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

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


Chesed: lovingkindness, mercy, grace, love, sacrificial devotion. It is the devotion of God’s in mercy to those who will to follow His way. God also demands that chesed be in us.


We are looking at the combination of chesed and emeth (truth) in Psa 40.


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.


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.


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."


David’s ears were opened to the fact that the animal sacrifices did not atone for sin. He came to understand that obedience to God’s law was the desire of God’s heart. However, David’s ears were also open to the fact that he couldn’t perform the law perfectly. This is one heck of a conundrum. David could bring a million burnt offerings for his sin and it wouldn’t save him.


David’s open ears of understanding leads to the spirit of prophecy concerning the incarnation and cross of Christ.


Of course, the details of this are fuzzy to David, but he has been told that his son would sit on the throne of Israel forever; therefore he knows that God would save his people.


Open ears are such a key to life. When total destruction was approaching the gates of Jerusalem due to generations of idol worship, and still Judah was warned, did they heed the warning?


Jer 6:10 To whom shall I speak and give warning,

That they may hear?

Behold, their ears are closed (arel = uncircumcised),

And they cannot listen.

Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them;

They have no delight in it.


The Spirit of God was using David’s pen and life 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 hearing is expressed in obedience of life. However, David was not perfect, but far from it. He did have a heart after God, but he was a man plagued at times by lust and violence. Compared to all of us, he is a hero and a champion of faith, but being a great man does not make a Savior. Jesus is the God/Man and Jesus was perfectly obedient, and so this quote is inspired in David’s heart in the spirit of prophecy concerning David’s Son, the one promised to sit on his throne forever.


Lovingkindness and truth are the treasure of the hearers who are obedient.


Whatever is before you right now, there is a will of God for that thing or person or event. If you are a believer then you have ears to hear. Hear His word and obey it in the situation you face now, and the next and the next, and before you know it, your growth in the truth, and the experience of God’s mercy will overwhelm your entire personality.


David’s open ears meant that the law was in his heart, but he violated it.


“The Law is in my heart.” The Torah was to be copied by the king in front of priests onto his own scroll and then read every day, Deu 17.


Deu 17:18 "Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests.


Deu 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes,


Deu 17:20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left; in order that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.


We remember that this was the old covenant (Mosaic) written on scrolls. We also remember that we are no longer under this covenant, but now we are under the New Covenant, where the Mosaic Law has been fulfilled by Christ and superseded by the law of Christ Jesus and it is now written upon our hearts.


Church age under the New Covenant: the law of Christ, alive and powerful, is etched upon our hearts by the HS and thus becomes a part of our very being.


There is something mysterious at work in the church age believer, as God the Holy Spirit etches the truth upon his heart. The OT believer was not indwelt by the Spirit, nor was the spiritual aspects of the New Covenant available to him, as it is now to both Jew and Gentile. We have the word written, just as they did in the first testament, but there is a difference in how it is stored in our hearts and applied from our inner being. Etched upon our hearts, the word of God that is alive and powerful becomes a part of our very fabric, our being, our personality because the Holy Spirit is doing this writing on our hearts within us. It is beyond knowledge through the Spirit’s ministry to us. This cannot be scientifically or empirically determined. It is known by faith.


So we return to the psalm and see obedience as well as the word of the Lord within our hearts before we see chesed.


God’s lovingkindness, His devotion, His mercy, His grace, His faithfulness, will only be seen when take obedience upon ourselves and we put His word in our hearts.


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."


Vv. 7-8 are molded by the Spirit of prophecy and looking to the Christ (Heb 10:5-7), and in which, the offering of the Lord would end the levitical sacrifice (vs. 6).


Psa 40:9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation;

Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O Lord, Thou knowest.


Psa 40:10 I have not hidden Thy righteousness within my heart;

I have spoken of Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation;

I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the great congregation.


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