Thursday, June 9, 2011


Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
~ Psalms 136:1 (NKJV)

In the above passage, the Hebrew word translated "mercy" is chêsêd. Scholars readily agree that its literal meaning is difficult to capture in a single word. Various translations render it with words such as love, steadfast love, faithful love, lovingkindness, kindness, mercy. Though I have represented chêsêd with the word "favor" in the above image, it rarely receives that translation. Chêsêd is "favor" magnified and intensified beyond any word's meaning.

We have those family members or friends whom we honestly love because of our relationship with them—but we don't really like them. We also associate with plenty of nice people whom we genuinely "like," and whom we could say we "love" in the generic way we love all of humanity.

Then there are those favorite people we love from the heart, to whom we give another level of "like" which exceeds love. These are those closest to us—family members or friends to whom we'd deny nothing we own, for whom we'd do anything of which we're capable. They have a level of favor in our souls which propels us to find a way to do what is good for them and will bring pleasure to them.

Biblical Hebrew has no word for "like" in the sense that we look upon someone as pleasant and think, "I like you." The Bible offers only the intensified version of "I don't just love you—I like you" captured by chêsêd.

If you are one of God's people, remember this always:

As intense and sacrificial and overarching as God's love for you is, He doesn't simply love you. He really, genuinely likes you. You are one of His favor-ites.

I promise.

Lord, we have no way to fully grasp the depth of Your chêsêd for us in this world. But today, would You please give to us a deeper comprehension and appreciation for it? Would You allow us to understand it as fully as we can right now? Please? Thank You, Lord.

Your comments, questions, and respectful disagreement are most appreciated. Reply to comments, or e-mail buildingHisbody [plus]
Copyright 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. When I read this Anne I think of my 3 grown girls and my Aunt Katie who is 102. They have my love in the manner I want to love God.

  2. ...where i fall FAR short is giving Him the thanks for Hs mercy and favor.

  3. I am so thankful for this truth sis, love you. This is Denise

  4. so this morning i decided to read in the back forty by way of topic and chose God's love. lo and behold....the first post was "chesed!" as i continued reading thru the posts..."olam" appears. so after a loong time of reading and chewing i moved on. decided to hit one more topic before going upstairs to get my coffee.(fell asleep in this chair last night) after scanning the the list again, i chose God's Discipline as the next topic. "Tob" was waiting for me at the top of the page. i'm a bit amazed to say the least and LISTENING and chewing.

  5. So easy to think He loves as He does because He has to, because He promised, because He must remain faithful to His character. We miss, sometimes, that He just also delights to do so. At least, I do.

    Thanks for you this reminder, Anne.

  6. Odie ~

    Please forgive me for being offline all weekend and taking so long to reply.

    When you talk about understanding favor through these precious relationships in our lives, it is a wonderful reminder that God uses ALL of creation to point us to Him. His fingerprints are everywhere if we look for them.

  7. Denise ~

    Yes, our dear Lord's favor is an enduring truth to sustain us through the darkest hours. If He be for us, who or what can be against us?

  8. Bud ~

    I ask the Lord that wherever you roam, whether the 'back forty' here, or among other believers, that you can't help but come back to the everlasting goodness and favor of God, and that you cannot keep from extending hands of thanks and praise to Him for it. \o/

  9. Lyla ~

    I can't help but feel chagrin at so many things I must keep re-learning about God (and myself), becasue there's simply too much to remember all at once. I'm sure that's why we have to keep the relationship fresh, why we must stay in His Word, stay on our kness.

    And stay in His bosom. (Isaiah 40:11)

  10. Mary ~

    Thank you. You do know, of course, that you are prominently in mind when I speak of those special people in our lives?


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