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TO  LOVE  THE  LORD  THY  GOD  -  Spiritually,  Part  18  quotes

1)     The Emotion of Love Dealing With Family Members -- Love of a Brother and Sister for Each Other

     “Have we (brothers) not power to lead about a sister”. 1 Corinthians 9:5.

     This verse is not teaching that sisters are bound to obey every command of their brothers.  The Greek word for “lead” used here is “periago”, and it translates and means “to take around as a companion, to go about, to lead about” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, word #4013).  This word is derived from “peri”, which translates and means “around, with respect to the locality, circumstance, general period, and his company, being concerned for how it will go with them” (Strong’s, word #4012).

     One of the responsibilities of brothers is to make sure that they love and honor and cherish their sisters enough to be ever concerned for their happiness and welfare.  So when a sister comes to visit, her brother is to take special precautions of the places where he will take her, taking into account the locality, circumstances and general period of the times, and only visit those places that are suited for his sister’s best interests and protection.

     This scripture also teaches that a sister is to recognize her brother’s responsibility for her best interests and protection while visiting him, and to be content to follow his plans and go to the places he chooses, and thus allow him to fulfill his brotherly duties towards her.

     This brotherly love and concern for their sisters was so strongly ingrained in the hearts of some brothers, that when their sisters had been greatly mistreated, these brothers then took personal revenge upon the men who had done this wickedness! (See Genesis 34:1-31; 2 Samuel 13:1-32).  Now all personal revenge is to be left with the Lord to take care of (Ezekiel 25:17; Jeremiah 15:15; Nahum 1:2; Deuteronomy 32:35; Psalms 94:1; Isaiah 35:4; Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30).  But these verses show how seriously brothers should take their responsibilities in lovingly tending to the welfare of their sisters.

2)    If one of our birth sisters has been greatly mistreated, then what are her brothers to do?

     “And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon...been with thee (and raped thee)? but hold now thy peace, my sister...regard not this thing (or try to forget it).  So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house.” 2 Samuel 13:20.

     When Absalom saw that his unmarried sister was in distress from having been greatly mistreated, he took her home to live with him so that he could more fully comfort and protect her and try to help her forget.

3)   What are some other Biblical examples of brothers and sisters manifesting and expressing true self-sacrificing and self-denying form of love towards each other?

     “And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.  Job 1:4.

     This verse reveals that these brothers were not just content to remain feasting among themselves, but they were also concerned about the welfare and happiness of their sisters, and so invited them to come and join with them in the festivities.

     “Then came there unto him (Job) all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.” Job 42:11.

     This text shows us that when Job had lost all his possessions due to sickness and misfortune, his brothers and sisters did not abandon him, but they all came to him to mourn along with him as well as to comfort him.  In addition, they did not just leave Job with their comforting words alone, but each contributed of their own money in order to help him become financially stable once again.

     “Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.  (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)  Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” John 11:1-3.

     This scripture reveals that the sisters of Lazarus did not just sit idly by when their brother was sick, but they sought out and sent for the greatest Physician they could find to come and heal him.

4)   Love for Step or Half Brothers and Sisters

     “Amnon (son of David and Ahinoam) said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar (daughter of David and Maacah) my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.  Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon's house, and dress him meat.  So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was laid down.  And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.  And she took a pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat....And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.” 2 Samuel 13:6-8, 10.

     This verse shows us that half-sisters are to treat their half-brothers as being their real brothers, and visa-versa.  These same Biblical principles would apply for step-brothers and step-sisters as well.

5)   Love of Uncles and Aunts and Nephews and Nieces for One Another

     “And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son: and she ran and told her father.  And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house.  And he told Laban all these things.  And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh.  And he abode with him the space of a month.  And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?  And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel....And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.  And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.” Genesis 29:12-16, 18-19.

     Even though Jacob and Laban were not true brothers in the flesh, as Jacob was Laban’s nephew and Laban was Jacob’s uncle, yet they treated each other as being real brothers, and so loved and honored each other as such at that time.  These same principles would also apply for Aunts and Nieces to each other.

6)   Let all family members reveal the true Godly form of this emotion of love towards one another, and in doing so they will be greatly blessed of God.

     “Now therefore, I (Rahab) pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have showed you (Israelite spies) kindness, that ye will also show kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token: And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.  And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business.  And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.” Joshua 2:12-14.

     This shows us that Rahab’s thoughts and concerns were not limited to just herself, but she was also concerned for the life and welfare of her parents and all of her brothers and sisters!  And because she showed such unselfish love for all her family members, God rewarded and blessed Rahab by allowing her to marry an Israelite named Salmon, and their first born son was named Boaz who married Ruth (Matthew 1:5; Ruth 4:20-22)!  Salmon became the great great grandfather of David (Matthew 1:5-6), and from his linage Jesus Christ was eventually born (Matthew 1:5-16; Luke 3:32)!  So because Rahab manifested and expressed true self-denying and self-sacrificing love for all her family members, she was greatly honored by God in having the Son of God born through her linage!  We also will be greatly blessed of God as we also manifest and express unselfish love for all our family members.

7)   If we instead should mistreat any one of our family members, then we can find these following verses applying directly to ourselves:

     “The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.  That they may do evil with both hands earnestly...For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.” Micah 7:2-3, 6.

8)   But there are Others whom we should love even more and above any and all our family members.  These Others are our God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Their truth.  And we must maintain this greater love for the Godhead even though it adversely affects the relationship of one or more of our family members towards us.  

     “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also [or in other words if any does not love Jesus more than all of these], he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26.

     “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:34-38.

     What is this sword that can cause such a division to occur between family members?

     “...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. Ephesians 6:17.

     “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4:12-13.

     “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:14-17

9)   We are to maintain a self-denying and self-sacrificing love to the Godhead and their truth first and foremost, and then secondly to all our dear family members.  And if by doing these things, it causes one or more of our beloved family members to fight against us, or to place us in hard situations, or even to separate themselves from us, then we must also realize that God sees and understands it all, and He will grant us more grace to endure through it all, and will also greatly bless us even more for our steadfastness to Him and perseverance in following His truth.

     “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.  If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?  Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.  What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.  Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:24-33.

     “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” Matthew 19:29.