Covenant Keeping, the Secret of Chesed

David Mitts

“For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," Says the LORD, who has mercy on you.” (Isaiah 54:10, NKJV)
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There are some things that are beyond time and space. The hills and mountains are the most stable things in our planet. Yet the Lord tells us that beyond that is the permanence of the kindness of the Lord, the “chesed” of the Lord. Let’s dive a little deeper into the mystery of “chesed”.

First the Hebrew letters, chet, samech, dalet. Samech dalet together mean the word “secret” or “counsel”.

“For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD, But His secret counsel, “sod” is with the upright.” (Proverbs 3:32, NKJV)

As we have learned from the word for grace, “chen”, the chetcharacter means to encircle with a fence to protect what is inside.

Tying this all together we see that the Lord is telling us that Hischesed, His kindness is the protected secret counsel of the Lord.

The Lord is a relational God. His ultimate goal of salvation and deliverance is intimacy, another translation for His secret counsel.

Going back to our source text, the mountains and hills may pass away, meaning the things that this world thinks are stable, but the intimate secret protected counsel of the Lord stands eternal.

Let’s look at another verse to further illuminate the secret power of chesed.

“But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him (chesed) mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” (Genesis 39:21, NKJV)

If we remember the circumstances of Joseph’s imprisonment, He was imprisoned not because of any fault of His but because he was in the wrong place with the wrong person at the wrong time. This can occur anytime in the life of a Believer. We can be trapped into circumstances that can steal our sense of freedom in our lives. But like Joseph, we have access to the chesed.

The translation that is often used for chesed is mercy or loving-kindness, but those are outside-in descriptions that reveal the character of God, that He is merciful and abounding in loving-kindness. The inner condition is the secret counsel, the intimate knowing that is ours of Him as our covenant protector.

Outwardly this produces favor with those in authority over our lives. Think of favor as the ability to unlock the heart of another. Chesed gives us the keys to this kingdom. In Joseph’s situation, the keeper of the prison recognized that Joseph walked in the “chesed’ of God. This is a tangible reality.

“The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph's authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.” (Genesis 39:23)

Let’s look at another “chesed” moment. Moses was wanting to truly know the Lord, that had performed the Passover deliverance, and led Israel in the wilderness. He asked to see God’s true nature, His revealed Glory. God declares Himself:

“Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness (chesed) and truth; who keeps lovingkindness (chesed) for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations."” (Exodus 34:6-7, NAS95)

Let’s look deeper into both uses of chesed. First, we see the phrase “abounding in lovingkindness”. In Hebrew the phrase is “rav chesed”. Rav is where we get the term for Rabbi which means one who carries the wisdom that brings an authority. Abundance is a description of the result of mastery in an area of life. When we have mastered something, we exude success in that endeavor. God abounds, is the master, of chesed.

Chesed is the doorway to the secret counsel, that inner wisdom that brings abundance to our lives. God is a God of multiplication of increase and His “chesed” is the secret.

The second use of “chesed” is that God “keeps” or protects “chesed”. This tells me that His ways are not accessed except by those He trusts to be faithful with His chesed. Yeshua spoke of this when He explained His use of parables.

“But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that 'SEEING THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND HEARING THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND; LEST THEY SHOULD TURN, AND THEIR SINS BE FORGIVEN THEM.' "” (Mark 4:10-12, NKJV)

The mystery of the kingdom of God is the “chesed”. We see Yeshua sharing that intimacy is the condition for revelation of the chesed. That God describes Himself as the keeper of the chesed is a brilliant word picture of how intimacy is the condition of the secret things of the Lord.

Turn now to Psalm 25:10-14

“All the paths of the LORD are (chesed)mercy and (emet)truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies. For Your name's sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity, for it is great. Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, and his descendants shall inherit the earth. The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.” (Psalms 25:10-14, NKJV)

The covenant of the Lord is not just a positional statement. It is a covenant of disclosure. As you come to know another in the safety of covenant, you discover things, treasures that are yours alone to know. You see our covenant is truly an opening into a great adventure. Too many have reduced their relationship with God to a set of rules and behaviors. God is a God of mysteries. 

Yes. He wants to prosper us. Yes. He has an inheritance for our descendants in the earth. But beyond His blessings, His benefits are the true treasures that comes from His chesed. He has secrets about Himself that He holds in trust for you!

He is NOT a one size fits all God. He is the consummate Father, the consummate Son and the consummate life-giving Spirit. He delights in revealing Himself to those who truly want to know Him. This is His chesed, His secret counsel.

This is the true blessing of the Lord. He alone knows our true character and destiny. These are imparted by Him in secret when we press in for what He calls us:

“"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it." '” (Revelation 2:17, NKJV)

The hidden manna is the divine strategies beyond what is logical, what can be discerned by the application of principles. These are the David and Goliath instructions, the Elijah and the widow strategies. To the natural “common sense” minds they make no sense. They are destiny moments when God intervenes in our lives in such a way that we are transformed, never to be the same again.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18, NKJV)

This mirror that transforms us is the chesed of God, His secret counsel that reveals who we are as a living epistle, a unique story that has been written by a miraculous God.

“clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.” (2 Corinthians 3:3, NKJV)

David wasn’t just given power against Goliath. Elijah wasn’t just given power to multiply oil and stop rain. No they were transformed in these encounters. This transformation by God was by His chesed.

Activation: Listening for the chesed. As we enter into the spring Feasts, let’s purpose in our heart to activate a new season of transformation.


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