“I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.” (Psalm 86:12–13, ESV)
Israel songs often included thanksgiving for God’s steadfast love. It is a common refrain. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 118:1, “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 118:1).” As you can see, it parallels Psalm 86:12-13, give thanks for His steadfast love.
I was curious about the term, “steadfast love.” As a child, I read from the King James Bible. It translated the steadfast love as “mercy.” The NIV translates it simply as “love.” So I looked up the word to get a definition of steadfast love. As I learned about this word, I learned about God, and it made me thankful.
Steadfast love derives from a Hebrew word that is full of meaning, Hesed. It is an active word. It is always a demonstrated love. It is merciful, showing kindness even when it is not deserved. Steadfast love is faithful, loyal, fulfilling promises, and keeping covenants. Hesed never fluctuates or changes, it is a constant that can be counted on.
The Psalmist rightly proclaims God’s steadfast love. But speaking of this love wasn’t enough. He emphasizes it by using the word “great.” It is difficult to grasp the enormity of the Lord’s love for us. Maybe that is why Paul prayed this pray, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
The love of God has saved us from sin and death. He has delivered our soul from darkness and He continues to shower us with love, mercy, and kindness. He will never fail. “Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 106:1)