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“God so loved the world that he gave . . .” (John 3.16) is quite rightly the theme of the entire Bible.
Isaiah echoes the theme of love in chapter 54.
“For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
Says the Lord, who has mercy on you. (Isaiah 54.10)
This verse is so full of meaning that it is worthy of analysis and meditation.
God’s Permanent, Everlasting Love
A young man was riding in my truck. He was emotional and angry when he said, “If you knew who I really was, you wouldn’t want anything to do with me.”
I told him, “God knows everything about you and is your friend. That’s good enough for me.”
Was I accurately representing God with my response? Isaiah would say, “Yes.”
One of my father’s clients purchased a big hill on the southern side of Cape Girardeau when I was a teen. The hill had a particular soil that was valued as a base for road construction.
The soil was excavated for years and used for various construction purposes. I don’t remember how long it took for the hill to be reduced to the same level as the adjoining road, but it seemed to be years.
Without a doubt, mountains and hills are removed with great effort.
According to Isaiah, if mountains can be removed, God’s love will never depart. I was definitely correct when I told my suffering friend about God’s unfailing love for him.
No matter how my friend viewed himself, God saw him as a beloved child.
A Special “Love” Word
God’s “kindness” in verse 54 is the Hebrew word, hesed. It first referred to the ability to keep the covenant that was between God and his people.
God has always kept his agreement or covenant with humans. As faithful as is God, humans have been unfaithful and wayward.
Over the years, as God kept his side of the agreement and humans failed their part, hesed evolved in meaning and the “steadfast love” became the primary understanding of that word.
The word “grace” cannot be found in the Old Testament. The closest word in the Hebrew Bible to grace is hesed, where God continues to love people who fail him over and over again.
Hesed is one of the most important words in the Old Testament, because it describes the character and essential nature of God. Even if mountains are removed, God’s steadfast love will never diminish for humans.
God in the Drug House
I attend a Sunday School class that has sixty or seventy persons who are working toward recovery from drugs and alcohol. It is my favorite part of Sunday morning and has been a part of my life for ten years.
One frequent testimony to God’s steadfast love is a comment that I have heard many times. Someone would say, “I know that God was with me, even when I was living in a drug house.”
That God was with a person in their active addiction has puzzled me, but I have to take the persons at their word.
What I do know is that God loves us at all stages in our lives. He intimately knows us – our names, our dreams, our pain, and so much more.
It makes sense that God’s steadfast love reaches out to us, when we are at our most vulnerable place in life.
Like any love relationship, it takes a response from us to experience the awesome joy of being loved by God.
All love requires a surrender of some part of our person. God surrendered his only Son out of love for us.
The famous verse John 3.16 states it well, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Our surrender may resemble the Third Step Prayer from Alcoholics Anonymous.
God, I offer myself to Thee-
To build with me
and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self,
that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties,
that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy Power,
Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always!
However you may express your surrender to God’s love, please surrender and open your life to God’s steadfast love. Your life will never be the same after you do this.
About This Blog
In today’s YouTube Video on the Bob Spradling channel, Rudy Ross will examine Isaiah 54.11-13.
O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted,
I am about to set your stones in harmony,
and lay your foundations with sapphires.
I will make your pinnacles of rubies,
your gates of jewels,
and all your wall of precious stones.
All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
and great shall be the prosperity of your children.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.