Sunday, May 16, 2010
Chesed - Love That Won't Let Go
I'm doing a study of the Hebrew word Chesed, usually translated mercy, lovingkindness, or steadfast love in the Old Testament. It can be thought of as God's steadfast loving favor. I read that it is the Old Testament word closest to the New Testament concept of grace, so I thought it would be interesting to study and see grace in the Old Testament.
One thing I have learned so far is that the word Chesed contains the elements of (1) strength, (2) love, and (3) faithfulness or loyalty (security). His is a strong love that won't let go of the other person, no matter what that person does. It's not only that He loves and favors us right now, but also that He's strong and CAN keep on loving/favoring us in the future and that He's faithful and WILL keep on loving/favoring us in the future - forever.
This love will go with us into whatever dark corner we run; it will follow us every day of our life (Ps. 23:6). Day or night, it's there (Ps. 42:8). It is a love that endures and is on our side no matter what the enemy throws against us (Ps. 52:1, 59:10, 86:13), a love that continually holds us up and preserves us whole and safe in His arms (Ps. 40:11, Lam. 3:22), a love that endures through our failures and uplifts us even in the midst of them (Ps. 94:18). It's unconditional, forever love that is better than anything this life has to offer (Ps. 63:3) and the only thing that will truly fill the ache in our hearts (Ps. 90:14). And God delights in showing this unbreakable, unconditional love to us (Mic. 7:18)! It will never fail to be there (Jer. 31:3, Ps. 136:2). It won't let go.
I see the same idea in the verse I quoted at the beginning of the post (Heb. 13:5). God's love just won't let us go. He won't leave us or relax His hold on us. His love won't fail to hold and support us. That is part of what grace is to me, a love that just won't let go. So I don't have to do anything to make sure it stays. I'm safe and secure in this love. This love is here to stay - He will always keep on loving me, will stick with me no matter what. This is such a comfort to me. God has bound Himself to me with the eternally strong bonds of love. He won't give up on me. He won't reject me. He's in this for the long haul. If He's totally forgiven all my sin and made me a perfect new creation joined in an eternal love-union with Him, how could anything break that up?
"For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you" (Is. 54:10).
Posted by sparrow girl at 6:51 AM