I am feasting on Paul E. Miller’s A Loving Life In a World of Broken Relationships, and although I’m only half finished with it, it’s the best teaching on the book of Ruth that I’ve ever read. He explains the kind of love that is on display in the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz:
Naomi begins by blessing Ruth and Orpah, by thinking about their futures. She blesses them twice. First she asks that the Lord would “deal kindly” with them. The phrase translated “deal kindly” is actually hesed, a word unique to Hebrew that combines “love” and “loyalty.” She wants God to do hesed love with them.
Sometimes hesed is translated “steadfast love.” It combines commitment with sacrifice. Hesed is one-way love. Love without an exit strategy. When you love with hesed love, you bind yourself to the object of your love, no matter what the response is…Hesed is a stubborn love.
That’s just a morsel. I’ll share more later.