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35 Bible Verses about God's Steadfast Love

{This post is a part of a series that I'm working on to give us a resource. You can see a post about Trusting God here. And one about hoping in God here. I plan to continue to add these posts regularly this year. Let me know if there is anything you'd like to see! Today's post is a result of someone's suggestion, so I definitely appreciate your input!}

"His steadfast love endures forever!" It's a refrain that echoes thought the Old Testament & we see that steadfast love acted out further in the New Testament.

But what does it actually mean that God has "steadfast love"?

The Oxford dictionary says steadfast means "resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering." The word makes me think of the children's story "The Steadfast Tin Soldier." This little toy soldier stands firm on his one leg, even when he longs to meet the paper ballerina or gets washed down a sewer drain. He only ceases to stand firm when he's thrown into a fire, but even then he melts into the shape of a heart. It's a pretty sad story for kids, but it definitely illustrates the idea of steadfastness. Resolute, dutiful, firm, & unwavering.

Love is sadly a throw away word these days. "Oooh! I love that place!" "I love this coat!" "She loves to read." We've watered down the word, but I think we also understand when it means much more. And here is an instance of it meaning infinitely more. The love of God is perfect. (If you want a really encouraging picture of God's love for us, go read 1 Corinthians 13! It's basically the opposite of everything we tend to see love as.)

We put the 2 words together to get the phrase we're looking for today in the Bible. If we want to get really deep, the Hebrew word that the translators were looking at is hesed. "Hesed is not merely an emotion or feeling but involves action on behalf of someone who is in need. Hesed describes a sense of love and loyalty that inspires merciful and compassionate behavior toward another person." (gotquestions.org) The fact that it's Hebrew also helps explain why this list only contains Old Testament passages.

And now, let's dive into God's Word & find some of the verses about God's steadfast love!

(If you've been following the series, we definitely tend to find a lot of references in the Psalms & this topic is no different.)

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Genesis 24:12 -"And he said, 'O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham.'"

This first reference is spoken by Abraham's servant when he is sent to find a wife for Isaac. A servant in Abraham's house believes in his master's God & knows of His covenant love for Abraham. That speaks of Abraham's faith & it also speaks of Abraham's God because this man had a front row seat to the mighty deeds He had done already!

Genesis 32:10 - "I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps."

Jacob is about to see his twin brother Esau for the first time since he stole Esau's birthright & blessing. He knows he's a sinful, undeserving man, yet he's begging God to protect him from his brothers wrath. If you peek at the next chapter, you'll see that there reunion is definitely not what Jacob expected. God's steadfast love & faithfulness went before him & prepared Esau's heart.

Genesis 39:21 - "But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison."

Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, has been sold into slavery by his brothers. He's now in prison because of a false accusation. But God's steadfast love is not limited to the perfect circumstances. He reached into that prison cell & changed the heart of the warden to show kindness & favor to Joseph.

Exodus 15:13 - "You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode."

This verse is from the song that Moses & the children of Israel sang after God brought them through the Red Sea. They recall God's mighty act & praise Him for His guidance & protection.

Exodus 20:5-6 (and repeated in Deuteronomy 5:10)- "You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments."

This is part of the 2nd of the 10 commandments - "you shall not make for yourself a carved image." It comes with a very daunting punishment for violation. But it also comes with a beautiful reminder of the promise that God has already made - steadfast love.

Exodus 34:6-7 - "The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation."

In the previous chapter, Moses plead with God, "Please show me your glory." (33:18) Here, we see God honoring that request by passing before him. And as Moses sees God Himself, God is reiterating to Moses His promises & His essential character traits.

Numbers 14:17-19 - "And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying,‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’ Please pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now.”

The people of Israel have almost made it to the Promised Land, but they have received scary reports from the spies that searched out the land. This bad news leads them into a rebellious spiral, doubting God's goodness, criticizing the leaders He's placed over them. God tells Moses that He will punish the people. But these verses are part of Moses' prayer on behalf of the people. He speaks God's own words of promise back to God. And God pardons the people according to His promise.

