Ruth. Sweet Ruth. Such a loyal friend.
This short book of the Bible holds a very important message. It's a story of love, friendship, devotion and trials. It shows how every day, common people can be used as examples of God's goodness. And how our choices can have lasting effects on future generations.
Let's start with Ruth's mother-in-law, Naomi. Her family lived in Bethlehem, then made the move to a land called Moab. There Niomi's husband dies, but her sons were married to Orpah and Ruth. Sadly, their husbands die too, so these three women are left alone.
At this time, Naomi decided to move back home but pleads with her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab, knowing that as widows they will face many challenges. Orpah decides to stay, but Ruth insists on going with Naomi. Ruth loves Naomi and remains by her side as they venture back to Naomi's hometown of Bethlehem.
While there, food becomes scarce, so Naomi goes out into a field to pick barley (grain). While she is out there she bumps into Boaz (cue music and hearts). Their eyes lock and he is amazed by Ruth's loyalty to Naomi, and hearing that she's a widow, he pledges to marry her. Together they have a son. And I am just going to insert that they probably live mostly happily ever after.
Such a simple yet sweet love story.
A story that teaches us that our choices to be loyal and kind to those that we love and that are struggling really do matter. Just as Ruth did to Naomi and even Boaz did for Ruth, our choices reflect our hearts and character. More importantly, it shows that God can use our faithful choices to bring redemption and healing.
The real blessing God gave Ruth and Boaz for their faithfulness and loyalty was that their son, Obed, comes from the lineage of King David. So their love story made an impact on future generations.
So what does loyalty look like?
-Keep your promise or word
Being loyal comes with sacrifice and commitment. Aiming to love and honor others, being authentic, and putting their needs above your own.
As you go into your week consider Ruth's story, and choose to be a loyal friend.
***This week read about Mary, the mother of Jesus. There are many places to find her story. We are going to look in the Gospel of Luke (the first few chapters 1-4) to find her story. Read a few chapters a day and as you read, respond, reflect and react. What can you take away from her story?