Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
The unique and beautiful term David used in this Psalm to express God’s love was the Hebrew word Hesed. This is a very rich word; rich with depth and meaning and truth. Hesed is considered one of the most important terms in Old Testament theology and ethics. It has three basic meanings which all interact together: strength, steadfastness, and love.
The word Hesed cannot be fully understood unless all three of the meanings are incorporated. Generally the word “love” carries a bit of light hearted, fluffy affection, but when we put love together with steadfastness and strength we understand the enduring nature of God’s Hesed – type of love, even toward those who seem weak or undeserving.
Hesed implies loyalty, mercy and generosity. It also infers personal involvement and commitment beyond what the law requires. For example, a husband and wife are legally bound to each other, yet their relationship transcends the legal document and represents a bond and commitment to each other. The prophet Hosea spoke of the Hesed between God and His people, “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD,” Hosea 2:19-20.
Not only does God demonstrate this enduring love and kindness, He wants us to know and understand His hesed love for us. Consider the words God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah saying:
This is what the LORD says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness (hesed),
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the LORD.
This Holiday season, my prayer for you is that you will experience the comfort and joy of His Unfailing Love for you.
This blog is an excerpt from Unfailing Love. To learn more about this book and the $5 special this month click here.
Photo at the beginning of this blog is by Chris Meads on Unsplash