One of the most powerful words used in Scripture for an endearing relationship is beloved. In the Hebrew, it is the word “yediyd” pronounced yed-`eed. In the Greek text, the word is “agapetos.”
God tenderly refers to His chosen people, Israel, as beloved. It would be through that nation that God would grant the privilege of being custodians of His Word, bring the Messiah-Savior into the world and ultimately establish His kingdom on earth.
In fact, the first blessing recorded which uses this word was pronounced by Jacob upon his death bed, when he summoned his twelve sons to his side. “And of Benjamin he [Jacob] said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders” (Deut. 33:12 KJV).
Concerning the Southern Kingdom, Isaiah records God’s condemnation against Judah … “I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved [beloved] one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit” (Is. 5:1-2 NIV).
Neglect of the Word had resulted in idolatry and impending captivity at the hands of the Assyrians. In spite of their sin and evil, note that God still called them His loved [beloved] ones. They were unfaithful, yet He remained faithful.
Perhaps the most profound use of this word was uttered by God the Father upon Jesus’ baptism in Jordan. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:16-17 KJV).
If any person desired to have God’s pleasure, it would be dependent on their attitude toward Jesus Christ. Though there were many at the river that day submitting to the baptism of John in response to his teaching that the kingdom of God was at hand, God the Father singled out the One who is preeminent in human history, Jesus Christ. What a person thinks of Him determines their eternal destiny.
Faced with the varying opinions of the people concerning His Person, Jesus narrowed the issue to only one truth … “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:13-16 NIV).
He is not a son of God, or one upon whom deity was placed, but God in the flesh. The Apostle John loudly testified … “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 NIV).
There is another use of this word “beloved” in Scripture and it staggers the Christian’s imagination. This word is used of every person who has placed their faith in the fact that Christ’s death on the Cross and paid in full their debt of sin to a righteous God. The believer in Christ is loved by the Heavenly Father to the same degree as the Son.
What an awesome thought and privilege to be called sons of God through faith in Christ. “Beloved , now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2 KJV).