This is a second excerpt from my husband’s sermon on hesed.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”John 3:16
John’s famous third chapter verse above is the best example of hesed I can imagine. Look what it says. First, God so loved. The love which is God’s essence comes forth from Him to the world — to His own dear creation. His love for His people is part and parcel of His love for the entire world in which we are found. God has consistently shown His special care and loving concern to this little planet, and the people who live here.
The second example of hesed in this verse is that God gave His only begotten Son. God gave of His very essence for His people. He held back nothing at all in His love for us. When we humans love, we always hold back something, even if we don’t think that we do. There is always this urge, this compulsion to watch out for ourselves, to hold onto something that is just for us. But the Lord does no such thing. God held onto nothing, instead sacrificing everything for our good and our salvation.
Especially in this season of Lent, we should not forget the magnitude of God’s sacrifice for us. Looking at the cross should remind us in our deeper consciousness that God gave it all so that you and I would not spend eternity in torment.
As I said earlier, hesed means not just an emotional love, but a love that has feet, a love that shows itself in works. God has shown this,love to His people. So too must we, as people who are in Christ, display the love of God to the world by doing those works which He prepared for us to do. Before time began, God established works of hesed, using our efforts, YES our efforts.
Much of the work God does in the world is done through the hands of men and women and even children. So God does indeed show steadfast love when we care for the sick and the poor and the lost and those whose lives seem now filled with darkness. We may not be able in and of ourselves to show hesed to others, but we can be used by God as His instruments in the grand eternal plan of salvation
For more about God’s love see: