The Greatest Love Stories of All Time

The Greatest Love Stories of All Time February 14, 2024

The Greatest Love Stories of All Time/JessBaileyDesigns/pixabay

A Time For Love Stories

For the past month, most people I know have been watching cheesy, sappy, romantic movies. One can find them 24/7 on Hallmark, Lifetime, on bookstore shelves, all over the place. You know, the Bible is full of great love stories, too. Famous couples include Adam and Eve (well, they didn’t have much to choose from), Samson and Delilah, David and Bathsheba, Abraham and Sarah, Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah … the greatest love stories of all time are in the Bible!

Once Upon a Time

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I would like to talk about the greatest love stories of all time, and I will begin as all great stories begin: “Once upon a time …”

Isaac and Rebekah

Once upon a time, there was a man named Abraham. God made a promise to him that he would be the father of many nations, but when years and years went by, and he had no child to bring this to pass, Abraham and his wife tried some other methods that only caused a lot of trouble. They should have understood that when God makes a promise, He keeps it!


Eventually, Isaac, the child of the promise, was born to Abraham and Sarah. Isaac grew up and Sarah passed away, and Abraham decided it was time to find a wife for Isaac. Abraham wanted that wife to come from among their own people, so he called on his oldest and most trusted servant to accomplish the task (since arranged marriage was the way it was done).


Abraham told his servant, “The Lord will send His angel ahead of you, and He will see to it that you find a wife there for my son.” The servant swore to follow Abraham’s instructions. He loaded ten camels with expensive gifts from his master, and set off to find Isaac a wife. When he got close to the home of Abraham’s brother, he made the camels kneel down near the well. Then he prayed a very specific prayer (which is a good idea for all of us when we approach the Almighty). 


He said, “O, Lord, God of my master Abraham, please give me success today and show your unfailing love to my master. See, I am standing here by this well and the young women are coming from town to draw water. This is my request. I will ask one of them to give me a drink, and if she agrees to give me a drink and then offers to water the camels as well, I will know she is the one.”


Even before the servant finished the prayer, a lovely young woman approached the well and the servant asked her to give him a drink. She agreed, and then she offered to water his camels, as well! The young woman’s name was Rebekah.


That day, the servant went home with Rebekah and made his petition to her brother. The brother replied, “The Lord has surely brought you here. Yes, let her be his wife.” So Rebekah returned to the home of Abraham with the servant.


One evening, Isaac was walking out in his father Abraham’s fields, and he looked up and saw the camels approaching. The caravan looked familiar, and he began walking toward it.

Meanwhile, in the caravan, Rebekah saw a young man walking their way and thought, “Hmmmm, he looks pretty good.” and she got down from her camel and went to the servant to ask who the young man was.


“That is my master’s son,” he told her. So she put a veil over her face. 


Soon they were married and lived happily ever after … IF it were a Hallmark movie. The reality is, they went on to have twin boys, Esau and Jacob, who caused quite a bit of commotion. In fact, Jacob’s love story was even more miraculous, and a lot more complicated than his father’s.

Jacob and Rachel

Once upon a time, there were two brothers. They were very different, and they quarreled a lot. One day, the brother named Jacob, for his own safety, ran away from home to a place called Haran, and that place had a well. Yes, another well …


At the well, Jacob met a lovely shepherdess named Rachel, and to get her attention, he helped to water her flock.


Smitten, Rachel took this wanderer home with her and introduced her to her father, Laban, who gave him a job for room and board. After about a month, Laban realized that they were of the same people, and he asked Jacob: “You’re a good worker, but you’re working for nothing. How shall I pay you?” 


Jacob replied, “I just want to marry your daughter.”


Well, Laban had two daughters, Leah (who was older and not as beautiful) and Rachel. Laban shrewdly agreed and told him that would be arranged IF Jacob agreed to work for him for seven years. 


Y’all! That’s a long time, but Jacob said yes.


Here follows some of the most romantic words in scripture, Genesis 29:20: “And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed to him only a few days, because of his love for her.”


Seven years passes! The wedding is planned. The veiled bride is brought to her eager groom and the covenant is completed. The wedding night comes and gos, but – how does this happen??? – in the morning, Jacob wakes up next to Leah instead of Rachel!


He goes to Laban distraught: “How could you deceive me like this?”


Laban answers, “It is not our custom that the younger daughter be married before the older, but if you work for me another seven years, you may also have Rachel, and since things like that were OK in that culture – well, let’s just leave the Hallmark movie right there and just say Jacob worked another seven years for the woman he loved. Roll credits …

Ruth and Boaz

Once upon a time, when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land of Judah, so a man from Bethlehem took his wife and two sons and went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelech and his wife’s name was Naomi. The two sons grew up and married Moabite women.


Then, tragedy struck! Elimelech died. Then Naomi’s sons died, as well. Naomi was crushed, and decided to return to her home in Judah. She told her daughters-in-law to also return home to their own families so they could begin a new life. One daughter-in-law followed her advice. The other, Ruth, insisted on staying with Naomi.


Her words are famous: “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.”


So the two women returned to the land of Judah to the town of Bethlehem. As two newly arrived, widowed  women, they were poor. As was customary, Ruth went out to the fields during the harvest to gather the sheaves that the harvesters dropped. Out in the fields, she was noticed by a man named Boaz who owned the land.


Boaz noticed Ruth, and told his workers to drop extra in the fields where Ruth came to gather. He also offered to let her dine with his workers.


Ruth 3: “One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, ‘My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.

“‘ I will do whatever you say,’ Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.

When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!

“‘Who are you?’ he asked.

“‘I am your servant Ruth,’ she said. ‘Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer[i] of our family.

“‘The Lord bless you, my daughter,’ he replied. ‘This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I.  Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.’

So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, ‘No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.’”

The next day came around and Boaz sought out the other man. To his pleasure, the other man was not interested, so Boaz made a commitment in front of the town’s leaders that he would marry Ruth.

Soon after, the happy couple had a son. They named him Obed. Naomi became a grandmother, which is a big, big blessing! Obed eventually became the father of Jesse, the father of King David, and the ancestor of Jesus Christ! 

What a happy ending!

The Greatest Love Story of All Time

These are all great love stories, but they are not the greatest love story of all time. In fact, if I were to tell you that one, I would not begin with “Once upon a time.” I would begin with:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” 

That is the greatest love story of all time! It’s even better than any romantic movie, and it’s still being written. Believe it or not, you are one of the important characters! Jesus loves you!

God bless you, and may all your love stories be great!


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