God is abundant and rich in mercy!
This declaration from Paul echos throughout the Old Testament and comes to fulfillment at the Cross of Christ.
In this episode, Nathan Johnson takes Paul’s statement and traces it throughout the Old Testament showing that God Himself declares that He is abundant in mercy (the Hebrew word is “Hesed”) … and as such, we should recognize that His mercy is even better than life!
Listen to + Download the Study
Key Passage: Ephesians 2:4
Ephesians 2:4 – “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us …”
A Simple Bible Study Resource
- Hebrew word for “mercy” or “steadfast love” is Hesed
- occurs nearly 250 times throughout all the major divisions of the Old Testament (Law, Prophets, and Writings)
- 127 of which are in the Psalms (with 26 of those in Psalm 136 alone)
- “Hesed” is often translated as …
- steadfast love (or faithful love)
- loyalty (or unswervingly loyal)
- gracious covenant (or covenant loyalty)
- loving instruction
- covenant friendship
- Michael Card’s definition of Hesed – when the person from whom I have a right to expect nothing gives me everything.
- Exodus 34:6-7 – The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
- Lamentations 3:21-23 – But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
- Exodus 15:13 – You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.
- Psalm 63:3 – Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
- Psalms 89, 103, 107, 117, 118 – songs of the steadfast love of God
- In dedicating the temple … became an anthem of Israel …
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
- Psalm 136 (Hesed is found 26 times, once per verse)
- Hosea 6:6 – For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
- Two kings were known for hesed at their death: Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:32) + Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:26)
- Three guys were actually named hesed
- Ben-hesed [son of hesed] – 1 Kings 4:10
- Jushab-hesed [to return hesed] – 1 Chronicles 3:20
- Hasadiah [Yah (God) is hesed] – 1 Chronicles 3:20
- Ben-hesed [son of hesed] – 1 Kings 4:10
- One location Bethesda (John 5:2) – the “house of hesed” (House Of Kindness, House Of Mercy)
- John 5:19-20 – So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.
- Romans 5:8 – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- Psalm 130:7 – O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.
Learn more about Hesed
- God’s Goodness, Mercy, Faithfulness, and Lovingkindness Endures Forever! (a podcast episode)
- Michael Card’s excellent book: Inexpressible: Hesed and the Mystery of God’s Lovingkindness
In Our Next Study Together …
I invite you to join me on this journey from the book of Ephesians to discover God’s eternal purpose, His plan for your
- The focus of our next study: Ephesians 2:4
- We will examine the love of God and how it is more than emotion (see Ephesians 2:4).
- I encourage you to read through Ephesians a couple of times this week and focus specifically on Ephesians 2:1-10.
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About The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series
The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series in Ephesians is a Christ-centered practical in-depth verse-by-verse study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Join NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) as he expositionally preaches from this incredible book – which will help you grow in your faith, gain greater intimacy with Jesus, and understand how to study God’s Word.
Many Christians feel frustrated because they don’t grow spiritually. Deeper Christian equips Christians to understand the Word of God and cultivate a passionate love for Jesus that turns the world upside down.
About NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson)
NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the
Read more about him here.