This Week's Focus Passage

Micah 7:18 ‘Because He delighteth in lovingkindness.’

This Week’s Focus Passage: Micah 7:18

‘Because He delighteth in lovingkindness.’

The grand and gorgeous pericope from whence this blessed truth emanates cannot but be replicated below as a gracious and glorious statement about our God:

    Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth 

over the transgressions of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his 

anger for ever, because he delighteth in lovingkindness. He will again have 

compassion upon us; he will tread our iniquities under foot; and thou wilt 

cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to 

Jacob, and the lovingkindness to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto out 

fathers from the days of old.—Micah 7:18-20.

Last week we wrote about that astounding love of Jehovah for His people, related as Christ pointed out to His disciples (and ourselves) that Thou lovedst them, even as thou lovedst me. Our Father in heaven loves His people even as He loves His dear and only-begotten Son; the very Son of His love; His darling Son: and God-man. This blessed truth of the amazing and unbelievable [if it were not for the gift of faith] reality of the extent [even unto us] of the Father’s love for His children, is truly high and lofty, and we could not attain unto it were it not for the exercise of that faith given by Himself, enabling us to believe all things in His Word. Surely, this is just one example of the tremendousness, and eternality of the attributes of God. Paul has presented it to us in his encouraging and lovely prayer at Ephesians 3:14 through 19:

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his spirit in the inward man: that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fullness of God. 

 As we consider ‘being rooted and grounded in love,’ our thoughts are drawn back to the language of our focus passage from Micah. This passage forms the conclusion of that book; and it has concluded by reaching the conclusion, we might say, that the reason and ground of every one of the blessings that we have received from God, our Father in heaven, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit, is on account of the reality that Jehovah delights in lovingkindness toward us. What, we may inquire, is lovingkindness? An Orthodox Jewish Bible renders this closing phrase in the following manner, Because he delighteth in chesed. What is chesed? Consulting our lexicons, we learn from Wilson’s ‘Old Testament Word Stu, dies,’ Hesed means, ‘that which is abundant, extraordinary, or uncommon; goodness, kindness, beneficence. Abundant goodness; extraordinary kindness; uncommon beneficence. Not simply goodness, but abundant goodness; not only kindness, but extraordinary kindness; and not just goodness, but uncommon goodness. Indeed, this undoubtedly is the ground, or reason, behind its being employed to speak of Christ, in Isaiah 55:3, as the sure mercies of David; the lovingkindnesses of David. Is it not marvelous to think of, and to speak of, our King and Savior as our lovingkindness? 

    Many English translations have rendered hesed as mercy and surely it is. Yet, we believe that it is so much more. Other English offerings are ‘faithful love,’ or, ‘steadfast love,’ ‘unchanging love,’ ‘unfailing love.’ Norman Snaith, has given us a study on the word, hesed, and concluded that the best likely rendering would be ‘covenant love.’ Since Isaiah has taught us that Christ is our hesed, that is to intend, He is our lovingkindness [note above], and this faithful prophet has additionally informed us, speaking of the Servant of Jehovah, in both chapters 42 and 49, and speaking in the very same terms, I give thee for a covenant. In Isaiah 49, particularly he has written, in verse 10 of those to whom the Servant of Jehovah has been given, that they shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them will lead them, even by springs of water will he guide them. And who is this Servant of Jehovah, given for a covenant; who is this One also designated, the sure mercies; the Lovingkindness of David? We may discover from Revelation 7:16, precisely who this One is, and has been, and shall be forevermore; They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun strike upon them, nor any heat [a conspicuous reference from Isaiah 49; and who is the Servant?] for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall be their Shepherd, and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes. Hallelujah, the Lamb in the midst of the throne of God is our covenant; He is our hesed, our lovingkindness. The Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world is our Covenant Love, and yes, He is our Mercy and Truth; He is our Righteousness and Peace. Has not the apostle told us, in so many words, that Christ is our All in all [Ephesians 1:23]?

    To return to Micah 7, how is it that Jehovah may pardon all our iniquity; how may He pass over the transgressions of the remnant of His heritage; just how can it be that He will not retain His anger forever? Micah tells us precisely the reason of this; it is because He delighteth in lovingkindness. May we not freely understand after that we had seen that Christ Himself is the lovingkindness; the Covenant Love, of Jehovah, and that the Father delights in the Son; the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world? We may see here that God is able to put away His anger forever because He has delighted in the satisfaction offered by His Son on that bloody Cross at Golgotha. He delights in the One who spoke, through the psalmist in the fortieth psalm, saying, Lo I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me. And He did come because it was written of Him to do so; because a determination had been arrived at among the Three in One, that the Father would give His only-begotten to come into the world; to live the perfect life that we ought to have lived, but failed, He came in the fullness of time; yea, when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…....having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. When He saw the blood, He passed over us; He delighted in lovingkindness toward us because of our Covenant Lord and Savior; the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. Amen and Amen.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church 


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