Maybe you are joining this devotion for the first time. Many of you may have some extra time off during these days of self quarantining with Covid-19. Welcome to our study. There could be no better time to do a deep study of God’s word than right now. Personally, my life will be forever changed because of this study. I am forever grateful.
I want to take a moment before we begin and pray. Dear Lord, my heart feels so burdened right now, so confused amid the chaos. I can only turn off my TV and turn to you. You are my only peace right now. So many times today I had to stop in my tracks and say a silent prayer, sing a favorite song praising your name , take a deep breath and remind myself that you are in charge. And we know that in all things You work for the good of those who love you, no matter how overwhelming the circumstances. I am so grateful that I have you to turn to during these days. Thank you.
Today we are going to talk about love. At the turn of 2020, I purchased a new bible study to guide my journey through 1st and 2nd Kings which happened to correspond with the reading of the chronological bible. Lysa Terkeurst, founder of Proverbs 31 ministries, published a new study called “Trustworthy”, and I had to have it. To my delight, on day 4 of the study she dives into the study of the temple. There is even a diagram of the temple showing where the “bread of presence” would have been placed in the temple. How cool! (If you are just joining us, we talked about the “bread of presence” on day 16)
She discusses Solomon and his prayer of dedication to the new temple. He is dedicating the temple to God. Read verses 1 Kings 8:22- 24
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven, 23 and said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart; 24 you have kept with your servant David my father what you declared to him. You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day.
In verses 23, Solomon uses the phrase “keeping covenant and showing steadfast love”. There is actually a Hebrew word for this phrase. ” The Hebrew word translated as “love” is hesed, which refers to the loyalty or unbroken nature of God’s covenant — hesed is the stead fast love of God, ” according to Terkeurst.
Then I read this…… “Hebrew has a word for love that is richer and deeper than English has ever conceived of—hesed (HEH-sed). Based in a covenantal relationship, hesed is a steadfast, rock-solid faithfulness that endures to eternity.””Hesed is a love that is so enduring that it persists beyond any sin or betrayal to mend brokenness and graciously extend forgiveness. Hesed is to love as God loves. ” These words so beautifully written by christian author, Lois Tverberg.
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love (hesed) for you will not be shaken (Isaiah 54:10).
These days may feel like the mountains are shaking, but God does have unfailing love for you. He hesses you. And he has a plan. A plan for all of this craziness.
Let’s end with words from Lysa Terkeurst. “We don’t have to understand the why of God’s ways. But we do have to keep choosing to follow them. Let’s not stop short of our victory with God. His is working things out. His is present. His plan is still good, and He can still be trusted. These are true certainties even when life feels so very uncertain.”