Today’s readings: Ezekiel 40:28-41:26, James 4:1-17, Psalm 118:19-29, Proverbs 28:3-5
I love to find things that are repeated over and over again throughout the Bible. It gives me great confidence that I can understand who God is and what He wants from me. One of these repeated statements appears in Psalm 118:29.
29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
A quick search of Bible Gateway reveals 43 hits for the statement, “His faithful love endures forever,” almost always the exact same phrase and most commonly in the Psalms.
As an undergraduate at Oral Roberts University, I completed one Bible course. I think it was called Bible Survey. I remember being fascinated by the concept of covenant in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. They taught us some key phrases that reflect the language of the covenant. I have included links to Bible Gateway searches for each of these phrases.
The ones I always liked best referred to God’s faithful love. The Hebrew word for faithful love (chesed) is much bigger than one or two words in English can adequately describe. Here are a few translations of Psalm 118:29.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! (English Standard Version)
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (King James Version)
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (New American Standard Bible)
In other verses, this word is sometimes translated unfailing love. In all of these cases, god is repeatedly speaking of his commitment to us and His will to love us and to draw us to Himself.
I will end with James’ exhortation from chapter 4, where he encourages us to draw near to God, the God of unfailing love.
8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.