2 Chronicles 35:26-27, “Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness (kindnesses), according to that which is written in the law of the Lord, and his deeds, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.” (2 Chronicles 32:32)
What a wonderful obituary over the life of Josiah. Josiah was a mighty king of Judah. He was a radical reformist. He spearheaded the greatest purging revival against evil in the land of Israel. He instigated the best Passover feast that was ever held from the time of Samuel. But the first thing the inspired Word of God records over his life is “his kindnesses.” This attribute meant more to God than all his mighty acts.
The Hebrew word is “chesed”, one of the most beautiful words in the Old Testament. It means, “kindness, grace, mercy, beauty and unfailing love.” It is the same word that is used of God’s lovingkindnesses. It also involves forgiveness and is the closest word to “charis”, the New Testament word for grace.
Each Friday evening that we are home, we love to celebrate a Shabbat meal and invite different friends and family to enjoy this precious time with us. At this meal, the husband reads Proverbs 31 and blesses his wife and children. As we sat at our table last Shabbat and each husband eulogized his wife, I was touched by the testimony of one couple. He held his wife’s hand and shared many beautiful things about her, but the preeminent attribute he declared over her life was “her kindness.” “Oh she is so very kind,” he exclaimed. “She is so kind to me, to our children, and even to her animals.”
What a beautiful testimony to be spoken over us at the end of our lives. But how more powerful if it could be a daily testimony. Can we allow our kind and loving God to pour out His kindnesses through us? Our God is not only kind, but abundantly kind. God’s kindness is always recorded with an adjective.
Exodus 34:6 “Abundant in kindness.”
Nehemiah 9:17, “Thou art a God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness.”
Psalm 31:21, “Blessed be the Lord: for he hath showed me His marvelous kindness.” (Psalm 17:7)
Psalm 36:7, “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God.”
Psalm 69:16, “Thy lovingkindness is good.”
Psalm 119:76, “Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort.”
Isaiah 54:8, “With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.”
It is not enough to be kind. It is not enough to do kind things. We must also speak kind words. The testimony of the Above Rubies woman in Proverbs 31:26 is that “She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” This is the same Hebrew word, “chesed”. It is not enough to speak kind words sometimes, or when everyone is being nice to us. It is not enough to speak kindly to people at church on Sunday. Kind words should flow from our lips in the midst of our home, to those who are closest to us - our husband and children. It is a law in the depths of our being. It is part of our lives and therefore pours out from our lips, even when people speak unkindly to us.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
“Oh God, I confess to you the unkind words I have said to my husband. Please forgive me. Forgive me for the many unkind words I have spoken about people. Oh kind and loving God, I need to be more kind. I long to be saturated in your kindness. Please fill me with your lovingkindess so that I can pour it out to others. Anoint me to speak kind words, first to those in my home, and then to those around me. Amen.”
I will not be remembered for my great deeds, but for my kindnesses.