It’s Friday! And I’m sharing an excerpt from my newest book project called the Bite of Bread, a daily devotional that feeds your soul one bite at a time.
Because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ~Lamentations 3:22, 23 NIV[Word Study]
Chesed: Love, kindness, mercy. One of the most important words in the OT. Chesed essentially denotes an act of kindness, love, or mercy. The quality of the kindness shown is usually that reserved for close friends and family members, but the act of chesed can be demonstrated in any relationship. . . . Chesed is central to God’s character (Ps 59:10; 100:5). It is closely tied to his covenant with his chosen people. . . . God’s chesed is everlasting. 1
Racham: compassion (in the plural); by extension the womb (as cherishing the fetus); by implication a maiden: —bowels, compassion, damsel, tender love, (great, tender) mercy, pity womb. 2
Kalah: A primitive root; to end, whether intransitively (to cease, be finished, perish) or transitively (to complete, prepare, consume): -accomplish, cease . . . end, expire . . . faint, finish . . . waste. 3
As I type this, I’m enjoying a piece of hard candy, a cinnamon Jolly Rancher. It’s bringing back memories of my third pregnancy. These cinnamon candies calmed my morning (all day) sickness. They were an answer to prayer–one I wished I had had with the other two babies.
Why am I writing about pregnancy? Well, did you catch the definition for Racham, the Hebrew word we’ve translated as “compassion”? The definitions paint a picture of a mother’s womb. It’s amazing to think that God’s Racham surrounds us, nourishes us, and protects like that of a womb.
That’s powerful, but the other definitions bring new life to the verse too.
Yehova or YHWH, the God who set his people free from slavery, is a God of mercy and kindness. His “love” (chesed) in Lamentations 3:22 is more than the emotional, fickle love we know as humans. It involves loving kindness and mercy that come with a covenant he will not break even when we don’t follow through. Because of his chesed or mercy we are not consumed.
The scripture promises that his protecting, surrounding compassion keeps on giving . . . with every sunrise. It never expires or ceases. Some of us probably need to climb out of bed before the dawn and go watch the sun come up. It’s not missed a day yet–a visual promise of the truth of Lamentions 3:23,24.[bctt tweet=”The scripture promises that God’s compassion keeps on giving . . . with every sunrise. ” username=”wordsbyandylee”]
Chewing on . . . the knowledge that God’s kindness and mercy surrounds me like a womb and starts anew, faithfully, with each new day.
Leave a comment: What is your favorite part of this scripture? Why?
Finding Purpose in God’s Mercy,
Definitions from The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Bible, NIV