Meditate on that for a while. It's breathtaking, isn't it? It's the core of who God is and the reason Jesus came. I love that word ḥesed!
Friday, July 04, 2014
About that covenant breach
So this is the way Yahweh starts this revelation of His essential character to Moses. He is the compassionate One, the gracious One. He doesn’t start with His holiness. He doesn’t even start with His righteousness and He doesn’t start with truth. But He starts with the fact that He is compassionate and gracious. To those two He adds that He is slow to anger. He is very patient. Then the text says, “He is abounding in hesed and faithfulness.” The Hebrew word here translated with “abounding” is rab, which means “Much. Large, abundant.” In other words, His character is full to overflowing with these qualities. But what does that mean? He has to say it again. It means He is very careful to extend “hesed to thousands, forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” Here in the setting of the first major breach of the covenant, Yahweh is at great pains to let Moses know that He is not merely characterized by justice and mercy, but rather that who He is goes far beyond that. He is absolutely loyal and dependable when the only reason for such behavior is just consistency with Himself. So, Israel is given a second chance, and the reason is because of Yahweh’s nature as hesed and ’emet.— Lectures in Old Testament Theology, page 176