Thoughts on the topic of mercy/steadfast love from the book of wisdom.
Mercy – I’ve always thought of mercy as that attitude which doesn’t punish when punishment is deserved.
An example might be best.
As a young boy I did something that I deserved a whoopin for, and when my dad got home, he asked me what I did, and what I deserved.
He looked down on me and said – Don’t do it again.
I deserved a whoopin. I didn’t get the whoopin. I experienced mercy, by the definition I have supplied above.
I am not convinced this is the best way to look at the topic of mercy. A quick look at Strong’s shows that this term has multiple shades of meaning, such as
- covenental love.
The ESV translates this Hebrew word (חֶסֶד cheçed) as steadfast love in a few of our verses below.
3:3Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;bind them around your neck;write them on the tablet of your heart.
Steadfast love and faithfulness are described as a necklace on the neck. A piece of jewelry that is worn to be seen. It is awesome that both terms are used together. How could steadfast love be described that with the term faithfulness. To be steadfast is unmovable, faithful, never giving up.
- Not let them forsake you
- Funny how steadfast love could forsake one. This is one reason I feel the love described here is not quite the level of apage. I might be wrong, but nevertheless, we have a responsibility to make an environment that is hospitable to both steadfast love and faithfulness
- Bind them on
- Wear these in your outer expression. A quiet christian, without words and works of love and faithfulness is disobeying this precept
- Write them in
- Bury steadfast love and faithfulness into your thought and heart life. It is to be a basis of the inner life, which ensures hypocrisy in the believers life will be minimized.
14:22Do they not go astray who devise evil?
Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness.
16:6By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.
We have discussed the steadfast love above. The Hebrew term for faithfulness is the term אֶמֶת ʼemeth, with English synonyms of stability, certainty, truth, trustworthiness and of course faithfulness.
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