Tag Archives: chesed – mercy/lovingkindness – Strong’s H2617

Luke 22:39-53: Yeshua sings the Hallel about God’s mercy

The sleepiness of the Eleven (Lk. 22:39-53; Mt. 26:36-56; Mk. 13:32-50) is describing is not just nodding off from being up too late, but this is a sorrowful sleep, we would describe it as depression. That was the source of their temptation that Yeshua was praying they would overcome. 

We read that they sang a hymn before leaving (Mt. 26:30; Mk. 14:26). Most likely, the hymn they sang was one of the Hallel (“praise”) Psalms commonly recited at festivals, Psalms 113-118 or Psalm 136.

One of the Psalms of the Hallel is Psalm 118, which is full of messianic prophecies. It starts and ends with a responsive refrain (Psa. 118:1–4, 29): כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ ki l’olam khasdo, because everlasting is His lovingkindness/mercy:

“The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. The right hand of the LORD is exalted; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.” (Psa. 118:15–16)

“This is the gate of the LORD; The righteous will enter through it.” (Psa. 118:20)

“The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.” (Psa. 118:22)

“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD” (Psa. 118:26)

“The LORD is God, and He has given us light; Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.” (Psa. 118:27)

Psalm 136 recounts the great things God has done in Israel’s history. Like Psalm 118, it’s a responsive song, with the refrain כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. One of the main Hebrew words that pops up in both Ps. 118 and Ps. 136 is chesed/khesed חֶסֶד (Strong’s H2617)which means “goodness, kindness, mercy; rarely, shame, reproach” (Lv. 20:17; Pr. 14:34) 

The Lord comes along side us in our difficulty. That is His khesed. Yeshua came as the khesed made flesh. He was able to endure insults and suffering and yet He was still loving and compassionate. 

Even for all the insult and rejection that would be heaped on Yeshua, much more than before, showing Himself as the LORD’s khesed made flesh was His mission. 

As they sang the Hallel to the Mount of Olives, they repeated the refrain “His mercy endures forever.” 

Khesed is not just “lovey-dovey” but also forgiving. The key to khesed is forgiveness, letting insults and offenses go. We need to bury those things that we have against others or those things others have against us.  Forgiveness was key to Yeshua’s teachings:

“ ‘For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.’ ” (Matt. 6:14–15)

“ ‘My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.’ ” (Matt. 18:35)

“ ‘Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.’ ” (Mark 11:25)

God wants to forgive but He also wants to teach us how to forgive. We have to have the same lovingkindness and forgiveness He has. We need to endure the same affronts and insults He has born. If we want God to hear our prayers, we have to love and forgive people just as God has loved and forgiven us. We are not just talking the talk. We need to walk the walk. We need to get over those things that bring us sadness, pain and bitterness. 

The הלכה halakhah ― the walk, “The Way” ― of the Khesed of God was ultimate forgiveness, appealing to the Father to let betrayal of the Son of God, the Chosen One for God’s chosen one from among the nations, Israel. Yeshua practiced what He taught, even on the Cross:

“ ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, ‘He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.’ ” (Luke 23:34–35)

The Light exposes the darkness. Darkness attacks, it doesn’t want to be exposed by the Light. This is true now and even more true in the Day of The Lord. 

“ ‘I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, [a spirit] of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.’ ” (Zech. 12:10 New American Standard Bible Update)

The direct context of “Me” is the LORD. However, if the leaders didn’t accept Yeshua as sent by the Father, they weren’t accepting the will of the One Who sent Yeshua. Rejecting Yeshua, piercing Yeshua spiritually and physically, was doing so to the LORD.

“It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in princes.” (Psalms 118:8–9 NASB)

Do we really trust in God and the direction He is taking us? God was taking Yeshua to the Cross, yet Yeshua trusted God. We will endure insults such as “How can you believe in the existence of God? Haven’t you grown out of that?” Do you snarl at them? Do you lash out? How do you respond to insult? This is what Yeshua was praying for: that God would give His disciples the wisdom to respond properly. 

“The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. The right hand of the LORD is exalted; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.” (Psalms 118:15–16 NASB)

What is the “right hand of the Lord”? Yeshua is the One at the right hand. Yeshua is the khesed of God.

God doesn’t see who you are now. He can see over the horizon and see who you will be as His heirs, as His sons and daughters. God looks forward, He doesn’t look back. Yeshua didn’t care about washing feet and acting as a servant because He knew who He was and where He was going. 

Israel, our ancestors in trust in God, at its founding was not internationally significant. God delivered Israel from captivity in Mitsraim (Egypt) as well as being scattered in Babylon and then to all nations (see Deuteronomy 30–32).

People who lived under oppression understand the Exodus. They saw that God didn’t just offer freedom back then, He offers freedom now. The Exodus and the deliverance to the land is not just history but it happens to each of us when we come to Yeshua. God is looking to take all of us our of our Egypt and to our Promised land. 

