“A strong relational term that wraps up in itself an entire cluster of concepts, all the positive attributes of God – love, mercy, grace, kindness, goodness, benevolence, loyalty, covenant faithfulness: in short, that quality that moves a person to act for the benefit of another without respect to the advantage it might bring to the one who expresses it.”
Learning and understanding a new word is part of my everyday life, since the day I moved to this country 20 years ago. Sometimes I can remember a new word, sometimes it takes a while to stick. Part of the challenge of learning new words/language is when I use words that I thought I knew the meaning of…and I was wrong. For example, in the first few years of learning the language, I worked in a furniture shop using glue to laminate furniture. It took me months to learn the difference between the two words: sticky and stinky – as the glue was both. That was kind of funny (for my coworkers). But there were other times, when it was not so funny using the wrong word and I was misunderstood.
The word kindness is such an everyday word, until you see behind the real meaning that God intended. A kind of act that only benefits the other person. The kind of love that encourages us to do and serve and care for others without ever expecting any benefits for ourselves. This was the relationship between Naomi and her daughter-in-laws, and also this is what she wished for them as she asked them to return to their families. “May the Lord show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me.” (Ruth 1:8)
It is this word that was often used as a description of the unique, covenant-love between God and Israel. It is used several time in the book of Ruth and throughout the Bible over 240 times. It is translated to God’s loyalty, love and kindness toward His people.
Spend some time meditating on how God has shown you “hesed” (love, kindness, loyalty)! How He still does every single day and praise Him for it.
Psalm 33:22 says: “May Your faithful love (hesed) rest on us, Yahweh, for we put our hope in You.”
May the Lord show kindness to you!