Freed By Hesed
“. . . All that you say I will do.” Ruth 3:5
Something wondrous happened. In a moment of breathtaking freedom at the first taste of the loyal love of Jesus, we are freed from the tyranny of what others think. The opinion of others, more than anything else, can keep us stuck in unfreedom. It’s the loyal love of Jesus that makes us capable of greatness of heart. Jesus’ love becomes the basic impulse of life. We are freed by hesed.
The Hebrew word for loyal love is hesed. Here in this chapter, it’s Naomi who takes the intuitive to do hesed. She sees a God-given opportunity to get a husband for Ruth. God has provided the possibility for her prayer to be answered. However, it will require risk.
The plan is risky for Ruth to place herself in such a vulnerable position. Boaz could reject her, she could be seen as failing her family, she might be taken advantage of or charged with entrapment. It might ruin what little self-respect she had left, but Ruth is willing to take the risk in order to see the relief of Naomi. Ruth demonstrates radical commitment to Naomi. Such commitment goes beyond the usual. That is the nature of the loyal love of hesed.
The risky actions of Ruth are honorable, her motives are pure. Boaz’s reaction to Ruth’s risky deeds shows he interprets them as honorable. Boaz is pictured here as honorable as well. Both of them possess strength of character. It’s interesting that Boaz is willing to take on the risk of marrying Ruth, when the near kinsman does not – the loyal love of hesed risk. When others are unwilling to do so, hesed remains loyal.
God frees us from the scars, scrapes, bruises, and brokenness brought about by sin. He willingly takes the risk that we might reject the gospel of His Son, or that we might take our new found freedom and use it as a reason to live in even more destructive ways. He takes the risk because for God the opportunity to love us far outweighs anything that could ever separate us from God. That’s the nature of hesed.
Are you taking the risk to love God in new uncountable ways?