A couple weeks ago we went to a Messianic Jewish retreat thing for the weekend. And it wasn’t ideal – I got some sort of stomach bug and spent half of it throwing up, not to mention getting very annoyed at one speaker (he’s a kind man but not a terribly understanding one, and therefore he showed a very sad video clip without thinking to warn sensitive people to look away, and it very nearly gave me nightmares, though I’m sure it blessed others in the audience) – but the times of worship were wonderful.
One song that stood out was Hodu L’Adonai, which is one of my favorites that I always forget about. The lyrics are
Hodu l’Adonai ki tov; ki l’olam chasdo
Give thanks to the Lord He is good; His love forever endures
and I just love it. It sounds beautiful and it blesses my heart every time.
Anyway, while I was sitting there trying not to think about the little boy dying in the video clip, I decided to see if I could figure out where in the Bible the song came from. And to my surprise, it crops up all through the Bible, little reminders of God’s love. It’s in the histories and in prophecies and in psalms, and it comes from people in good situations and bad situations.
The word translated love is the Hebrew word chesed and it’s quite a tricky one to translate – you’ll see love, grace, mercy, lovingkindness, etc. It’s from a root that means both “to be kind” and “to be ashamed” which I suspect means it indicates passionate love; love so overwhelming that others see it as shameful. Love that is ready to risk all, to lose all, to win all for the sake of the beloved.
(It actually ties in quite well with that terrible video, in which the little boy died so others could live. Which was the reason the speaker showed it. I’m still not going to go find it.)
And God has this kind of love, for you, for all eternity. It’s inescapable. And it is good.
Hodu l’Adonai ki tov, ki l’olam chasdo.