As a public speaker I delight in communication techniques that work effectively. One communication technique I recall involved the public speaker repeating a key phrase over and over during his presentation. At strategic spots he would insert the key phrase… but at other times almost in haphazard fashion he would throw it in as well. He didn’t come right out and say it, but by the end of his presentation, it was almost as if he looked out at his audience with a grin on his face and exclaimed, “OK, did you get it?”
This morning during “coffee with the Lord” I read a passage that seemed to use a similar technique to make its point… Psalm 136. The Psalmist repeats the phrase “His steadfast love endures forever!” 26 times! He says it at the close of every sentence… but sometimes he doesn’t wait for the end of a sentence to do it… He’ll throw it in almost after every phrase! … “His steadfast love endures forever! … His steadfast love endures forever! … His steadfast love…”
The Hebrew word translated “steadfast love” is “Hesed or Chesed” and is the word used in Scripture for God’s abiding, reliable, faithful, covenant keeping love… Love God’s people can bank on! It is always and reliably there (in spite of their failures!).
In Psalms 136 this “steadfast love” was first of all expressed by God in all that he created! Then it was demonstrated in Jehovah’s deliverance of His people from bondage in Egypt. His love was later revealed in the inheritance He provided for them – a land “flowing with milk and honey” – what we call the “Holy Land.” And finally, “Hesed or Chesed” – “steadfast love” – expressed all along the way as their provider, sustainer and defender!
So the opening anthem of this great Psalm urges God’s people to “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His steadfast love endures forever! Give thanks to the God of all gods, His steadfast love endures forever! Give thanks to the Lord of all lords, for His steadfast love endures forever! … Then one “His steadfast love endures forever!” after another… #26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His steadfast love endures forever!”
And I can almost see Jehovah God, our Heavenly Father, looking down from heaven today, kind of grinning at us and saying with a twinkle in His eye… “OK, did you get it?!”
Oh, one more thing… this isn’t just an Old Testament idea…it’s a New Testament truth as well! You probably need to read and reflect on Romans 8:31-39! So here’s your word for the day… “Hesed or Chesed!” Enjoy!! Oh… and give thanks!