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Ruth: 3:1-9; a study on chesed – lovingkindness, mercy, devotion.

length: 82:02 - taught on Feb, 25 2018
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Title: Ruth: 3:1-9; a study on chesed - lovingkindness, mercy, devotion.   


Chesed - dsjis used 247 times in the OT.


We saw the use of chesed in the second commandment. God shows lovingkindness to those who love Him and keep His commandments.


God loves the world. GEN 12:3 “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” All the families of the earth is pretty clearly involving everyone. The good news of the seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ, would be spread to all. God has made Himself evident in all He has made. However, those who oppose Him in unbelief do not see His kindness since God is kindness.


When Israel broke the second commandment by making the golden calf, God judged and punished the guilty, but He also said that He abounds in lovingkindness and that He forgives iniquity, and so under His lovingkindness we can recover in grace from our sin, and leaving the past behind, reach forward to that which is ahead.


In EXO 34:6 lovingkindness (chesed) and truth (emeth) are paired together. They are paired together 20 times in the OT.


Chesed and emeth (truth) together.  


Like a banquet, lovingkindness and truth have been offered to all mankind. Those who believe the gospel are equipped to receive and see them, and if they do see them, they will gladly walk in them.


We find the same combination of lovingkindness and truth in Psa 40. The entire psalm is testimony to chesed, both in David and then ultimately in his Son Jesus Christ. It goes beyond being nice or kind. This psalm brings us closer to its understanding. God gives His love to the world, but those who love Him and obey Him, actually see, experience, and walk in the grace, mercy, and devotion that God has. God gives grace to the humble. If we are going to see chesed in our own hearts, we must see it in God first, and for this we must be obedient, as Ruth is, “All that you say, I will do.”


PSA 40:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

I waited patiently for the Lord;

And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.


PSA 40:2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay [water with a bottom of deep clay];

And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.


PSA 40:3 And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;

Many will see and fear, And will trust in the Lord.


PSA 40:4 How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,

And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.


This echoes Jeremiah. We will pause this psalm here.  


JER 17:7-8 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord

And whose trust is the Lord. "For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream

And will not fear when the heat comes;

But its leaves will be green,

And it will not be anxious in a year of drought

Nor cease to yield fruit.


It also echoes Psa 52, which was written about the time that David, fleeing from the persecution of Saul, came to Nob and was helped by Ahimelech the priest. Doeg the Edomite betrayed David’s location and the support given him by Ahimelech. Doeg’s betrayal would cause the murder of 85 priests.


PSA 52:1 For the choir director. A Maskil of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said to him, "David has come to the house of Ahimelech."


Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? [sarcasm]

The lovingkindness of God endures all day long.


PSA 52:2 Your tongue devises destruction,

Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit.


PSA 52:3 You love evil more than good,

Falsehood more than speaking what is right.



PSA 52:4 You love all words that devour,

O deceitful tongue.


PSA 52:5 But God will break you down forever;

He will snatch you up, and tear you away from your tent,

And uproot you from the land of the living.



PSA 52:6 And the righteous will see and fear,

And will laugh at him, saying,


PSA 52:7 "Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge,

But trusted in the abundance of his riches,

And was strong in his evil desire."


PSA 52:8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;

I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever (vs. 1b).


PSA 52:9 I will give Thee thanks forever, because Thou hast done it,

And I will wait on Thy name, for it is good, in the presence of Thy godly ones.


Ruth sought refuge under the wings of God and then under the mantle of Boaz. Jesus sought refuge under the wings of His Father when He faced the most important day in the history of time.


Imagine the difference between a man like Doeg, who would not make God his refuge, and Ruth who did, and ultimately, the Lord Jesus who did.  


Ecce Homo print: Antonio Ciseri

Behold the man who trusts in riches. Behold the Man who trusts in God.


JOH 19:5

Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, "Behold, the Man!"


What a deep lesson is learned when we behold the Man and we compare Him to those whom we behold who refuse to make God their refuge. One’s life is eternal as is its impact, and the other is fleeting, rapidly fading into oblivion without meaning.


So, back up a tunnel. How blessed is the man who makes the Lord his refuge, or his trust.


PSA 40:4 How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,

And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.


