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Ruth is remembered for steadfast loyalty

One of the most honored women in the Old Testament is Ruth, a Moabite who married one of Elimelech's sons after Elimelech left Bethlehem to live in Moab during a famine.

Elimelech's widow, Naomi, returned to Bethlehem after her husband and sons died. Ruth gave up her former god and former life to unite with her mother-in-law in the service of the God of Israel. (Ruth, chapters 1-4.)In a 1994 Church News interview, Ardeth G. Kapp, then Young Women general president, commented on the examples set by Ruth. Sister Kapp said that when one considers the story of Ruth, the first thought is usually of her steadfast loyalty to her mother-in-law, Naomi.

"Ruth's plea is a classic in literature: `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.' (Ruth 1:16.)

"Ruth was an ordinary person with an extraordinary commitment to those things she valued most - her God and her family," Sister Kapp said. "She had neither fame nor fortune, and among the Israelites could have been considered an enemy because she was a Moabite. Yet God moves around prejudices and geographical borders into the homes and hearts of those who love Him.

"Ruth lived a relatively simple, quiet life of goodness and virtue. Yet numbered in her posterity is King David, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Truly `the Lord looketh on the heart.' " (1 Sam. 16:7.)

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