This week we are sharing a glimpse into our teachers Word Study for the week.
Word Study Week 2 –– Hesed
Hey teachers! This week is a little more guided than last time. I hope this is helpful. I’m including a few of my notes here at the top. You can set up your time by reading them aloud and having your class tell back. I’m praying for the Spirit to use this time for purposes greater than we could imagine.
Mr. Head’s notes:
The Hebrew word hesed shows up in the Old Testament over 250 times. It is a difficult word to translate from Hebrew. It is translated 169 different ways in 6 different English translations of the Bible. Some of the words we have for it are kindness, mercy, faithfulness, loyalty, steadfast love, favor, unexpected kindness, undeserved kindness. In 1535 the English Bible translator Miles Coverdale invented a completely new word to describe it: lovingkindness.
The beautiful thing about this word is that we expect the Creator to be powerful, we expect him to be holy. I don’t think anyone was expecting him to be kind. And Paul says that it’s the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Hesed is the word that God uses to describe himself to Moses. The prophets describe the nature of God’s hesed and one prophet was even angry at God because of his hesed! This word is all throughout the book of Psalms. Hesed is, most of all, something to sing about. And although the New Testament was originally written in Greek, the idea of God’s hesed is found throughout the gospels and epistles as well. The early church loudly proclaimed that because God had shown hesed to them, they were called to show it to the entire world.
As we read, consider how hesed is more than simply a nice feeling or idea; hesed causes God and us to do something.
Discussion question ideas (in case you need them!):
- How does Jesus reveal God’s hesed?
- How can we reveal God’s hesed to those around us?
- Genesis 39: 20-23 (after Joseph was sold by his brothers as a slave in Egypt)
And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; he remained there in prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love; he gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s care all the prisoners who were in the prison, and whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.
- Exodus 15:11-13 (the people are singing after passing through the Red Sea)
“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
awesome in splendor, doing wonders?
You stretched out your right hand,
the earth swallowed them.
“In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed;
you guided them by your strength to your holy abode.
- Exodus 20:1-6 (This is the beginning of the Ten Commandments)
Then God spoke all these words:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
- Deut. 7:6-9 (Moses is reminding the people why God saved them from Egypt)
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
It was not because you were more numerous than any other people that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you—for you were the fewest of all peoples. It was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath that he swore to your ancestors, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.
- Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.
- Psalm 92:1-4
It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
- Psalm 130: 6-8
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.
- Psalm 145:8-9
The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
and his compassion is over all that he has made.
- Joel 2:13
Return to the Lord, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
and relents from punishing.
- Jonah 4:1-2 (After Jonah preached to Ninevah and God forgave them)
But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing.
- Ephesians 2:4-5
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our sins, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.
- Titus 3:5
he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
- Micah 6:8
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
- Proverbs 14:21-22
Those who despise their neighbors are sinners,
but happy are those who are kind to the poor.
Do they not err that plan evil?
Those who plan good find loyalty and faithfulness.
- Proverbs 19:22
What is desirable in a person is steadfast love,
and it is better to be poor than a liar.
- Proverbs 21:21
Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
will find life and honor.
- Matthew 5:7
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”
- Matthew 18:21-22
Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
- Hebrews 4:15-16
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.