“She . . . gave Naomi what she had . . .” Ruth 2:18
Love is the main thing. Love is the only thing. It’s a dream we all share that someday, some way, somewhere, we are going to meet the one who really understands us – one who understands the words we speak and the words we leave unspoken. Someone who won’t run away from the raw honesty of our doubts, anxieties, our lust, and laziness, our shabby prayer life and stale religiosity, our mixed motives and divided hearts. We dream one day we will find the one who won’t back down, even when we are unfaithful.
The Hebrew word for God’s unconditional, unfailing love is "hesed." No term is more theologically significant than hesed. It speaks of God’s unmerited favor, hesed is a manifestation of pure grace. Whenever hesed is expressed in a relationship, it's experienced as a reciprocal process, the disposition of each party responds with love and glad obedience.
In this chapter, it's Ruth who takes the initiative to do hesed. Ruth sees the need and acts to remedy it. Love doesn't sit back and wait for someone else to take action. Ruth is willing to risk danger to do what's right. She had left her homeland and family to come and live with a people she did not know. Ruth is selfless in her attitude and action. Ruth is the very definition of the hesed of God.
Hesed is the consistent, ever-faithful, relentless, constantly pursuing, lavish, extravagant, unrestrained, furious love of God the Father. God takes the initiative to give us the full, mature expression of invincible love. In His presence we experience that. Through covenant loyalty we are unreservedly accepted, approved, and infinitely loved.
It's this love that’s demonstrated through the life and death our Savior Jesus Christ, who has shaped our lives and made us who we are today. Jesus is the fulfillment of our dream to find real love. He is the one who never fails. Jesus is the hesed of God. It's through doing hesed that people will know we are Christ's disciples.
May your life be gripped by the hesed of God as you cast yourself on the only hope for true love.