What the Womb Tells Us About God's Mercy
During a Women's Aglow meeting, of which I was the treasurer for at the time, God orchestrated a message in a way I would never have imagined.
Pam, the President, was ill and was unable to attend, which meant that I was to take her place in sharing, announcements, and most importantly introducing our guest speaker.
I'm ashamed to admit that I had absolutely no idea who was speaking. I actually thought that the speaker that was coming was a man so when a lady showed up with a guitar I quickly said hello and asked her if she was there for worship and she said, "um...yeah and I am the speaker". The embarassment did not end here. I had to ask her for for her name so that I could properly announce.
I am sure she was wondering where the organization found someone such as myself. I apologized and explained that Pam was unable to come due to illness and that I was filling in for her. She was quite gracious about all of this especially considering she practically had to introduce herself because I knew nothing about her or her message.
Believe it or not, this is all divine and typical of God using my foolishness to confuse those who might be thinking I'm simply an incompetant and what could God possibly do with such ineptness, because that is exactly what I was thinking. I'm so glad He gives us a large room in which to move. His "mercy" is wide and deep and covers all.
As treasurer, I most generally would share a little something and then pray over the offering. I wasn't sure what to share about until a couple of days before. I was looking through some notes in my Hebrew studies and came across the words for womb and mercy. Keep in mind I have no idea what the speaker is going to speak about.
I will share with you what I shared that night and how God in all His splendor works all things for His glory and the good of those who love Him.
Womb and Mercy
The Hebrew word for Womb is "rechem"
Most Hebrew words consist of three root letters and each letter carries with it a picture concept that is descriptive of that word.
The three root letters of the word for womb are "resh", "chet". and a closed "mem". (a mem is closed when it is at the end of a word)The "resh" is a picture of a person simply put.
The "chet" is a picture of a fence and carries the concept of protection and being surrounded.
The "mem" is a picture of water and because it is a closed "mem" it can symbolize something hidden.
If we put the three concepts together we see that a womb is a place where a person is protected and surrounded by the hidden water.
Most interesting to me is that this very same word for womb is also used for God's mercy. It is not the most commonly translated word for mercy but nonetheless stunning in its revelation.
The most common word translated mercy (loving kindness) is the Hebrew word "chesed" and it is descriptive of God's loyal love that is connected to the covenant relationship we have with Him. It concerns His most faithful promises to love and care for us based upon the covenant He made. "chesed" is not based on emotions or circumstance. It is His consistent, unconditional promise to love us. He has obligated himself to do so.
The less commonly used "rechem", also translated mercy is about God's feelings towards us. It speaks of being affectionately surrounded and protected in His love. The same tender emotions a mother feels for the child within her womb. And as we can see from the word picture above, His mercy protects, surrounds, and hides us. An example of both is given in Psalm 103
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness (chesed-loyal covenant love) and tender mercies (rechem—most tender affections),
— Psalm 103:1-4
His Mercy is Like a Mother's Love
His love and mercy towards us is a picture of maternal love.
As one whom his mother comforts, So I will comfort you; And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
— Isaiah 66:13
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you.
— Isaiah 49:15
His affectionate love never fails.
This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the LORD’s mercies (chesed-loyal covenant love) we are not consumed, Because His compassions (rechem-most tender affections) fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”
— Lamentations 3:21-24
The above two verses show us that not only has God obligated Himself to love us and care for us but that His heart is all in it all the way.
And when Jesus went out...He was moved with compassion for them...
— Matthew 14:14
God's mercy is the mother love that wraps around us, surrounds us and protects us. He is moved with compassion for us and pities us knowing how fragile we are. He cannot forget His affections for us and moves Him to forgive, heal, and redeem.
As I finished my sharing the Speaker Carla Burton came up to speak and she told us that her whole message and life story centered around the womb, protective love, and mercy.
She began to sing a Hymn:
"Walk across the Water"
When the waters of our mother broke,
And the world first came to be,
It was in that instant God done spoke,
And said "walk across the water to me"
On the day we came to be baptized by the Word,
In the water freed,
Jesus looked into our wondering eyes,
And said "walk across the water to me"
And when Israel fled from Egypt's land,
They were chased up to the sea,
Moses, God said, "Take them by the hand,
And walk across the water to me,"
Is that my Lord a walking,
On the sea of Galilee?
Jesus says, if your faith be more then talk,
"Walk across the water to me."
She started to tell the story of a ministry that began one day as she scrubbed her kitchen floor. She had been watching the news and there was rioting being reported about in protest of abortion. She said that she knew what she believed but didn't think what she saw on tv was going to accomplish much so she prayed "Lord, what can I do to help?" Later she had a vision of a home for pregnant women who had nowhere else to go and described how that vision is now a reality in Winona Minnesota.
"Grace Place" is a place offering God's mercy to hurting women and families. They show His tender love and compassion to the most vulnerable in our culture especially those still in the womb. They advocate, mentor and support family restoration and have provided temporary safe housing for those in need.
Her whole ministry and message was about "The womb" and "The mercy of God"
How great is our God!!
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.
— Psalm 139:13-16
© 2010 Tamarajo