The modern day church THINKS they know what God’s Love is. We’re told to be nice to everybody, feed the poor, accept people the way they are, don’t lose your temper in traffic, be patient with each other …. all of this SOUNDS like God’s Love … BUT IS IT?? I want to do a small study about the Lovingkindess of God. It’s not some obscure term, kept mysterious and unattainable until we go to be with Him. We won’t be able to pull the “His Ways are NOT Our Ways” excuse when we see Him. His Word is clear.
Let’s go to Psalm 107 and look at the very last verse of the chapter (v43): “Whoever is wise will observe these things, And they will understand the lovingkindness [khesed] of the LORD.”
Look at that carefully, it’s telling you that, whatever came before verse 43 will be understood by wise people, and they WILL understand the lovingkindness [khesed] of the Lord. Due to time and space constraints, I’m not going to put the whole Strong’s concordance reference the Hebrew Word khesed, but click here and read the WHOLE definition.
If you’ve skipped over the link because you either don’t have time, or just don’t want to read it … GO BACK AND READ IT!!! I want to stress this point, God’s Lovingkindness …. His “khesed” means so much more than what the American church is telling you! And you ARE meant to understand it.
Let’s go through Psalm 107 and find out about this Lovingkindness [khesed].
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for [He is] good! For His mercy [endures] forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say [so], Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, Their soul fainted in them. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, [And] He delivered them out of their distresses. And He led them forth by the right way, That they might go to a city for a dwelling place.
Praise God! In His Lovingkindness, He has saved us! He’s gathered us out of the wilderness and has given us a family! We’re redeemed, saved and delivered and He leads us! So far so good ….
Love Fills with Goodness
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness. Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, bound in affliction and irons — because they rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High, therefore He brought down their heart with labor; They fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces.
Oh wait! What’s this? We’re thanking God for His Goodness and His Wonderful Works …. but He brings down people’s hearts with labor? They fall down and there is no one to help? Notice it didn’t say the devil did this … it was GOD who did this! Is this part of His lovingkindness? His khesed? How is that possible? Does this fit our definition of God’s love? Notice why they were brought down: “because they rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High.” This is pretty plain: Because of His Lovingkindness, people who do not regard His Word and Counsel will be brought low. Perhaps they will look up and call upon His name? Because of His Lovingkindness, He will save them!
Love Breaks and Cuts …. and Heals
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He has broken the gates of bronze, And cut the bars of iron in two. Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, were afflicted. Their soul abhorred all manner of food, And they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.
Again we praise God for His Goodness and Wonderful Works! This passage of scripture addresses fools! They get themselves into trouble because of their own disobedience and habitual sins. Yet when they call upon God, and turn to Him, He sends His Word to heal them!
Love Commands and Judges, with Rejoicing!
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, And declare His works with rejoicing. Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters, They see the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep. For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea. They mount up to the heavens, They go down again to the depths; Their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits’ end. Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, So that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven.
Yet Again, we’re praising God for his Goodness and His Wonderful Works! But now He’s commanding destructive weather patterns …. does this fit in with your definition of God’s Lovingkindness? It should! According to this scripture, God’s Judgement is part of His Lovingkindness … and, look, we are to rejoice as we declare these Wonderful Works!
What is Love?
Are you starting to get the feeling that our definition of Love is way off base? By studying these 30 scriptures, we can learn the goal of God’s Lovingkindness … it is to cause man to call upon Him! When we call to Him with a repentant heart …. repenting for rebelling against Him, repenting for rejecting His counsel, repenting for our own stupidity and disobedience, repenting for not acknowledging His Righteous Judgements …. He Will Deliver!
Barrenness and Fruitfulness
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, And praise Him in the company of the elders. He turns rivers into a wilderness, And the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, For the wickedness of those who dwell in it. He turns a wilderness into pools of water, And dry land into watersprings. There He makes the hungry dwell, That they may establish a city for a dwelling place, And sow fields and plant vineyards, That they may yield a fruitful harvest. He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly; And He does not let their cattle decrease.” When they are diminished and brought low Through oppression, affliction, and sorrow, He pours contempt on princes, And causes them to wander in the wilderness where there is no way; Yet He sets the poor on high, far from affliction, And makes their families like a flock. The righteous see it and rejoice, And all iniquity stops its mouth.
Call Upon Him
Our God wants to deliver and save, we only need to call on Him. It is because of His Lovingkindness that He will do whatever it takes to bring us to that point where we our utterly broken and brought low …. so we will look up and call upon His Name. After all, His eternal perspective on love is what counts. What good are comforts and peace this life, if our Eternal Destiny is in jeopardy?
Whoever [is] wise will observe these things, And they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.
So what does that mean to us? How are we to take God’s Lovingkindness and show it to others? What do we need to change in our definition of love as we relate to each other? Stay tuned …. there will be more to come!!!