While at work the other day, I heard a radio playing in the background in another department. On that day the station was set on one of those stations that played old time Christian gospel songs which is very popular here in the South USA.
One of the songs was an old favorite to many and is based on a well known phrase that comes from that camp, “I am a sinner saved by grace.”
For me it is one of those statements that have irritated me and shows one of the fallacies of that religion. I wrote a blog on the subject a few years ago. I have grown more in my learning since writing it and it has become even a more irritant to me since then. Below is a link to that blog.
This time as I hear that song again, I want to show how wrong it is from a different direction. Over the past few weeks I have Psalm 100 in thought. I have come to this psalm by the writings of Rabbi Shalom Arush. The statement of the song and by Christians in general shows that they do not have a proper understanding of the Creator and through ancient miss-truths of the Romans and Greeks, they have created a very dangerous theology. Often found on their lips and the lips of their teachers is the old Christian adage that, “Through Moses came the Law but through Jesus came grace.”
Because they do not have a proper understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures and the Hebrew language, they continue down the path of falsehood, making one mistake after another.
The Hebrew word ‘chesed’ is translated most of the time as ‘kindness or loving- kindness’, but some of the times it is found translated as ‘grace or mercy’.
Chesed is a word that often times is hard to translate into a single English word, it has a deep thoughtful meaning of the Creator’s love for humankind and the nation of Israel.
Long before the advent of Christian theology, king David tells us in Psalm 89 that the wold was created in kindness.
For I have said, ‘The world is built on kindness;…”
“God’s sole purpose in creating the world was to benefit mankind. God gave men the chance to serve Him only so that He could then reward them with Divine kindness.” Artscroll Tanach Series Tehillim
The whole thought behind that a sinner saved by grace and only through Jesus grace came into the world is to turn man away from the Creator to accept another god that could become saved by. Not knowing the Creator from the beginning was the only source for true Divine kindness and mercy.
I saw this for my self, years after I began to learn Hebrew, I began to take an intense look at the book of Genesis and there right before my eyes was the Creator who in not only His justice but also kindness addressed the first man Adam.
Now what we have recorded in the Hebrew the Torah or the five books of Moses is what the Creator spoke to Moses and have him write down; Moses became the human scribe for the Creator.
One of the foundational passages for what is called the Noahide Laws (commandments given to all mankind by the Creator) is Genesis 2:16. One day as I was studying that verse, I looked it up in the Hebrew and there it was for all of us to see.
The Creator told Moses to write, “The LORD God commanded the man…” (the average English translation), but in the Hebrew we find the Four Letter Name next to Name Elohim. What we have here is the Creator using the Names that represent His deliverance and justice in His command to the man. This is Who spoke to him.
From this we see the attribute of grace, kindness and mercy all the way back to the first man, not something added later by a Johnny Come Lately.
Now on to Psalm 100:5
For good is the Eternal, forever is His loving-kindness, and unto every generation is His faithfulness. Tehillim Eis Ratzon – Feldheim
The Hebrew in this verse is “l’olam chasdo/forever is His loving-kindness”
As I pondered this and other verses like it, I began to think certain thoughts. This verse and others like it, talk about that, His ‘chesed/kindness’ is forever; not one time does it tell us that His kindness ends at the grave – so not only is His kindness forever, from the beginning of Creation but into eternity and there is no mentioning that it ends where our flesh ends.
I got to thinking, if that would be something that the Sages of Judaism saw as well. I think so and here is why.
In the mix of the prayers that are prayed 3 times a day by a Jew, there is a set of prayers known as the Shemoneh Esrei; these prayers were written by the Men of the Great Assembly which contained many of the Prophets as well.
One of these prayers are for the resurrection of the dead, in it there is a phrase that states that the Creator will maintain His faith with those who lay in the dust.
I personally believe that is “forever kindness”
Like I said I am not a fan of that old saying that, “I am a sinner saved by grace.” – I am a human being that has the capability to sin who was given with kindness the opportunity to repent and make things right again.
According to the Hebrew Scriptures sin is an action not a condition. Matter of fact in Genesis 4 the Creator had Moses write down His conversation with Cain – He told Cain that if he would improve he would be forgiven if not then sin waits for him but he could over come it.
The Creator gave us everything we need right from the beginning, only if we would search it out for ourselves
The Creators kindness is forever and the world never existed without it. The book of Genesis and the Psalms are full of it. It hurts me to know that so many do not know the true kindness of the Creator, the world could not exist without.
Terry W. Hayes
Photo Credit: Alex Perez on Unsplash
l’olam chasdo/forever is His loving-kindness