Deuteronomy 7:9 - "Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations."

Moses is reminding the people of their status as the chosen, treasured nation to God. And how their obedience only brings blessing - to them & to the generations to come. All because of the steadfast love of God.

2 Samuel 2:6 - "Now may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing."

Here, David has just been told of Saul's death & that a group of men have shown loyalty & honor to Saul by giving his body a proper burial. David blesses these men for this act. Again, the steadfast love of God is lavished on those who are obedient to His laws.

1 Kings 3:6 - "And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day."

The Lord appears to Solomon & says, "Ask what I shall give you." (v.5) Solomon recalls the faithfulness that God has shown to David by allowing him to sit on his throne. But Solomon recognizes his inadequacy & asks God for wisdom. David wasn't perfect & most of his sons were a mess (rapists, murderers, traitors, etc.), but I think he must've done something right with Solomon. Solomon's early reign was marked by full obedience & confidence in the steadfast love & covenant of God. He must've learned well from his father all about God's steadfastness.

1 Kings 8:22-24 - "Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven, and said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart; you have kept with your servant David my father what you declared to him. You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day."

Here we see Solomon mentioning God's steadfast love as he prays at the dedication of the Temple he built for the Lord.

1 Chronicles 16:34 - "Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!"

We're going back in time a little with this one & see when the Ark was finally brought back to Jerusalem & placed in a tent. This verse is part of David's song of thanksgiving which recounts the covenant history between Israel & God.

1 Chronicles 17:12-14 - "He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.’”

This verse is part of the Davidic Covenant where God promises to establish David's throne forever. God is telling David the bad news that he will not be the one to build the Temple for God, but that David's son will be the one to do this. And we saw in 1 Kings 8:22-24 that God fulfilled that promise! His steadfast love!

Job 10:12 - "You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit."

Job is pleading with God to preserve him, recalling God's steadfast love toward him in times past.

Psalm 6:4 - "Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love."

A lament of David, he is pleading with God to deliver him. He is suffering through sleepless nights & deep sorrow. He ends the psalm with confidence that God will act.

Psalm 13:5 - "But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation."

This psalm opens with, "How long?" David asks for God to "consider and answer" him. He again closes the psalm trusting in God's steadfast love & salvation.

Psalm 25:6-7 - "Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!"

Again, David calls on God's covenant love. He knows that God is good & will remember him.

Psalm 26: 3 - "For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness."

Have you ever stopped to think about all the ways God shows us His steadfast love? It is always before our eyes if we have the right perspective. We are always surrounded by reminders of his faithfulness.

Psalm 33:22 - "Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you."

A psalm full of praise to God & extolling His character & power, David wraps it all up with this verse asking for God's steadfast love to continue to rest on them.

Psalm 36:5 (similar to Psalm 57:10) - "Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, you faithfulness to the clouds."

His steadfast love is so big, so beyond what we can fathom. In verse 7, David calls it precious. Precious makes me think of something personal. So, while's this big concept, it's also very near, very accessible.

Psalm 63:3 - "Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you."

David values that covenant, steadfast love with God so highly that it is more valuable to him than his own life.

Psalm 77:8 - "Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time?"

The psalmist going through a terrible time & is full of despair. Here, he isn't questioning God so much as he is setting his mind on the fact that of course the answers to these questions is, "NO!" God isn't done. His steadfast love has not ceased & His promises are not broken. And with that, the psalm turns to hope & recalling God's mighty works.

Psalm 118:1-2, 29 (refrain throughout the psalm) - "Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever. Let Israel say, 'His steadfast love endures forever.'"

Praising God for His salvation, His goodness, His faithfulness!

Psalm 136:1 (entire chapter repeats the phrase) - "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever."

I still remember reading this psalm in chapel at the Christian college I went to. The preacher had the whole congregation read every time the phrase "for His steadfast love endures forever" appeared. (Actually, we were reading from the KJV, so it said, "for His mercy endureth forever.") The repetition itself is a picture of the steadfastness of God's covenant love for His people. And hearing it spoken by a group of thousands was another illustration of God's steadfast love, His preservation of His people. I still get chills thinking about it!

