Love and Loyalty

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#1
Love and Loyalty
February 16, 2018

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.
Ruth 1:16b-17a

This is a classic statement of love and loyalty. Remarkably, these words were not spoken by a husband to his wife or a wife to her husband. They were not spoken by a parent to a child or a child to a parent. They were not spoken by close friends like David and Jonathan.

No, they were spoken by a bereaved daughter-in-law to her bereaved mother-in-law, both of whom had lost their husbands. Moreover, Ruth was a Moabitess and Naomi was a Jewess, returning to her Jewish homeland. Naomi was urging Ruth to return to her home and find a husband there.

It was not that Naomi had wealth or privilege or position. She did not. Ruth would be in a vulnerable position if she went with the widowed Naomi. Furthermore, it is likely that she would never again see her parents or her siblings or her homeland again. Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi would cost her enormously.

But yet, Ruth knew it was the right thing to do. And so, despite the cost, with a loyalty born of faith, she proclaimed her unwavering commitment to go with Naomi.
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.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more (Ruth 1:16-18).

God honored Ruth’s faith. God honored Ruth’s loyalty.

For God would give Ruth not just a husband, but a wonderful husband, Boaz, kind and generous. God would give Ruth not just a husband, but a child, Obed. And this child would have a son, Jesse, and a grandson, David. Ruth, not even Jewish, was chosen by God to be the great-grandmother of Israel’s greatest king, King David.

Even more importantly, Ruth would be in the royal line of the Messiah, the Son of David, Jesus. And when God had the ancestors of Jesus recorded in Matthew 1, right in the middle of all those names of male ancestors, you find the name of Ruth.

Yes, God honored Ruth, the woman of faith, the woman who exemplified love and loyalty no matter what it might cost her.

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#2
Thats interesting that Ruth declared she would go with Naomi and even when she died she would be buried with Naomi (or at least, in the same land) She probably did not mean the exact same tomb but ....when people died in OT times they were all buried together in family tombs.

Ruth did not want to be buried with her first husband back in Moab.

I was thinking on christian burials lately and how important it is to be buried. And especially where, of course you want to be with family and in your own land. Not lost, scattered to the wind or in some strange land, where nobody even knows you.