May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O Lord, Your salvation according to Your word;
The term lovingkindness is uncommon in today’s language. One might assume it is simply a gentle, caring kind of love. While these characteristics are true in regard to God’s love, they do not do justice to the depth of His love.
George Zemek explains the term:
It is universally recognized that “hesed” is one of the most theologically significant words in the Bible. Treatises on this term abound, but its depths are unfathomable, and its multifaceted connotations seem to be irreducible. However, when a high percentage of the contexts surrounding this noun’s 245 occurrences are examined, the best one can do is to observe that ‘it is a kind of love, including mercy…, when the object is in a pitiful state.’1
This term is translated as steadfast love in the ESV Bible.
Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.
Psalm 119:76 ESV
In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.
Psalm 119:88 ESV
Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes.
Psalm 119:124 ESV
Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life.
Psalm 119:149 ESV
The only reason that salvation is made possible for sinners is because of God’s steadfast love. God has graciously set His enduring love upon His children and His love will never waiver. Our love falls so far short in comparison! Not only does God deliver sinners from their deserved judgment, He also delivers them from the various circumstances of life.
Spurgeon reminds us of God’s mercies that flow from His steadfast love:
What a mass of mercies are heaped together in the one salvation of our Lord Jesus! It includes the mercies which spare us before our conversion, and lead up to it. Then comes calling mercy, regenerating mercy, converting mercy, justifying mercy, pardoning mercy. Nor can we exclude from complete salvation any of those many mercies which are needed to conduct the believer safe to glory. Salvation is an aggregate of mercies incalculable in number, priceless in value, incessant in application, eternal in endurance. To the God of our mercies be glory, world without end.2
1 Zemek, George J., The Word of God in the Child of God,” pp 149-150.
2 Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119 (Vol. 5, p. 226). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.