”. Romans 12:10.
Instead of the elder jealously picking on your younger brother, determine to show him unselfish love through kindness. And instead of the younger trying to out-best your brother, determine to show him self-denying love through honoring and preferring him over your own self interests. By continually resisting your natural selfish desires towards one another, and following this above process through the grace and divine strength of God being constantly given you, then your adversity towards one another will gradually diminish and soon will be overcome, and then you both can enjoy sweet and lasting peace while being in each other’s company.
But if a brother refuses to overcome this natural adversity against your brother, then you cannot be saved or gain eternal life!
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” 1 John 4:20-21.
“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous....We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” 1 John 3:10-12, 14-15.
5) What are some Biblical examples of brothers manifesting and expressing true self-sacrificing and self-denying love towards each other?
“And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I [am] Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance....And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.” Genesis 45:3-7, 14-15.
This showed that even though Joseph had every right to retaliate against his brothers, he instead nobly forgave them and then treated them and all their families with the utmost kindness and love in preserving their lives from famine and giving them the best of the land to live and prosper in!
“If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.” Deuteronomy 25:5-6.
This revealed that the unselfish love existing between one brother and another was to continue to be manifested even after the death of the one, because the surviving unmarried brother was to marry his widow and then raise up seed for his own dead brother’s name and interest and family. And any brother who refused to manifest such unselfish love for his brother, could suffer death himself!
“And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.” Genesis 38:7-10.
6) Love of a Sister for her Sister
It is not just a brother that is born for adversity, but also a sister against her sister as well. An example of this sisterly rivalry is seen in the example of Leah and Rachel in their married life with Jacob.
But the very same Biblical principles of self-denying and self-sacrificing love of a brother for his brother, also apply with the love of a sister to her sister!