God’s Unexplainable “Hesed”
God has a ceaseless lovingkindness for humanity that defies all reasoning. In Hebrew it is known as hesed: compassionate and gracious; slow to anger; abounding in love and faithfulness; maintaining love to thousands; and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin (Exodus 34).
When offered this gracious gift, however, why do we respond with indifference or sometimes even walk away? I’m convinced that cynicism is often the cause: hesed just seems too good to be true! We have a tremendously difficult time believing a simple truth about God: His love cannot be earned.
As finite beings we struggle to comprehend the ways of an infinite God. It makes no sense to our limited brains that while we were yet sinners, He gave His son as an atoning sacrifice…for us! There is no cause and effect here, no if/then conditionality. Hesed remains incomprehensible and beautiful and inexplicable.
What about the times when someone lies about you, robs you, slanders you, tarnishes your reputation? What if you are disrespected, abused, or victimized by an angry outburst? Ask yourself: WWHD? What Would Hesed Do? God calls us to respond according to His higher ways, according to hesed. We are not to retaliate but to pass on to others God’s eternal lovingkindness. Perhaps your hesed toward others, with all its limitations, will direct their attention to the flawless hesed of an eternal God. That should be our goal!
Never forget: before we responded to God, before He sought us out and offered His forgiveness, we were liars, robbers, slanderers, disrespecters, and abusers. We must never forget that it was in this condition that we were shown hesed by God.
There is no greater mystery in all humankind: the Creator of the Universe pursues His creation that has turned against Him, and sacrifices His perfect Son in order to restore relationship with His people…for eternity! It is a mystery, but it is also gloriously, blessedly, reliably true! Praise the Lord!