Love Stories From The Bible - Tragedies, Truths, And Triumphs
The Bible is a book that is packed full with love stories. Stories which are romantic, stories of betrayal, temptation and tragedy, even a few about love at first sight - a topic which a good few are skeptical about.
Isaac and Rebekah
The first love story that comes to mind when thinking of the first book of the Bible is Isaac and Rebekah's. Abraham, Isaac's father, sends his servant out to find a wife for his son among his people. The servant arrives in the land of his master and prays to the Lord to guide him when choosing the right wife. He prays that the girl will offer to not only draw water for him to drink, but water to feed his camels also. Along comes Rebekah who offers her services and willingly serves the servant. She then invites him to her home. The servant realizes she is the one. He tells her father and brother of his journey and his promise to Abraham, and they consent to let Rebekah leave with him to marry a man she has never met. Rebekah is asked if she wants to go and she readily consents to this arranged marriage. When Issac sees her in the distance, the Bible says it was love at first sight. Rebekah and Issac go on to have twin boys and though they have their differences, the Bible does not dispute their love for one another. (See Genesis Chapter 24)
Another love story happens just a few chapters down when Isaac and Rebekah's son Jacob flees from his brother's wrath to the same land from whence his mother came. He sees at the well, a shepherdess and her name is Rachel. She is the daughter of his mother's brother, Laban. He pledges to work for seven years so that he can marry Rachel and when he is tricked by Laban into marrying Leah,Rachel's sister, he works seven more to make Rachel his bride. Thus Jacob ends up with two wives. One whom he loves more than the other. This causes friction between the sisters and one cannot help but feel sorry for both. The unloved sister is blessed with children while the loved one is barren and both are unsatisfied with Jacob being in the middle. The Bible says that Leah was blesses with children so that she would be comforted because of the love she lacked. But Rachel longed for children as well and said to Jacob, "Give me children or I die." In the end Jacob ends up with twelve sons from Leah, Rachel and their maids Zilpah and Bilhah. Rachel dies giving birth to the last son, Benjamin whom she named Benoni meaning son of my sorrow but Jacob changed his name to Benjamin meaning son of the right hand. She is buried on the way to Bethlehem while Leah dies presumably in her old age and is buried next to Jacob in the tomb of Mamre. (See Genesis 30-35)
Dinah and Shechem
Jacob's and Leah's daughter Dinah has her own story as well. When out and about visiting the women of the land, she is spotted by Shechem who loves her at first sight. He defiles her and goes to her father, asking for her as his wife. Dinah's brothers, Simeon and Levi are enraged and trick Shechem getting him to agree to a circumcision where they kill not only him but all the other men of his house. (See Genesis 34)
Boaz and Ruth
Coming from Moab with her mother-in-law, a widow, Ruth arrives in Bethlehem and gleans in the field of Boaz. He is kind to her and makes sure that she is able to receive all that she needs. When Naomi says that he is he kinsman redeemer, Ruth acts upon her advise and goes to Boaz who takes responsibility for her. He redeems his kinsman's inheritance which includes Ruth, and marries her. Together, Ruth and Boaz they have a son whose name is Obed who becomes the father of Jesse who becomes the father of David. (See Ruth)
Samson and Delilah
There are countless others- Samson and Delilah comes to mind. He was a mighty judge of Israel and she a Philistine woman. His parents asked him to marry a woman of his own people but he would not listen. He falls in love with Delilah. Delilah betrays him into the hands of the Philistines when he reveals to her the source of his strength. He is beaten and blinded as a result and in the end, God grants him the strength he once had to kill more Philistines in his death than he ever did in his life. (See Judges 13-16 for the full story of Samson)
David and Bathsheba
Then there is David and Bathsheba. How he gave into his temptation when he saw her bathing on the rooftop. He schemes and plots and has her husband Uriah murdered so that he can marry her, and as a result of this, God takes the life of their first-born child. The Bible says that at the time, David was blinded when it came to his sin, and the prophet Nathan had to reveal it to him through a parable. He repents and the Lord forgives him. They go on to have a son named Solomon - the king who was known for his wisdom. (See 2 Samuel 11-12 to read that story in its entirety)
Amnon and Tamar
David's son Amnon falls in love with his half-sister Tamar. Instead of speaking to anyone about it, he concocts a plan and pretends to be sick. He forces himself upon her and then hates her for it. This story is a tragedy to say the least. Tamar is shamed and goes to live in the house of her brother Absalom. Amnon is not punished by his father and so Absalom kills him in revenge. He then plots to take the entire kingdom from his father. (See 2 Samuel 13-14)
Solomon and Sheba
Solomon wrote the Song of Solomon which is one of the most poetic expressions of love in history. Some speculate that it was written to the Queen of Sheba who came to see if all the rumors of Solomon were true. Here is a little sample of his poetry:
How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!
Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.
A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.
Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,
Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:
A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.
Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. Song of Solomon 4:10-16 K.J.V.
Ahasuerus and Esther
After Solomon's songs, one comes across the story of Esther. A young Jewish girl, chosen to be Queen in place of Vashti who has been deposed of by King Ahasuerus. She is in a delicate position, her people are in danger, and yet, the King shows her favor and offers her up to half of his kingdom. (See Esther)
Joseph and Mary
Engaged to a man whom she has never known, Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel who tells her she is to conceive and bear a son whose name will be Jesus. Joseph too is visited by the angel and instead of casting Mary aside, he chooses to marry her and raise the child as his own. This child is the Messiah of the world. (See Luke 1-2)
Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. He laid down His life for His friends fulfilling every prophesy made about Him in the Old Testament. The Bible says in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The greatest love story in the Bible is this one and it started from the beginning and has no end. The other love stories last for a time. His love is forever. (See the entire Bible)