My Lent Words 20: Mercy is more than kindness

Hesed can also be translated as mercy. When Rehab the prostitute has risked her life and her family’s lives sheltering spies she surely asks for mercy when she says:

‘Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death.’ (Joshua 2:12,12).

She is effectively saying, ‘I have treated you strangers like family and now you should include me within your family and save us.’ Later they do save her. She is included within God’s people, given land and is one of the few women included in the genealogy of Jesus. So is Ruth the Moabitess.

‘For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.’ (Hosea 6: 6).

God has included me in. Like Ruth, like Rehab, I am not beyond the pale. And I’m half way through Lent and still blogging!

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