Matthew 5.7 cont.
Oh the blessings of the merciful, because they will be shown mercy.
There is another Hebrew word that can also be translated as mercy, or merciful.
It is the word: ‘Checed’, and it is translated in the following ways:
goodness, kindness, faithfulness, loving-kindness, merciful, loyalty, righteousness, unchanging love.
There is an example of this in Exodus 34.6:
And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate (racham) and gracious (Channuwn) God, slow to anger, abounding in love (checed) and faithfulness – (NIV).
In this verse we see that the nature of God is exceptionally in our favour. He displays His compassion, His grace, and His love. Checed tells us that mercy is a part of love. Therefore, if we love one another we will also be merciful to one another, just as our Father is with us.
Mercy (checed) is a personal feeling to care for the needs of others. We have been living through what is known as times of austerity, which has meant that there are some people who are unable to afford to buy food. This has meant that a number of food banks have sprung up all over the country to assist those who cannot afford food. As churches provide these food banks it is driven by the merciful love of God that is shown to us through Jesus. It is part of the outworking of His command that we should love one another.
Checed means not only to be aware that others may be in some kind of need, but to use whatever gifts we may have to try and help alleviate those needs.
In the Old Testament this covered a wide range of things, such as finding a bride: Genesis 24.12:
“O LORD, God of my master,” he prayed. “Give me success and show kindness (checed) to my master, Abraham. Help me to accomplish the purpose of my journey” – (NLT).
In the New Testament the Greek word is ‘elees (pronounced eleas, and has the following meanings:
mercy, pity, compassion, benefit, kindness, gracious, gracious favour, obtain pardon or forgiveness.
These are all the characteristic of God, our Father, which He has passed onto us through Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit within us.