PSA 40:5 Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done,

And Thy thoughts toward us;

There is none to compare with Thee;

If I would declare and speak of them,

They would be too numerous to count.


David sees those who trust in God as extremely happy, and they are those who can look to the future and see God’s gracious rule, not only in their own lives, but in the lives of all who trust in God.


Once again we see the futility of counting God’s blessings towards us. If we tried to make a list, we would miss too many. Plus, a list has a beginning and an end, but the blessings of God are eternal, without beginning or end. We focus on the blessings of God needed for the moment, and the next moment, and the next.


Now David moves from the wonders too numerous to count to the one wonder that is inscrutable, yet the Spirit is working in David in a way he does not yet see.


PSA 40:6 Sacrifice and meal offering Thou hast not desired;

My ears Thou hast opened;

Burnt offering and sin offering Thou hast not required.


PSA 40:7 Then I said, "Behold, I come;

In the scroll of the book it is written of me;


PSA 40:8 I delight to do Thy will, O my God;

Thy Law is within my heart."


And there is the incarnation of Christ and its culmination in His sacrifice for the sins of the world. This is repeated in Heb 10 as prophecy concerning the coming of the Lord. The Spirit of God was using David for this prophecy though David did not know it. What David relates as the lovingkindness and truth from God, is embodied fully in the person of Christ.  


David’s ears were opened. He heard the message of obedience above sacrifice, meaning animal sacrifice, whereas Saul did not.


The same is true of Ruth. She was obedient. And ultimately, the same was true of our Lord, who unbelievably took upon the form of a servant and became obedient to the point of death.


1SA 15:22 And Samuel said,

"Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices

As in obeying the voice of the Lord?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

And to heed than the fat of rams.


1SA 15:23 "For rebellion is as the sin of divination,

And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry [2nd commandment].

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,

He has also rejected you from being king."


Saul was instructed on what to do and he didn’t obey. Samuel labeled it as rebellion, which is the same as seeking divination in a medium, which prophetically, Saul would eventually do. In other words, just do what you’re told by God, for if you don’t you might as well seek counsel in a diviner who at best speaks to demons, and at worst only to himself. David did obey, and because he did he found the deeper meaning of the righteousness and justice of God. The animal sacrifices did not atone for sin, but they did have their effect upon the hearts of those who loved God for His forgiveness and mercy. As David would write in Psa 51, it would be a broken and contrite heart that God would desire, which is humility in the inner man.


“My ears He has opened.” One cannot obey without hearing. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The word of God comes to everyone, but not all have ears to hear.  


“Hear O Israel.” This is a choice. O Israel means all of them. What are they to hear. Yavah is our God. Yavah is one. Yavah is I am Who I am: the imperfect of hayah, “I keep on being, in the past, now, and into the future, that which I keep on being.” Hear this all Israel that such a One is your God, and that you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might (Hebrew: meod = all your everything.). Yet so many of them continued to worship idols in violation of the second commandment.


ISA 6:9

And He said, "Go, and tell this people:

'Keep on listening, but do not perceive;

Keep on looking, but do not understand.'


Ultimately, this obedience would come in the only One who could fully obey, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. By His obedience, by His stripes, we are healed. So then, we could be saved, not by obedience, for none of us can perfectly obey, but by faith in Him who did perfectly obey. Baptized by the Holy Spirit, entered into union with Christ, regenerated and made new creatures in Christ, indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, now we can obey His word, and by growth through the transformation of our minds, we can obey more and more fully and often.


God demands that the levitical sacrifices be performed, but what He truly desires and requires is the one true sacrifice for sin so that man can be saved. The blood of animals makes no atonement or else they would have only been offered once.


PSA 40:6 Sacrifice and meal offering Thou hast not desired;

My ears Thou hast opened;

Burnt offering and sin offering Thou hast not required.


PSA 40:7 Then I said, "Behold, I come;

In the scroll of the book it is written of me;


PSA 40:8 I delight to do Thy will, O my God;

Thy Law is within my heart."


It is interesting that the line, “My ears You have opened” is sandwiched between the parallel lines about levitical offerings. Something more than animal sacrifices is required and David has ears to hear that. He can’t know all of the details concerning it, but it depends on obedience. David writes of his own obedience, but fortunately it will not depend on David’s obedience, but on the One who will end all sacrifices.


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