Often we quickly read through something and some of the initial intent can get lost in the translation. “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” – Deut. 6:5 If we slow it down and read from a ‘word for word’ translation from the original language (Hebrew) “You love Yahweh Elohim in all of the heart of you, in all of the soul of you and in all of UTTERLY you.” (Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English OT, bolding emphasis mine) Paints a stronger picture, love God with ALL of you, leaving n-o-t-h-i-n-g behind. One scholar defines this loving strength, as loving God with ‘muchness!’ We are to put forth EXCEEDINGLY great effort into loving God ‘very very much.’ There’s a popular saying in the sports world, “Leave nothing on the field!” Athletes will exert everything they have mentally and physically to win. All energy and effort playing beyond 100% . Utterly.
Interestingly, Moses uses the same word when describing God’s creation, “God saw all that He had made, and it was VERY good. And there was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Gen. 1:31) Very good, utterly! Not just the meeting of a standard, but boy it flashes in bright neon colors, as we would say today, “You ROCKED it!” Yes, God ROCKED creation, utterly!
The word is ‘meod’, (meh-ode) it literally is ‘muchness’, conveying it exceeds, goes beyond. The word picture is as if a target stands about 100 feet out in front of you, raising the bow, taking aim, you shoot the arrow ‘beyond’ the target, exceeding pass by many many many yards.
We see this in Ephesians 3:20, Paul describes the powerful work of Christ in the believer, “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” The compound word is huperekperissos (hooper / ek / pear-e-sauce) Oh my, it is a dandy, it literally means, exceedingly, exceedingly, exceedingly. It was like Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit could not find words to fill how great it is! Our extravagant God throws PASS what we think, ask or even hope for.
With THIS in mind, all that He does in us, through us and for us, where do we stop in our loving God? Do we slow down when it begins to be uncomfortable or inconvenient or unpopular? (OUCH!) Why? Does our obedience to Him lesson due to selfishness? Do we give our all, emptying ourselves, leaving NOTHING on the field of life.
Loving God, God’s people, God’s purpose pass the stuff, further still, giving ALL we have, utterly!
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)