steadfast loveSteadfast Love is the English translation for the Hebrew word “hesed

God’s hesed is one of my favorite concepts in the Old Testament that requires multiple words and ideas to understand.

  • Hesed is rich Hebrew word for which there is no exact English equivalent.  It is too big a concept for a single word to contain or express it.

Hesed is God’s love for us- covenantal everlasting, merciful, kind, gracious, tender, never ending, unchanging, faithful, steadfast…

I LOVE this word…

  • hesed has been translated as:  mercy, loving kindness, unswerving loyalty, steadfast love, faithful covenant, redemptive love in action, persistent unconditional tenderness, kindness and compassion,
  • hesed is a covenantal and relational word:  it is an unbreakable committed love that nothing can change, extinguish, alter.  Covenants involve two parties. We are bound up in God’s hesed and we experience it in our relationship with Him.  We cannot damage, change or escape God’s hesed for us

Hesed3_thumb[2]Hesed is God’s love for us- covenantal everlasting, merciful, kind, gracious, tender, never ending, unchanging, faithful, steadfast…

Just sit with those words for a few minutes…

Into the midst of our mess, disappointments, questions, sadness, struggles, tension in relationships, inner turmoil, sin, shame, fear…God speaks hesed. “I love you with an everlasting, steadfast, tender, unchanging love.” sigh, deep breath… a little bit of peace settles into my heart and mind. Nothing can change Gods heart toward us – not our mistakes, sins, hiding, anger, questions, doubts -we may turn away but His face is towards us, His heart is fully ours.

The prophet Micah says, “Who is like our God, No One! Our God is unique, because of God’s hesed for us!”

  • Hesed is the reason God does not leave us!  He does not stay angry with us forever, but delights in showing us mercy, in having an intimate relationship with us, based on His unswerving, covenant love.
  • We can’t earn God’s hesed.  It is a free gift, we can receive or reject.  But it will not change.
  • We don’t deserve God’s hesed, yet He gives it anyway… and longs for us to receive it!

God speaks hesed. “I love you with an everlasting, steadfast, tender, faithful, unchanging love.” He chose me.  He chose YOU!

Chosen.  Delighted in. Loved with an Everlasting, steadfast, unchanging Love. No matter what!

We only need to open our hands and hearts to receive and embrace it. We have all experienced the pain of not being chosen –

  • standing there hoping our name is called for a team at recess -“please don’t let me be picked last.”
  • trying out for a play, a sport, a sorority and waiting by the phone for the call that never comes
  • being a bridesmaid … again – wondering if someone will love us enough to say those magic words, “will you marry me?”
  • at another baby shower, longing for it to be ours
  • in court, watching the love of our life walk away.
  • surfing Facebook and seeing the parties and events we weren’t invited to
  • applauding as our friend accepts the award we wanted
  • cheering for her, when in our heart of hearts we desperately wanted it to be me

Into these fears, disappointments, sorrow, and wonderings…God says, “I choose you! now and forever.”

Into our longing to be seen, known and chosen… God speaks hesed.

What does this truth stir up in your heart?  How does it speak to your story?  How would embracing God’s hesed change you as it seeped into your heart, mind and daily life?

She Reads Truth- Lent 2015-Weekly

2 Responses to “How can we describe God’s love for us?”

  1. Linda

    Sometimes I struggle to remember someone’s name, knowing how important it is to be remembered by name. Most of us have fashioned a way of remembering names–association, characteristic, rote–but God knows us each by name. What an honor.
    When the project falls apart, the relationships totter, the hopes are dashed, He still knows who we are. Wow!


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