Scripture employs an artillery of terms for love, each one calibrated to reach a different target. Consider the one Moses used with his followers in Deuteronomy 10:15: “The LORD chose your ancestors as the objects of his love.” What the Hebrews heard in their language was this: “The LORD binds himself to his people.” Binds is the word hasaq, and it speaks of a tethered love, a love attached to something or someone. Harnessed. The strap serves two functions, yanking and claiming. Like yanking your child out of trouble and, in doing so, to proclaim, “Yes, he is as wild as a banshee. But he’s mine.”
In this case, God chained himself to Israel. God loves Israel—and the rest of us—because he chooses to do so. God’s love is the love that won’t let go of the object of his love.