Lovingkindness or mercy is an English word defining “hesed” in the Old Testament. Hesed is a term that is included in covenant language describing relationships between people that reflect generosity or compassion that comes from love. When our relationship with God is broken, He works at renewing it, because He loves what He has created; even when we have rejected His sovereignty and try to control our own destiny. He restrains His anger and does not give up on us. Hesed has many meanings and it is difficult to define as an English expression. in His kingdom, hesed is relational, reciprocal and active.
Within the English culture when someone receives a gift, after saying “Thank you” the gratitude turns to a reciprocal gift or way of giving. In the New Testament it works this way also. God gives to us by His love and we respond as a disciple ready to give to Him. In the Old Testament it is based on hesed and in the New Testament it is called grace. Grace can be defined as: God doing something for us, by His love, that we cannot do for ourself. In other words, it describes one aspect of God’s incredible character.
In the midst of giving hesed or lovingkindness to others, you can still experience battles such as: the good fight of faith, wrestling with the enemy, and the war of denying self. Through it all, the author of Hebrews encourages us: Let us run with endurance the race that is put before us.” The word “race” is an easier way to identify the challenges of life we all face.
As we encounter various battles as we run the race, He still wants His character (hesed-mercy-grace) to be extended to His people, identifying His kingdom. We first are obligated to give to God because of His continuous gift of grace to us, and then reciprocate our giving and love to others. Regardless what we encounter in the race, let’s continue to extend lovingkindness or hesed to Him and to others!
In His Covenant Love,