Friday, July 14, 2023

Who He Is: Steadfast Love

The first memory verse I taught my daughter was “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever.” I didn’t bother with the verse’s reference because this phrase is found multiple places in Scripture. Another rendering is, “His steadfast love endures forever.” I started with this verse because it is foundational for learning who God is.
So what is “steadfast love”? 


“Steadfast love” can also be interpreted as favor, goodness, kindness, or mercy. It is from the Hebrew root transliteration, checed, and it appears 247 times in the Old Testament! 
Here are some things to notice about this phrase:
·      It can describe God toward us.
·      It can describe our attitude and actions toward God.
·      It can describe our attitude and actions toward one another.
Proverbs instructs us in the importance of steadfast love and faithfulness, going so far as to say that by keeping them close, we’ll have success with God and people! (See Proverbs 3:3-4)
The phrase was used by God Himself when he revealed His name to Moses:
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
Exodus 34:6 (ESV)
I want to point out that when these words are used about God, they are not simply describing what he does. They describe who He is. “Steadfast love” is about more than how he sometimes feels about us. God’s character, which doesn’t change, is found in the definition of the Hebrew word, checed. This is who He always is!
·      Extending favor
·      Merciful
·      Full of goodness
·      Abounding in kindness
And if you have trouble believing this about God, let me show you a little foreshadowing in the book of Proverbs:
By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.
Proverbs 16:6 (ESV)
It is the steadfast love of the Lord that ultimately resulted in Jesus’ sacrifice for us. The favor that is part of who God is toward us, is what gave us the opportunity to receive salvation. His steadfast love is the beauty of the Gospel.
Be reminded today, dear sister, that God has steadfast love (favor, goodness, kindness, mercy) for you because that is who He is. And He demonstrated this by sending His son for you!
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 (ESV)
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1 (ESV)
  • Glance over Psalm 136. If you were to write your own verse to this Psalm, what would it say? For example: “Give thanks to the Lord for [fill in the blank], His steadfast love endures forever; To God who [fill in the blank], His steadfast love endures forever.”
  • Which of the translations of the Hebrew word checed stands out to you? Why?

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