"And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me." Ruth 1:14-17
My meditation is still following two major themes. One theme is, "Who was at the Cross and why?" and the other is my "Freedom Skills" study.
Spurgeon in his devotional for today deals with the issue of loyalty. I don't know about you but this is an important issue to me. Wrong loyalties, hot and cold loyalties or a seeming lack of loyalty pepper all relationships and culture.
Everyone involved in the crucifixion had their own allegiances. Pilate, The Sanhedrin, the crowd, the Roman soldiers, Jesus's mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, Mary Magdalene, The Apostle John and Jesus of course. We don't know much about Simon of Cyrene so we can't say much about his attachments. Maybe he just loved his life so he did what the soldier said. Looking at each player is revealing because we learn much about ourselves and human nature by doing so.
Jesus is the clear shining example of heroic loyalty. While acknowledging the defection of so many people once at His side He still remains loyal to them, to His Father and to His mission.
For others the loyalties range from family to politics. Jesus does pick two people out of the crowd and addresses an issue dealing with this subject.
"When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." John 19:26-27
This passage in Ruth reminds me of this scene. Ruth has a place in history and Orpah has a footnote.
Loyalty is a choice... an act of will. But what are the ties that bind it?
I almost don't want to wrap this up with a clean ending because I don't know that there are clean endings for most of us in life about this issue. These are choices we make and will make again and again.
Jesus made His.