The Love of God: His Love is Faithful.
“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you.”
The word lovingkindness comes from the Hebrew word ḥesed. The word itself was rich in Hebrew thought and their understanding of God. The Hebrew word speaks of an unfailing kind of love and thus it was used in relationship to God’s love that is grounded in his faithfulness to the promises he made with his people. When God made a covenant to align himself relationally with his people to be their God, he bound himself to an eternal relationship with them and the obligations he made. Thus, we find in verse 10 that because of his love for his people, he would never break the covenant that he made with them even though the world itself might be disturbed. His love is more certain and steadfast than the ground we walk upon. In Isaiah 54, Isaiah gives a message of hope even as Israel experiences the discipline of God. He warns them that there will be a time when his outburst of anger is felt, but in the end his lovingkindness will move him to have compassion for them (vs 8). So great is his promise, that even though the whole earth should be shaken by a mighty earthquake, his loving kindness will still remain and they will continue to be the object of his steadfast love.
It is this kind of love that contrasts the transitory nature of commitment and love that we see today. Today, marriage is no longer grounded in a commitment until “death do us part” but has become “until life do us part.” When life becomes difficult and our commitment to one another is tested, we find it easier to abandon the marriage than do the hard work of changing our attitudes and actions. We know little of the faithfulness of love in other relationships as well. When someone hurts us and betrays our loyalty, we would rather cut off the relationship than forgive unconditionally and remain committed to maintaining the relationship. Commitment and faithfulness in relationships is never easy. This is what makes it so hard for us to understand God’s ḥesed, that he will remain faithful and committed to our relationship with him no matter how much we may offend him and betray our commitment to him.
No matter what happens in life, no matter how much we are “afflicted, storm-tossed and without comfort” (vs 11), we have the assurance that God’s compassion and love for us will not be removed. Because of his faithful love we have the assurance that when God makes us a promise, he will fulfill it. The idea that all the mountains and the whole of creation would be “removed” seems unimaginable, but far more unthinkable is the idea that God’s steadfast love would be “removed” (same Hebrew word is used in both instances) from his people. This is our comfort and source of our confidence, that no matter how shaken our world, God’s love for us is never shaken. God is always faithful to us, even when we, like Israel during Isaiah’s day, are not faithful to him. This is what should drive us continually back to him. In times of our sin, guilt, or apprehension concerning life’s uncertainties, we can flee to him because he remains committed to his promises in his word to love us continually and unconditionally.