“Who remembered us in our low estate, For His lovingkindness is everlasting, And has rescued us from our adversaries, For His lovingkindness is everlasting;” (Psalms 136:23–24 NASB)

Of all the enemies listed in Psalm 136, the one adversary that bested Israel repeatedly was the rebellious heart (interests, inclinations). Israel lost sight of their mission, of their purpose for existence. God made them a great nation, not for the sake of making a great nation, but to bring the whole world into the Kingdom of God. 

We may face terrestrial enemies ― oppressive governments, scoffing friends, oppositional family members ― but the toughest enemy is sin and death. 

The Torah gives a number of examples of what sin, transgression and iniquity are. Apostle Yokhanan defined sin this way:

“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” (1John 3:4 New American Standard Bible Update)

  • sin = ἁμαρτία  hamartia (G266): to err, make a mistake. In the Septuagint for חָטָא khataʾ (H2398): to miss, sin
  • lawlessness = ἀνομία  anomia (G458), from νόμος nomos (G3551) by way of νέμω nemō, to distribute, assign: figuratively, law or custom. In the Septuagint for פָּשַׁע paw-shah’ (H6586): to break away (from just authority), i.e. trespass, apostatize, quarrel
  • unrighteousness, injustice = ἀδικία adikia (G93). Also used in the Septuagint to translate פָּשַׁע.

The Psalms are to remind us of God, not to remind God of us. God is the steadfast one, He has no whims of fancy. As we look into Yeshua’s trials, crucifixion and resurrection, think about God’s mercy and what endures forever. Yeshua repeatedly taught His disciples about God’s khesed and encourage them to extend it to others. 

Speaker: Jeff. Summary: Tammy. 

Fundamentals of reigning with Messiah in the Kingdom of God: Judgment, mercy and trust

Richard AgeeThe beginning of the future reign of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) on Earth (Rev. 20:4–6), memorialized in the appointed times of Sukkot (Festival of Booths or Tabernacles) and Shmeni Atzeret (Convocation of the Eighth Day). Consider: During the 1,000 year-reign of Yeshua, if someone “walks” the wrong direction, the errant person will hear a voice, “Turn neither to the left or to the right; walk straight!” (Deut. 28:14; Josh. 1:7; Prov. 4:27; cp. Zech. 8:20–23).

Right now, that voice is hard to hear, but during the Millennial reign, that voice will be very clear. 

Continue reading Fundamentals of reigning with Messiah in the Kingdom of God: Judgment, mercy and trust

Can one be ‘under grace’ yet obey God’s Torah?

Richard AgeeHow do we explain to others about being “under grace” and still obey the Torah? Are we “under grace” or “under law”? Paul explains this in his letter to the Romans.

Continue reading Can one be ‘under grace’ yet obey God’s Torah?

Luke 14: Whose honor do we seek?

JeffYeshua’s schooling of a Pharisee member of Israel’s ruling council on allowable actions on Shabbat seems disconnected from the parables that follow in Luke 14. Yet they all are threaded together with learning God’s view on justice, compassion and mercy then honoring God through lifelong commitment to those principles of the kingdom of Heaven.

Not honoring God by seeking that change of “glasses” for seeing the world — and seeing the One through Whom the change would come — doomed much of Israel to be scattered and regathered repeatedly. 

Continue reading Luke 14: Whose honor do we seek?

Luke 9:1-6; 10:1-24: Messiah warns the 12 and 70 before sending them out ‘like sheep among wolves’

Yeshua (Jesus) sent the 12 and 70 other close followers to various cities as witnesses of His message about the coming of the Kingdom of God. Key to this commission was a quotation from the prophet Micah at a time when Israel was about to be taken apart because of rebellion against God. The same was about to happen to Israel in the first century.

Continue reading Luke 9:1-6; 10:1-24: Messiah warns the 12 and 70 before sending them out ‘like sheep among wolves’

Deuteronomy 5: Moses elaborates on the 10 commandments

Yeshua told the devil, “We are to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4, quoting Deut. 8:3). The words of God are not limited to the “New Testament,” as a number of Christians assume. Yeshua said, “If you love me keep my commandments” (John 14:15, context John 14:14-16).

We believe with all our hearts that Yeshua and the Father are “one” (John 10:30; cf. Deut. 6:4-5). We understand that the words of the Torah are Yeshua’s words (1st Cor. 10:1-3), just like the Sermon on the Mount/Plain are Yeshua’s words.

Deuteronomy is not just repeating the prior books like a parrot but adding and elaborating on earlier teachings. It shows us not just the words of God but the heart of God. When you love someone you want to know what is in their heart. 

In Deut. 5:6-21, Moses reiterates the 10 commandments to the children of Israel, the second generation of those who left the land of Egypt. 

Moses says that he is going to remind them of the statutes (חֹק choq, Strong’s H2706) and judgments (מִשְׁפָּט misphat, Strong’s H4941) of God. He wants the people to “ learn them and observe them carefully.”

A statute is a prescribed task. We don’t come up with our own idea, it’s something that is pre-appointed. For example, the freeway speed limit is a statute. It’s a rule that has been predetermined and specifically required. The law pre-ordains that when a person travels on a particular road, they can only travel up to a certain speed. If a vehicle travels even one mile above that limit, the statute has been broken, regardless of whether a police officer cites the driver or not. The speed limit is not up to interpretation. 

