Pick a side and stick to it.
Loyalty holds relationships together. It is a commitment to be devoted to a loved one at all costs. Loyalty compels one to make a choice that supports the well-being of another. It is a sacrificial act of love and faithfulness to someone we deeply care about. For one to be loyal, they have to put the other’s needs and interests first.
15 And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 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. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me (Ruth 1).”
Naomi was Ruth’s mother-in-law. She had lost her two sons and her husband in the land of Moab, where they had sought refuge. Naomi’s husband was from the tribe of Judah. They left Israel because there was a famine. While they lived in Moab, her two sons married Ruth and Orpah. After her husband died, her two sons died as well. It was reported that the famine in Israel had ended and she decided to return back to her people. Ruth clung to Naomi, while Orpah decided to stay back in Moab.
Ruth was bound to her mother-in-law by marriage to her husband. She learned about Naomi’s God and her people. Ruth chose to be loyal to the man she loved, by learning his customs and embracing his God. She was loyal to him when he lived and when he died. She forsook the pagan gods of Moab, for The True God of Israel. She even refused to die in Moab. She would only be separated from her mother-in-law by death. Marriage is a commitment to a lifetime of loyalty—”till death do we part.” Like Ruth we should honor our spouse by being one with them and their people. Ruth left her home to make her home with Naomi’s people; because she honored her husband and God. She made her commitment to the God and man she loved, and was not going to look back.
30 Therefore The Lord God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now The Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed (1 Samuel 2).“
Every family is put together by God. He works within the structure of families to create individuals who impact others in the community. We are children of God, who belong to the Household of God. We must conduct ourselves in a manner befitting His honor. If we choose to honor God in our homes, He will honor us. If we despise Him, He will disregard us. We are to teach our children to walk before God in obedience, as we ourselves submit to Him. We are accountable to God how we nurture our children and marriage. In every area pertaining to our households, God should have precedence. When we pray together, pray for each other and seek His Counsel, we involve Him in all our affairs.
14 “Now therefore, fear The Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the river and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve The Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24)”
When we are loyal to someone we promote their interests. We take a stand for someone, a cause or nation and are willing to take risks for them. Loyalty is a willingness to serve another for a cause. There’s value in what we are willing to defend. Fearing and serving God must be a higher priority for us and our families. Put away anything that stands in the way of full devotion to God. Serve The Lord God and no other. If we choose this day to serve God, we will not fail to succeed in other areas and responsibilities. God’s Standards are unmatched, so if we strive to uphold them, we are shooting for excellence. Even if we fall short, we are still a working progress because we are serving Him. Serving God is striving to please God before we please anyone else. At every place we set our feet, we should serve The Lord.
10 So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” 11 And Boaz answered and said to her, “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 your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. 12 The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by The Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge (Ruth 2).”
Ruth had found a farm to glean the leftovers after the workers had harvested, in Israel. She would take what she collected to Naomi for food. Boaz who owned the farm learned about Ruth’s commitment to Naomi. He was a relative of Naomi’s. Boaz asked Ruth to glean only on his farm and eat with the rest of the workers what they were fed, each day she came. Ruth was a foreigner who received favor from Boaz. Ruth’s loyalty to her husband, shown by her kindness to Naomi paid dividends. Ruth was not just loyal, she also put her hope in The God of Israel. She forsook the gods of her people and sought after the God of her mother-in-law. Boaz blessed Ruth and God fully rewarded her according to her faithfulness. Ruth’s late-husband’s land was later redeemed by Boaz, and he married her. Ruth became the grandmother of Jesse, who was David’s father. David was from the tribe of Judah, which is tribe The Messiah, The Lord Jesus, came from. A foreigner loyal to God belongs to the household of God.
We are children of God because we have surrendered our lives to The Son of God. As the Bride of Christ, we have been redeemed by The Blood of The Lamb of God, and are forever betrothed to Him. God will reward us for taking refuge under His Wings, and being loyal to His Son. We are blessed forever, no longer separated by culture or nationality. The Son of The Living God lives forever in those who believe and are committed to live and die for Him. His people are our people and our allegiance is to The One Who gave His Life for us—our Loyal Savior and God. We are in good company with other loyalists.
32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trials of mocking and scourging, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us (Hebrews 11).