Ruth: Loyal

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where 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. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” Ruth 1:16-17

A famine forced your mother and father-in-law to leave their homeland and head to Moab where you live and marry one of their only two sons.  Then your father-in-law dies, followed by your husband and his brother dying.  Are you feeling hopeless yet?  Welcome to Ruth’s life.  Think of her mother-in-law, Naomi.  She has lost her husband and her only two children.  What does she have left?  Two daughters-in-law that happen to be widows as well but younger than Naomi.  At least they still have a chance at love, at a family.  Not Naomi, she is far too old to marry again or even give birth again.  She pleads with the young widows to go back to their parents.  I’m sure the last thing she wants to worry about are two more widows.  One does leave, but the other stays.  Some commentaries say there is possibly 10 years between Naomi becoming a widow and Ruth becoming a widow.  Either way, Ruth could have gone back home after her husband died.
The Ryrie Study Bible says the book of Ruth, “shows an oasis of faithfulness in an age marked by idolatry and unfaithfulness.” Ruth is a true oasis of faithfulness to Naomi during this time.  Ruth could have packed up and headed home but she stayed.  She was loyal to Naomi.  She worked for Naomi to provide food for them.  She truly loved Naomi like her own mother, I’m sure.
How do you become loyal to someone?
Is that loyalty something you can learn?
What are other examples of loyalty from the Bible?

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