His Kindness - ‘Hesed’ חֶסֶד
EXODUS 34:6 …He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love (hesed) and faithfulness.
Exodus 34, what a chapter and snap-shot of the greater narrative that HE has invited us into. This whole chapter has really grounded, captivated and challenged me so much this year, especially verses 6-7. It is actually the most quoted scripture we find in scripture itself, often quoted in the New Testament as as foundation and bed rock (or as I like to say - ground zero) for the very character and nature of God. It is also where we find this the Hebrew word ‘hesed’ (חֶסֶד). Hesed is hard to describe in our modern day English language, but it is a description of God himself and we find this in the 6th verse of this chapter. Anytime I find myself confused by HIS mystery or lost sight of HIS very character, I go back to this moment in the story. It is God himself describing himself - how amazing and precious is that!
There are many words, such as, mercy, compassion, love, grace, and faithfulness that relate to this Hebrew word ‘hesed’ (חֶסֶד), but none completely define what ‘hesed’ really means. The best word we have is the word: LOVINGKINDNESS.
Hesed is not merely an emotion or feeling but also describes a sense of love and loyalty that inspires merciful and compassionate behavior toward another person. In other words we could describe it this way… ‘when the person from whom I have a right to expect nothing, give me everything.’ Michael Card from the book INEXPRESSIBLE - Hesed and the Mystery of God’s Lovingkindness - I would highly recommend this book.
God is the definition of LOVINGKINDNESS. He is a kind God, He is slow to anger and abounding in LOVE, ABOUNDING IN HIS HESED! - and WE have been invited to this table, we have been invited in. He calls us friend, the King calls us His very own. Our duty, this invitation, is to step into this life and this kindness (His ‘hesed’) through the life and example of Jesus. We can actually ask Holy Spirit to walk in this kindness each day!
Jesus, Thank you! Thank you for your steadfast kindness, Your pursuit of us, Your compassion, Your grace, Your faithfulness and then at the very center of Your character and nature we find Your ‘hesed’, Your kindness.