“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth, for in these things I delight, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
Isn’t this the most wonderful Scripture? I memorized it recently.
The more we know God, the more we know how to live. The more we understand of God, the more we understand how to parent, because He is the originator of parenting.
God is so vast, beyond the imagination of our finite minds, and not one name is enough to describe Him. In this Scripture we see three attributes of His character which are inseparable from Him.
This Hebrew word, chesed is one of the most wonderful revelations of God in the entire Bible and is closely related to “grace” in the New Testament. It reveals His unfailing love even when we don’t deserve it, His mercy, His forgiveness, His loyalty, His goodness, and His kindness.
But, it is not a general kindness; it is a kindness which involves two parties. It speaks of God’s covenant with Israel which is an everlasting covenant. His dealings with Israel show how He deals with us. Because of their waywardness and rebellion, God had to continually judge and punish His people. Because He is God, He cannot let go His justice and righteousness, and must execute judgment on sin. Eventually, He could not tolerate their evil any longer and scattered them to the four corners of the earth.
But, God had made a covenant. He is lovingkindness (chesed). His lovingkindness will not let go. He will not wash His hands of Israel, nor of us. He judges, but never gives up. Rebellion cannot destroy His love. It is the essence of that lovely old hymn, “O love that will not let me go.”
After vomiting the Children of Israel out of the land because of their sin, He sends hundreds of promises through His prophets to tell them that He will one day bring them back to the land again. We are now seeing these prophecies come to pass. We saw the miracle of Israel become a nation again on May 14 1948 and now Jews are pouring back to the land from all over the world. This is God revealing Himself as chesed.
It is also related to the old English word, “troth.” Have you ever heard it before? At the end of their vows, the bridal couple say, “And thereto I give thee my troth." All our children used these original wedding vows on their wedding day. I was so pleased that our grand-daughter, who was recently married, also used the same vows. It was quite fun on the wedding rehearsal night as Ben and Chanel practiced saying “troth.” It’s not an easy word to pronounce! It means that the couple are confessing publically that they will be faithful to their marriage covenant.
JUDGMENT AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
The Hebrew word for "judgment" is mishpat and should be translated justice. Justice is the use of authority to uphold execute what is right. It is acting as a judge and rendering the proper verdict—God’s verdict.
The Hebrew word for “righteousness” is ts’daqh and very similar to justice. It is a legal term and is also related to two parties keeping their covenant. God is the ultimate law-giver and He abides by His own standards.
WHAT ABOUT ME?
How does this all relate to us? If we want to know God, we must come to understand God on these terms for He delights in these attributes. If we are going to teach our children what God is like, we must learn to parent with these three attributes. How can we do it? It seems beyond us, doesn’t it? But, the more we press into God, the more we will understand and the more He will teach us.
Yes, we must uphold the standard of God’s righteousness in our home. We must execute justice when our children rebel and refuse to obey. We must execute discipline. We cannot let these things go and think it is insignificant, for in doing so, we refuse to know God and refuse to show our children what God is like.
On the other hand, God’s chesed will overpower our every motive in dealing with our children. It is related to the New Testament agape love which is only God’s love. Our love can give up and wane, but God’s love never gives up.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
“Oh God, please help me. I want to know you more and more. I want to know you in your lovingkindness, justice and righteousness. Please teach me and help me to parent the way you parent us. Thank you, Father. Amen.”
I am parenting God’s way, not my own.
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