"Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart."
Steadfast love and faithfulness are two things in short supply today. It seems like the world has forgotten how essential these qualities are in the fabric of society.
Steadfast love in Hebrew is "chesed". Sometimes it’s translated "mercy" or "lovingkindness". It’s an attitude that considers the good of others, forgives and practices kindness even when we don’t feel much like being kind. It’s steadfast, not wavering with the changing times.
Faithfulness in Hebrew is "emeth". It comes from a word that means "stability", and it is also translated "truth, certainty, trustworthiness, dependability, sure". It’s the idea of a man who gives his word and that’s that. You don’t have to wonder - you know it’s done and you can count on it, because he said so.
The Lord exhorts us to never let go of these two qualities; to "write them on the tablet of our heart." They are guiding principles in the life of a Christian, the programming parameters that inform every decision, every attitude, and all our words and actions: mercy and truth; loving-kindness and faithfulness.
In other words, be like Jesus; a tall order, a goal toward which we strive, sometimes with more success than others.
Best of all we know that He is mercy and truth personified toward us. Even when we fail His loving-kindness and faithfulness continue, so there is forgiveness and assurance in Him.
Lord, You have shown never-ending mercy and truth to me. Your lovingkindness never ceases; your faithfulness is sure. Make me more like You, I pray, in my thoughts, words and actions today. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles