June 4, 2022
Today’s reading: Ruth 1:3-5
Are you a Ruth or an Orpah?
We read in Ruth 1:3-5:
3 Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. 5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.
Losing someone you love can be tragic. What makes it more tragic is when you lost a provider in your family.
In the book of Ruth, we see here two interesting characters, Ruth and Orpah.
Both were Moabites.
Both lost their husbands.
Both lived a difficult life.
However, there’s one huge difference: one left, the other stayed.
It’s worth noting that both Ruth and Orpah were initially decided to stay with Naomi.
However, due to Naomi’s persistence, Orpah eventually changed her mind. Ruth didn’t.
We read in Ruth 1:14:
14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
The Hebrew word for clung here is Dabaq, which means:
A primitive root; properly to impinge, that is, cling or adhere; figuratively to catch by pursuit: – abide, fast, cleave (fast together), follow close (hard, after), be joined (together), keep (fast), overtake, pursue hard, stick, take.
This shows us the total and complete resolve for Ruth to stay.
However, Naomi wasn’t finished yet in convincing Ruth to leave as we read in Ruth 1:15:
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.”
Here, we can see the difference between Ruth and Orpah.
As we will see later, Ruth was a woman of good character. What’s so great about her was her commitment not just to Ruth, but also to the God of Israel. She has known the true and living God and now, she knew that turning back would also mean turning her back to God.
On the other hand, Orpah returned not just to her people, but also to her gods. What a sad story for Orpah who wasted the opportunity to know more about God and have a close relationship with Him.
We all know the truth. We all know Yahweh, the Most High God.
The question is, will you be like Ruth or Orpah?
To learn more, please read, “7 Little-Known Lessons from the Book of Ruth.”
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