No. 234. Thanksgiving, Love and being Holy.

Colours of the Rainbow > Thanksgiving > No. 234. Thanksgiving, Love and being Holy.

This blog is really a post script to No.224, published ten days ago on ‘Thanksgiving and Holiness’. It is a post script because I very recently read a paper by Bob Mumford entitled ‘Stepping over the Threshold’, in which he shares some really illuminating insights into what he believes is happening, both in the world and the church at this moment in time. In the course of which he explains the difference between the two Hebrew words for Holy, ‘Qodesh’ and ‘Chaciyd’, which is more often written as the word ‘Hesed’

As Mark pointed out in that previous blog, ‘being holy’ and ‘being set apart’, are linked to being loved. He wrote ,‘When you are deeply in love with someone, you don’t go out with someone else primarily because of rules or duty saying you shouldn’t. You don’t go out with others because you are deeply in love with one person. You are set apart or separate because of love for the one you love’.

This was confirmed to me as I read Bob Mumford’s explanation of those two Hebrew words. The word ‘qodesh’, used many times in the Old Testament is often used about God. Our Holy God. A God like no other, totally set apart, higher than any other being ever. The word ‘hesed’, used much less in the Old Testament, is applied to ‘a holy one’, a saint, or a godly one. 

Bob Mumford quotes Rev. Willis Judson Beecher saying, ‘Hesed denotes a kindly loved one, a favoured one, one who is in favour, a favourite one who is the object of gracious love and is treated accordingly. That is, it denotes a person in whom loving kindness is thought of as resident.’ *  It is no wonder then that Paul could write instruction to the early Christians, starting with a reminder of their standing with God. He writes, ‘as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion……, ’Colossians 3:12.

So there it is, we are all God’s favourites. I knew it!!! We are His holy ones and the recipients of His gracious love and undeserved favour. At this point we need to put aside our modern understanding of favourite. In our world a person can only have one favourite, and the problem is that often, that one person is spoilt, or gets away with too much. They then provoke envy and jealousy from others who don’t feel so special.

Looking up the meaning of the suffix –ite, I read ‘it is a suffix, of Greek origin, indicating relation to the thing signified by the noun to which it is attached’. So if you and I are God’s favour – ite, it means that we are ‘attached’ to His favour, which is boundless towards each one of us. How wonderful is that? And He won’t spoil us, because as part of that favour He will discipline us with love. See Blog No. 230.

So today let us personalise this, let us thank Him that we are His chosen and set apart ones. We are His ‘hesed’ ones, His favourites. I think that as we do this we will appreciate more and more what amazing favour we are in fact living under, and that in turn will cause us to long to please Him in all that we do. We will be His set apart ones, because we will have eyes for no other we will grow, and increasingly become, the bride that He has won by His love and sacrifice.

Let all who take refuge in you be glad, let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them,  that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favour as a shield. Psalm 5:11,12

*Rev. Willis Judson Beecher, Professor of Hebrew language and literature. The prophets and the Promise. p 314

   Copyright 1905 by Beecher, Thomas W Cromwell & co.


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