Wisdom is not head-knowledge. It is knowledge in action. When Yeshua tells His follows they are to be  the light of the world, He is telling us that we are to show people the Gospel in our actions, not our words. 

A judgement is what comes when a person fails to perform a specific task properly. Justice is first, then mercy and last is faith. Faith is not our faith, or faith in ourselves but faith in God’s faithfulness — that God’s rules are correct, that His is correct when he rebukes us and that God is faithful to forgive us when we repent. When God is a part of our life, He is closer to you than your own mother. Just as you know who your mother is and how she deals with life, we are also supposed to know God that intimately. 

Moses also reminds the people that when God spoke at Horeb, aka Sinai, He was sealing a covenant (בְּרִית brit, Strong’s H1285) with them. God was creating a confederacy with the people of Israel, they were to be His people. The primitive roots of the word covenant add some insight into the importance of this covenant and what God was doing for the children of Israel. A possible root meaning is to feed or to eat (בָּרָה bara, Strong’s H1262). Another is to create or to cut down (בָּרָא bara, Strong’s H1254). God had cut them off from Egypt and made attached themselves to Him. They are no longer slaves in Egypt and they are to work for Him instead. 

1st commandment: Getting in God’s face

There was a preface to this covenant, called the 10 commandments. When God says to “have no other gods before Him,” it actually means that you are not to have any other gods “in his face” to put them as equal to or above Him.

2nd commandment: Idol worship

When God says that you are not to have any idols or representations of God, He spells out three things. They are not to make any idols of anything in the heavens above them, the earth below their feet or in the waters below the earth.  

We are told that God is “jealous” (קַנָּא qanna, Strong’s H7067) and we don’t like that word. The word translated as jealous only applies to God. No human being can do this. God will not have any rival. He destroyed all the elohim of Egypt so He would not have any rival in the hearts of the children of Israel. 

When God shows mercy (חֶסֶד chesed, Strong’s H2617), He shows kindness, faithfulness, deeds of devotion. We need to be on God’s side, not God’ being on our side. When we bow our head to God, He lifts up our head. Yeshua “bowed down” and washed His disciples feet because God is not arrogant. He will show thousands of generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.

3rd commandment: ‘Taking God’s name in vain’ is more than using His name in coarse talk

The third commandment is important to consider, it tells us not to use the name of God “in vain.” The word in Hebrew is shav (שָׁוְא, Strong’s H7723). It means emptiness. When people take God’s name in vain, they are demeaning His name. When we carry God’s name, we are to be careful, when we take God’s name in vain, we are carrying it recklessly. Paul explains the breaking of this commandment as “the name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles because of you” (Rom. 2:24; cf. Isa. 52:5; Ezek. 36:22). When we claim to carry God’s name on us but act in a manner that is 180 degrees contrary, we are defaming His name much more seriously than mere cursing. 

4th commandment: Labor vs. work on Shabbat

When it comes to keeping the sabbath, there are two different words we will look at: labor and work. Is there a difference? Labor in Hebrew is עָבַד abad (Strong’s H5647), which is to work for someone else. The word for work is מְלָאכָה melakah (Strong’s H4399), which is an occupation, what you do to bring in money or do for business. The Sabbath moratorium is on occupational work. 

We are not to work on the Sabbath but we are still able to serve God and each other on the Sabbath. We are called to allow our servants to rest from serving us on the Sabbath. The Hebrew word is yanuach, from נוּחַ nuach  (Strong’s H5117). Some of the other meanings include to abandon, to give comfort and to be settled and be satisfied. We are to give them a break, to allow them to refresh themselves. 

Why did God say that the Sabbath is a picture or a sign between Himself and the people? We are called to remember God is our creator. God delivered them out of Egypt, which was a false, wicked taskmaster and call them to work for Him, the gracious and loving taskmaster. 

5th commandment: Weighing your parents’ worth

The fifth commandment is to honor one’s parents. What is it to honor them? The Hebrew word for honor is כָּבֵד kabed (Strong’s H3513). It literally means to be heavy, weighty and of great value. When you put gold on a scale, it’s very heavy. We have this phrase in English about a person’s words carrying weight. For example, the words spoken by the President of the United States have greater “weight” or importance than the words of the Vice President.

10th commandment: Desiring another’s wife vs. desiring his stuff

The 10th commandment is the law against coveting. The first thing He names is that a man is not to covet or desire another man’s wife. The Hebrew word is חָמַד chamad (Strong’s H2530), which literally means “to desire” or “take pleasure” in something. When you look at a woman with lust, you are taking pleasure in her and breaking this commandment (Matt. 5:28).

The next part of this commandment actually is about “coveting” — desiring — a man’s house, etc. The Hebrew word here is a different: אָוָה ’avah (Strong’s H183), which means to be greedy for someone else’s property.

Speaker: Richard Agee. Reader: Dave De Fever. Summary: Tammy.