Stories of God’s faithful love

—God’s Nature and Character

  • Andrew Fountain – Oct 20, 2015

World changed forever?

“People say ‘the world changed forever on 9/11’
The world really didn’t change… they came face to face with a worldview and a system of ethics that was incomprehensible to them
and that is radical Islam.”

Michael Edens, ETS 2009

Rights and Freedoms

“Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.” Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms §15

  • Why?


  • No basis in science (eugenics)
  • Not universally accepted in every culture/religion
  • The Bible: God is like that, and we must be like him


  • Allah is a “monad” a monolithic singular spiritual unit
  • beyond knowing, best described by the numeral 1
  • no direct interaction with creation (Qur’an delivered by angels)
  • no direct involvment with people—that would demean his exalted “otherness”
  • Christians see Adam and Eve created in the image and likeness of God
  • To Muslims this is blasphemy

A God of Faithful Love

  • A Releational God
  • He created beautiful place for Adam to live (Gen 2:8–14)
  • He created Eve because of love for Adam (Gen 2:18)
  • He had a daily relationship with them (Gen 3:8)
  • He did not destroy them after they sinned, but promised a Saviour (Gen 3:15)
  • He even showed compassion to Cain

The Fathers

  • Abraham —a God who is faithful
  • A land (didn’t own it)
  • A people Descendents (only saw a few)
  • God was faithful, even though Abraham was weak
  • Lot Gen 19:19 even though he had not followed God

What Chesed is:

  • faithful love
  • e.g. Jacob made them promise not to bury him in Egypt but to take his bones back to the Promised Land—“promise this chesed to me” Gen 47:29
  • love that never gives up, but hangs on to the end
  • loyal love that will never betray us
  • love we can count on, that will never let us down

What Chesed is not:

  • Opposite: “What shall I do with you, O Ephraim?
          What shall I do with you, O Judah?
    Your chesed is like a morning cloud,
          like the dew that goes early away.” Hos 6:4
  • Difference between chesed and agape (love)
  • agape is undeserved giving, like giving a banquet to a homeless person
  • chesed is a relationship
  • chesed is taking them home for the rest of their life
  • chesed is committing to care for them to the bitter end—a love that will “never let them go”

Stories: Joseph (Gen 39)

  • Sold by his brothers into slavery (not much chesed!)
    Slave in Egypt, betrayed by his master’s wife (…)
  1. Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So he was there in the prison.
  2. But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him chesed. He granted him favor in the sight of the prison warden.
  3. The warden put all the prisoners under Joseph’s care. He was in charge of whatever they were doing.
  4. The warden did not concern himself with anything that was in Joseph’s care because the LORD was with him and whatever he was doing the LORD was making successful.

Israelites in Egypt: Ex 2

  1. During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God.
  2. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
  3. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.

Isaiah 54:10

  1. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed,
          but my chesed shall not depart from you,
    and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
          says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

It is the best news we can possibly have:

  • Ps 51:1 David sinned with murder and adultery
  • Have mercy on me, O God, according to your chesed
    According to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
  • It is based on a covenant with God
  • He offers it to us: Isa 55:3:
  • “Incline your ear, and come to me;
          hear, that your soul may live;
    and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
          my steadfast, sure chesed for David.”