I read a book several years ago “A Sacred Sorrow” by Michael Card. As a result, I learned a new word: “hesed“. This word describes the indescribable un-definable characteristics of God. This Hebrew word is untranslatable into one word in English. Our English language defines the word simply as lovingkindness but it encompasses so much more. I suppose it would take a vast number of words to describe “hesed” and even then we would not be able to cover what it truly means. So the best way to define “hesed” is to say it means the consistent, ever-faithful, relentless, constantly-pursuing, lavish, extravagant, unrestrained, furious love of our Father God who shows grace and mercy! The Bible gives us these verses concerning God’s “hesed“:
Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving–kindness.
Exodus 34:7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations
Psalm 86:15 But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.
While it is hard for us to understand the full meaning of the word “hesed“, it is through Jesus that we can see glimpses of the true meaning of the word. Because God came in the flesh, lived a life that was fully “hesed“, He died on a cross and rose from the dead. He was the incarnation of this indefinable word.
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