faithfulness, hope, love, mercy, our love for God, study scripture, trust
In the English Standard Version of the Bible, “steadfast love” is mentioned 196 times in the Old Testament, 127 times in the Psalms alone. One of my favorite verses using steadfast love is Psalms 6:4: “Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love.”
These words of the psalmist David can be turned into a prayer of petition for healing by personalizing it with the individual’s name. It is also an appropriate prayer for our nation: “Turn, O Lord, deliver (our nation); save (us) for the sake of your steadfast love.”
“Steadfast love” is a translation from the Hebrew word chesed, found approximately 250 times in the Hebrew Bible according to many research sites, Ken Emilio of RemnantReport.com being one. Norman H. Snaith in A Theological Word Book of the Bible says that in English versions of the Bible, chesed has also been translated as loving-kindness, mercy, and loyalty. I think it is very safe to say God wants us to know we can rely on His love. That His is a faithful and committed love. Why else would He tell us so many times?
Just as His love for us is steadfast, He asks that our love be the same. In the New Testament, scripture turns it around from how God loves us and uses chesed as how we are to love God and others. Christ came to demonstrate the Father’s steadfast love by showing us how to take what we have been given and give it to others. Chesed is found six times in the New Testament: 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 2 Thessalonians 3:5, 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 3:10, Titus 2:2, and James 1:12. One of those references, 2 Thessalonians 3:5, says it like this: “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”
Beautiful songs of praise continue to be written about God’s steadfast love. Don Moen sings praise to God with his song “Your Steadfast Love” at https://youtu.be/ibky__ABoLs and Hillsong sings “The Steadfast Love of the Lord Never Ceases” at https://youtu.be/0W3mspwIKgk .
As we sing our own praises to God, may we thank Him for a love that is steadfast and faithful. Man’s love may fail us, but God’s love never will. He has told us that emphatically.