Proverbs 3:3 - "Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart."

The steadfast love of God needs to be remembered, cherished, memorized, our constant companion.

Proverbs 20:28 - "Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld."

This remind me of the requirement that the Kings of Israel copy down the Law in their own hand & keep it with them at all times. Remembering, being intimately familiar with, & in constant company of God's steadfast love keeps us in that humbly obedient place where God delights to see His children.

Isaiah 55:3 - "Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David"

The everlasting covenant is the New Covenant - Jesus ruling on David's throne over an everlasting kingdom. Paul quotes this verse in Acts 13:34 as he speaks of the resurrection of Christ.

Isaiah 63:7 - "I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he has granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love."

The previous verses are full of graphic depictions of God's wrath being poured out on those who do not believe. The pivot seems sudden, but it also begins a penitent reply to this coming destruction.

Jeremiah 9:24 - "But let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord."

God is showing Jeremiah a message of impending destruction. But He also reminds them of the way of salvation - knowing God & trusting in His character!

Lamentations 3:21-23 -"But I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

These are some of my favorite verses. They are quoted a lot, but when you learn the context, they become all the more precious. Lamentations is a book of grief & crying out to God. Jeremiah is the writer & the first couple chapters up to this point are full of frustration at what he feels is God's distance & lack of mercy. Here, we see the tone change. He remembers the steadfast love of God. That it never ends, never gives up.

Daniel 9:4 - "I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments."

Daniel is studying the writings of Jeremiah & sees that destruction is imminent. He goes into mourning & pleads with God. He calls on the covenant love of God. He acknowledges their sin & the consequences of their actions. He begs for forgiveness.

Hosea 2:19 - "And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy."

The whole book of Hosea is a picture of God's steadfast love for Israel despite her faithlessness. God directs Hosea to marry a prostitute who will constantly be unfaithful to him. Yet Hosea must stay. He must even raise her children from other men as his own. Just as God is covenanted with Israel despite her compulsion to follow after other gods & not remain pure.

Joel 2:12-13 - "“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,“return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster."

Chapter 2 starts out with a description of the Day of the Lord or the coming wrath of God. Despite their sinfulness, despite their ignoring of all the previous messages, a call for repentance goes out. The Lord reminds them of His steadfast love & grace.

Jonah 4:1-3 - "But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed to the Lord and said, 'O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.'”

Oh, Jonah! He is grumbling & complains to God BECAUSE of God's steadfast love! The people of Ninevah are rejoicing in it because God has allowed them the chance to repent of their wickedness. And Jonah even got to be part of that message being brought! But here he sits, angry at God for the very steadfast love that rescued him from the belly of a giant fish.

Micah 7:18 - "Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love."

Micah lived around the same time as Isaiah. He also has a message of coming destruction on those who continue in their sin. But he also shares that salvation is coming (a King born in Bethlehem!) & closes his message extolling God & rejoicing in His steadfast love.

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This list was WAY longer than I thought it would be! I knew that God's steadfast love is a repeated theme in the Bible, but I didn't realize just how many repetitions (over 200!) there are! I definitely couldn't get to every single on of them here, but I tried to get at least one from each book that mentions it. There are so many more, especially in the Psalms. You should definitely take a look!

If you're like me, you might tend to see the God of the Old Testament as an angry, vengeful God. But as we read these verses, we can see over & over & over that He is a God of steadfast love. Despite Israel's sin, faithlessness, disbelief - His steadfast love never stopped.

In case you want to study more about this, here's an article that I found helpful as I learned about this idea of "steadfast love" or hesed.

Cheering you on!

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P.S. - Are you enjoying these posts? I hope they have been encouraging to your heart & will continue to be something you can look back at when you need a reminder. I plan continue compiling these lists of Bible verses on other topics in hopes that they can be a resource to all of us. Let me know in the comments if there are any subjects that might encourage your heart!

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