who saves those who take refuge in you, saving them from their attackers
by your strong hand. -Psalm 17:7 CEB
Question: Are you married to God? Are you covenanted to Him? Are you the bride of Christ? If you are, then you are fully committed to the Lord (He is your Lord) and the Lord is fully committed to you. You are partaking of God's Hesed, His covenant love.
The word Hesed is difficult to translate into English. David is asking God for God's Hesed love. We get the idea that Hesed means covenant love, based on all of it's usages in the Old Testament. I looked at seven translations to see what the Hebrew scholars decided with this deep word. Here's the results:
Faithful love (CEB)
Wonderful love (CEV & GNT)
Steadfast love (ESV)
Unfailing love (NLT)
Marvelous lovingkindness (NKJV)
Great love (TNIV)
Also, Hebrew scholar, R. K. Harrison translates Hesed in Psalm 17:7 as compassionate love. The Psalms For Today, (1961, Zondervan).
In David's crisis, he asks for relief, and he expects God to answer his request. Then David prays that God would answer by manifesting or showing this special love to him. David does not just see problem solving, but an act of love, based on the relationship between him and God.
David was a lover. Are you a lover? Lovers give love and receive love. True lovers are loyal and committed and take care of their beloved. Notice the words faithful, steadfast, and unfailing that the translators chose for Hesed; and you start to get the picture of covenant love.
At wedding ceremonies, some of us make public vows to be faithful in our love to our spouse, "for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, till death do us part". We sign a legal document that contractually obligates us in certain ways to our spouse, but that's not the marriage covenant. The covenant of marriage is made in vows and through prayers.
The most important aspect of our marriage covenant and our covenant with God through Christ is that God is the one who has the power to keep the covenant. We participate and cooperate with the covenant, but God keeps it. We practice obedience and repent when we stumble, but God empowers it.
This is the difference between Christian and secular marriage. God keeps the covenant between us in Christian marriage. You still have to die to yourself, forgive, love unselfishly, put your spouse before everything except Jesus; so your part is not only hard, but impossible. That's why we need God to hold us together and empower the covenant to work.
God has always been a covenant God. David probably knew this. David knew that he was committed to God. He was in, lock stock and barrel, no holds barred, mountain style (all in). When you commit to God, God commits to you. God takes care of those in covenant with him and David knew this. Do you know this?
David prayed to God for his loyal love to be shown to his child with power. Did you know that you can do that? You can pray for God's intervention in your life, just like David did, if you are in covenant with God.
Covenant love is given to those in the covenant. Are you in the covenant made by Jesus' shed blood? Have you entered into that covenant? If you have, then you are God's and God takes care of those who belong to him. That is the message of Hesed. God's love is shown to those who are in covenant with him in a special way.