- Ruth 1:1-4:22
During the time of the judges there was an Israelite named Elimelech. Elimelech had a wife named Naomi and two sons. There was a famine in the land of Israel and Elimelech moved his family to the land of Moab to find food. While in Moab, Elimelech died. Elimelech’s sons married two women from the land of Moab. After some period of time both sons died as well, leaving Naomi without any immediate family.
After living in Moab ten years, Naomi decided to return to Israel because she had heard the famine was over. Her two daughters-in-law (that had married Naomi’s sons), Orpah and Ruth, decided to go with Naomi to Israel and live. But Naomi encouraged them to return to their mother’s home and live because Naomi had no other sons for them to marry. After resisting initially, Orpah agreed and went back home, but Ruth would not leave Naomi.
But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”
(Ruth 1:16-17 NKJV)
It is obvious that Ruth loved Naomi very much. No doubt Naomi had shown kindness to Ruth previously. Ruth promised to be loyal to Naomi and to take care of her. Ruth kept her promise. When they returned to Israel, Ruth went and gleaned in the fields to provide wheat for her and Naomi to eat.
GOD blessed Ruth and Naomi as a result of their love for one another. In time a relative of Naomi’s named Boaz married Ruth and took care of both of them. Ruth gave birth to a son named Obed, who eventually became the grandfather of King David. Another special blessing given to Ruth and Boaz was that Jesus would come through their family generations later. They were ancestors of the Messiah, GOD’s anointed.
Loyalty is an important characteristic to have. When someone has been good to you and shown kindness to you, then you should love them in return and, whenever you have opportunity, you should show kindness back to them because of what they have done for you. It is important that we be there for our friends and those who have helped us in times past whenever they need us. That’s being loyal.