series: ancient cliff notes
teacher: Jacob Bender
date: September 23, 2018
scriptures: Ruth, Deuteronomy 23:3-6, Matthew 7:11, Numbers 22-25.
If you were to open up a commentary on the book of Ruth or do some research trying to figure out “WHY DOES THIS BOOK EXIST? Why was it written, and why did it stand the test of time?”
“why would the short story about a woman who’s husband dies and her loyalty to her mother in law be so important that it would make it into the Bible?”
There really are two answers that stand out by Rabbi’s and scholars throughout the centuries of studying this book.
One of the answers that the Rabbi’s give is they simple say: “chesed” - that word we studied last week when we did Hosea. God is abounding in steadfast love.
The idea is that this book was written, and was included in the scriptures, “To teach us how great is the reward of those who do deeds of kindness [chesed].”
Remember the imagery for “chesed” - a mother swan who plucks out her own feathers and lines her nest with them so that her young can rest in comfort.
Our daughter Fiona got a baby doll from my parents for her birthday, and she just absolutely loves this doll. They gave it to her last Sunday… and that night, after we put the kids to bed we eventually went up and checked on them and found that Fiona had laid her baby doll in her bed, and she was sleeping on the floor of her bedroom.
Its amazing how that motherly inclination exists even in a 5 year old.
That is exactly what chesed is. Steadfast love. Giving up your own comfort for the sake of something that means a lot to you. And I was just thinking about this this week… that if my daughter would do that for a baby doll, something that only in her imagination has life at all.
how much more do we as parents, do that for our living, breathing, flesh and blood children?
And as Jesus says in the sermon on the mount that IF WE, BEING EVIL know how to give good gifts to our children… how much more does God our Father in Heaven shower us with love and give us good things? (Matthew 7:11)
This story, from front to back is the story of God’s faithfulness on a family that should have been forgotten.