ISSL Reflections December 19 2021 Isaiah 9:2–7 Post 3

As you take time to rest in these words, what do you hear about “zeal,” “passionate commitment,” “covenant” and “loving kindness”?

Isaiah 9:2-7 (NRSV) 

The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
    on them light has shined.

You have multiplied the nation,
    you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
    as with joy at the harvest,
    as people exult when dividing plunder.

For the yoke of their burden,
    and the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor,
    you have broken as on the day of Midian.

For all the boots of the tramping warriors
    and all the garments rolled in blood
    shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

For a child has been born for us,
    a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
    and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

His authority shall grow continually,
    and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
    He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time onward and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.


As I read and reread this passage it seems to me that the “zeal” mentioned here rests on what in Hebrew Scripture is called “hesed” (sometimes transliterated as “chesed”).  This comes to us in English translations as “mercy,” or “loving kindness,” or “steadfast love,” or “covenant faithfulness.”

Do you find “hesed” in these words of Isaiah?


Or, maybe I could ask, where do we find and/or experience “hesed”?

Might we be able to say at times  – 

I walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
I lived in a land of deep darkness—
    on me light has shined.
    you have increased my joy;
I rejoice before you
For the yoke of my  burden,
    and the bar across my shoulders,
    you have broken … 


Where and when has “loving kindness” come into your life?

Who extended “loving kindness” to you?  Who helped you see such mercy, kindness, faithfulness, and love?


{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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