Exodus 34:6b ...The LORD, the LORD GOD, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.
Vs 7a Who keeps lovingkindness for the thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin;...
What is this term, lovingkindness?
I once heard it said that an early Bible translator coined this term because there was no English word that conveyed the meaning of the original Hebrew word. The term 'love' by itself was not enough. Nor was the word 'kindness'.
In the English, if you just use the word love, there are a lot of people who love their spouses and children but they can be harsh and unkind.
And kindness doesn't always means a person actually loves.
Our world can be such a hard place that it can harden our hearts. In fact, many of us harden our hearts on purpose in order to survive what we go through.
But God never intended for it to be that way. And often the hard heart we developed in order to survive is what keeps us from God. It is our hard-heartedness that makes us unwilling to come to Him and learn from Him.
It is also said that the term 'tender mercies' was also coined in order to give the full effect of the original Hebrew.
So much time is spent by certain teachers on the word 'submit' and so little time is spent on the real words that women really need like, 'lovingkindness' and 'tender mercies' that I'm calling on those following this blog to take a moment to meditate on these important compound words. These words are for men, too, no doubt. But the tender hearts of women need these words severely. All wounded hearts need to grasp this side of God.
God uses lovingkindness to describe Himself twice in Exodus 34:6&7. In verse 6 He says He is ABOUNDING in loving kindness. In verse 7 He says He KEEPS lovingkindness. And in getting to know Him, you won't get very far if you don't meditate on it, which we will in the next few posts.
But first, I'm getting ready to show my age here. But in meditating on this, God's lovingkindness, an old Petra song came to me which I'd like to share.
(If you don't like Petra or 80s music, please skip)
I mentioned above that sometimes we are so busy surviving, we don't know how to live. There are many who are severely oppressed that have no choice but to harden their hearts. They must harden or die. The above song is not for them. It's for those of us who are struggling with the day to day, dealing with difficult spouses or the aftermath of divorcing an abusive one. It's for me to remember God's lovingkindness toward me and to allow His lovingkindness and tender mercies entrance into my heart. It is also for me to not forget compassion for those worse off than me. To remind me that God does not only have abounding lovingkindness for me, but for others who have not heard yet, or who have heard be see nothing resembling lovingkindness from the, so-called, believers around them.
Our next series will be meditations on verses concerning His lovingkindness. It is a part of the nature of God that we must understand and learn to receive from Him. It is hard to give what you don't understand and don't know how to even receive.