Week 1 - God - TKW

May 7, 2017 Speaker: Dennis Franzen Series: The Gospel of Ruth

Topic: Gods Love Scripture: Ruth 1:1–7, Psalm 117:1–2, Psalm 121:1–2

Mercy, kindness, goodness are all good words and nice thoughts that give you a warm fuzzy. But put unfailing in front of those words and you begin to understand the definition of grace: costly undeserved love. The story of Ruth is not a Hallmark love story. It opens at the darkest part of the Judges story cycle when God withholds and sends judgment for repentance, when “there was no King and everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” Yet it’s a story of Hesed, costly action taken for the benefit of another, raising the needs of another to a driving priority.

The fact that another has needs gets us to another Hebrew word, Ezer, the helper who brings assistance, the one whole picks up the challenge to make Hesed concrete. A person taking the role of Ezer leaves no one behind.

Why are we reading Ruth? Because it is filled with Hesed and helps us understand the importance of the Ezer. We’re looking at the 3 individuals woven together in the story, but we’re also going to see God because the underlying truth of scripture is that God brings Hesed into play when mankind steps away from Him (Gen 3). God becomes the Ezer we all needed. This small story is filled with the story arc of God’s whole narrative of salvation. We understand God’s character best as one who embodies hesed and pledges to be the Ezer of all of creation. He takes on our humanness (John 1:14, 16 &17), takes on our calamity, pays the price for our sin, gives us righteousness and a place in his eternal kingdom. When we see the threads of Hesed woven through the lives of three great Ezer characters in this story we know God better and see how he is shaping/calling us to live in His Kingdom with Hesed and be an Ezer.

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