Monday, February 16, 2009


Again, I am loving my book on Ruth. The paragraphs that follow are speaking about Boaz's lavish generosity toward the two widows, Naomi and Ruth.

They tell us hesed is a strong Hebrew word hat sums up the ideal lifestyle for God's people. It's the way God intended for human being to live together from the beginning to the end - the "love your neighbor as yourself" brand of living, an active, selfless, sacrificial caring for one another that goes against the grain of our fallen natures.

Two parties are involved - someone in desperate need and a second person who possesses the power and the resources to make a difference. Hesed is driven, not by duty or legal obligation, but by a bone-deep commitment - a loyal, selfless love that motivates a person to do voluntarily what no one has a right o expect or ask of them. They have the freedom to act or walk away without the slightest injury to their reputation. Yet they willingly pour themselves out for the good of someone else. It's actually the kind of love we find most fully expressed in Jesus. In a nutshell, hesed is the gospel lived out. ( The Gospel of Ruth, p. 115)

These two paragraphs really stuck out to me. There have been several times in the past 5.5 months that Dan and I have received groceries or money from someone. More times than not, we are blown away because of all people, they were the ones that, in our minds, could afford to help us the least. The sacrifice was huge. The gift spoke volumes to us. I want to live that way. The strangers we have never met, the people we hardly know, the couples that are struggling to pay their bills themselves...there is only one explanation for this : they have chosen to follow Christ and live out the gospel. No where in scripture does it say to only help those who have "invested" in us...only come to the aid of another if there has been a relationship there. That is not at all what Jesus lived or taught. It's extremely unfortunate that churches today, Christians today, are looking the other way while people among them are struggling. What an opportunity they miss. They chose to turn their heads, while knowing that they have the resources to help. It's a choice made out of selfishness and it has a devastating effect.

I am working on this myself.

3 things to add:

Peaceful Chaoz said...

I am so glad you are getting so much out of reading this book. I have read it myself in the fairly recent past, and loved it!!

Neat to see God working in you Beth!! Thank you for sharing your heart! :0)

Rebecca said...

I think it takes a lot of work and a whole lotta Jesus to get to the place where you would rather have you & your brother's cups both be half-full instead of yours being mostly full and theirs being mostly empty. For some reason, I couldn't help but think about you & Dan all during church yesterday & it was exactly about these same ideas.

I want to be like the early church where we are selling our possessions and giving to others as they have need. It's not mine anyways :>)

Kimmie said...

So glad you are seeing the Body working on your is what we are supposed to do!

Enjoy and give thanks!

mama to 7
one homemade and 6 adopted