|Mary Craig Ministries|
|Home Page > News and Views > Message of the Month|
God's Enduring Love
October 15, 2008
“O Watchman on the wall, watch as I the Lord of heaven and earth cause nations to rise and nations to fall. Is. 40 Am I not glorious? And who is it who opposes Me? I see the hearts and I know what is in man’s heart. Men’s hearts will fail them for fear. I am shaking foundations in heaven and on earth and everything that can be shaken will be shaken. But know that though troublesome times come, My love endures and I even in the wilderness and waste places will draw My people to Myself even as I cut them off from their other lovers. Hosea 2 My covenant is everlasting and I will prevail. My truth endures forever, My righteousness, My love, My faithfulness, My Word, My Name. I am the God who endures. And you will praise Me!”
This word I received October 3, 2008 under the anointing as our MCM mission team prepares to go to Jordan, Israel, and Egypt in November. We’ll be carrying the prophetic word to the region of the Middle East and prayerfully fulfilling our obedience as God gives grace. You can read more of what has been received by going to our prophetic section, years 2007 and 2008.
Global markets are crashing and we live in uncertain times. We know it’s deeper than blaming banks and mortgage lenders, government leaders and CEO’s. So when the Holy Spirit directed me to write on His enduring love, I knew. Go to Hosea to touch the heart of a holy God.
In word and action, Hosea instituted events which would lead to the destruction of Samaria in 722 B.C. Prosperity and spiritual apostasy stood side by side in Israel’s dark hour of idolatrous worship, immorality, and the haughty rejection of God. I encourage you to read Hosea. His name means “help, deliverance, and salvation” as it is a form of Hoshea, or Joshua. His name indicates the promise and hope of the love and grace of God. Hosea declared and demonstrated to his day and to ours the enduring love of God.
When we speak of this enduring love, we are talking about hesed. No English word embodies the full meaning of hesed. It is translated as loving kindness, mercy, goodness, pity, steadfast love, and sometimes, grace. We study the concept of hesed in order to discover the progression from hesed to mercy and grace in the NT. By studying hesed we come to know the heart of God (Psalm 36.7-10). In doing so, we come to be wise (Ps 107.43), to learn to love hesed, and to please God through observation and obedience. (Micah 6.8; Hosea 12.6)
Hesed connects with covenant loyalty. God is the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations. (Deut. 7.9, 12) God demonstrates consistently reliable loyalty and willingness to do good, to love, and to show mercy on behalf of His chosen, covenant people. With loving kindness God delights in showing hesed. (Micah 7.18, 19; Jer. 9.24) God abounds in hesed, which is great toward those who fear Him. (Psalm 103.11) God’s hesed yokes to truth, as “all the paths of the LORD are mercy (hesed) and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.” (Ps 25.10; 85.10; 89.14)
With God’s enduring love, we are revived (Ps 119.159); and we find, “God is my defense, my God of mercy (hesed).” (Ps 59.17) It is “in mercy (hesed) and truth atonement is provided for iniquity.” (Prov. 16.6) God crowns us with loving kindness (Ps 103.4), lifting us out of the pit and redeeming our lives. God’s abundant loving kindness (Jonah 4.2; Ps 103.8, Ex 34.6, 7) is everlasting on those who fear Him. (Ps 103.17) It surrounds those who trust in the LORD (Ps 32.10) and we rejoice and are glad when we learn to be satisfied with God’s enduring love (hesed). (Ps 90.14; Ps 136)
With His loving kindness, God draws us (Jer 31.3). It is marvelous (Ps 17.7), precious (Ps 36.7), saving (Ps 85.7), and “The earth is full of the goodness (hesed) of the LORD.” (Ps 33.5)
In Hosea, God rebuked Israel for failing to show Him hesed in return. “There is no truth or mercy (hesed) in knowledge of God in the land.” (Hosea 4.1) If it sounds like today, take note! Faithfulness, covenant loyalty, and devotion were vanishing like the morning dew (Hosea 6.4). God didn’t want insincere sacrifices and superficial religiosity. He wanted faithfulness, covenant loyalty, and relationship rooted in truth. No different today, He wants us to return to observing mercy and justice and to abound in hesed toward Him and toward others.
“Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother.” (Zech 7.9ff) “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy (hesed) and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6.8) Be faithful, merciful, good, kind, and loving in your relationships, with your spouse, with your children.
In the OT hesed is rooted in our covenant loyalty. It was conditioned upon one being in covenant relationship with Yahweh, upon staying faithful, upon loyalty, upon obedience to keep God’s commandments, upon listening to Him, fearing Him, knowing Him, and trusting Him. (Jer. 16.5, 10-12; Deut. 7.9, 12; Neh 1.5; Ps 103.11-18; Ex 34.6, 7; Zech 7.8-14; Ps 36.10; Ps 32.10, 11)
God’s hesed moves to a wonderful mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness. He fulfills all the requirements of hesed. As we place our faith and trust in Christ, His grace flows into us that we might obey through faith which works by love. Jesus was full of grace and truth (John 1.14).
“And of his fullness have all we received,
and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses,
but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1.16, 17)
With the promise of God’s enduring love secured in Christ for all believers, we are to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and to find grace and favor in a timely way, in our time of need. God’s purpose for our lives is wrapped in His enduring love. We are never to doubt it in the midst of any trouble or pain. God is good and His love endures forever.
Throughout Israel’s history, in spite of their rebellion, sin, and spiritual failure, God’s love endured. In Hosea 2.21 Yahweh addressed Israel as His covenant bride to say, “I will betroth you to Myself forever; I shall betroth you in uprightness and justice, and faithful love (hesed) and tenderness.”
God wants mutual relationship, a mutual exchange of loyalty and affection based on the bond of covenant. God’s covenant love, this enduring love, calls for a commitment of self- giving, trust, deep affection, and joyful submission expressed in keeping the commandments of Christ.
God’s enduring love leads to the manifestation of God’s presence (2 Chron. 5.13), to more worship (2 Chron.7.3-6), to us praising the beauty of holiness (2 Chron. 20.21), to our singing as testimony (Ezra 3.11), and to our proclamation that the goodness of God endures continually (Ps 52).
God may draw us into the wilderness, but He will meet us there. In a place stripped of other lovers, God will overcome sorrow and resentment, obstinancy and estrangement with portrayals of His love. The valley of Achor (trouble) becomes a door of hope as God takes the trouble on Himself and restores us as we return to Him. We become as those who have been brought from death to life. (Hosea 2) As all of life is under His control, as He is Lord of history and Lord of productivity, God sustains with His steadfast and enduring love. He pursues His enemies to their destruction while having pity on our frame. Remember the Lord your God! Covenant loyalty and obedience form the core of knowing God, as exemplified perfectly by Jesus Christ. Praise Him for His enduring love!
Please give generously, gladly, graciously, and as the Holy Spirit guides you to enable us to minister in Christ’s Name to the lost, to the hungry, to the thirsty, to the broken, to the displaced, to the forgotten, to the orphaned, and to the poor. Thank you!
Trusting in God’s enduring love,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org. Order books from our Catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests.
And we know that we are of God,
And the whole world lies in wickedness. And we know that
The Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding,
That we may know Him that is true, and we are
In Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ.
This is the true God, and eternal life.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
1 John 5 19-21
Mary Craig Ministries is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization
|Copyright © 2008 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.|
|ïBack to MCM News and Views|