Naomi perceived that the hand of the Lord had gone out against her and this was the conclusion that she made after losing her two married sons and her own husband. Despite Naomi thinking and confessing this, Ruth maintained her loyalty to Naomi. She voiced her loyalty in words as we see in Ruth 1:16-19 where she 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,
Your God, shall be 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.”
It is excellent that we see that Ruth verbalised her loyalty but she did not just stop at words. Here loyalty was seen in her actions which followed when she did leave all that had been familiar to her, the land of her birth, family and gods to be with Naomi. When she got to Bethlehem her loyalty was demonstrated when she started working in the field of Boaz for her own and Naomi‘s sustenance. Her loyalty was such that even when she ate food, she made sure she saved for Naomi. Her loyalty was not an ‘you are out of my sight, I don’t need to be loyal to you’ kind of loyalty. She maintained her loyalty even in Naomi’s absence. This is what Ruth did when she had finished dinning with Boaz,
“And she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back.”
It is not everyone that can be loyal to you in your absence!
It is not everyone that is capable of demonstrating loyalty even in the absence of the person that they are in relationship with, but it is a virtue that would just make our relationships better, sweeter and more enjoyable if more of us would exhibit it.
Divorce rates have soared during the last 60 years and I personally think that more marriages would not have ended in the courthouse if both husband and wife had committed themselves to being, loyal/devotedly attached to their spouses whether their spouse was in town or out of town, in sight or out of sight. Loyalty like the one that Ruth portrayed is so much needed in our marriages and I pray that we all grow this hunger and desire to be loyal.
The Holy Spirit is our helper and help is at hand for us to become loyal wives and not only that but loyal, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, employers and employees.
Ruth’s loyalty by being in continual relationship with her mother in law despite her widowhood and the challenges that come with being an immigrant was soon noticed by those around her and even honourable, wealthy Boaz. This is clearly seen when speaking of her and to her he says,
“ It has been fully reported to me all that you have done for your mother in law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.”
Therefore we learn from this that when we are loyal women, this virtue is noticed and by those around us and as in Ruth’s case, her loyalty helped her to find favour in the eyes of Boaz. Soon after he had mentioned about how he had heard about her loyalty Boaz invited her in Ruth 1:14 to come and eat with her. Therefore as believers we also learn an important lesson here. It is that when we sow the seed of loyalty in the lives of those around us it opens the door for other people to want to share with us, be in relationship with us, to bless us, be good to us and give us gifts. Therefore there are rewards for loyalty and as we see in every good deed or action that we carry out in life there is a reward. Here is a scripture which encourages us to continue sowing in goodness,
“And let us not get weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
Therefore let us purpose to be loyal women. Loyalty is a decision first before it becomes a lifestyle and a lifetime of loyalty!
It is God who rewards our loyalty and He decides the timing and nature of the reward!
There cannot be genuine loyalty without genuine love and for those who love Him God works ALL, even the negative, the painful for our own good. Loyalty speaks to God and God rewards loyalty. I would like to point out that it is Him who decides the timing of when your loyalty will be rewarded. The Bible tells us that,
“To everything there is a season,”
How best your loyalty is rewarded is known by God and there is a time
for receiving the reward for loyalty and there is a time when
the reward for loyalty awaits you. Whilst we wait to be blessed in this way the confidence that we should have is that,
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
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Pastor Betty Ohene-Apraku – You have been chosen.
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