Placing myself in the picture of Orpah’s life…We may just feel that Orpah is going back to the familiar and what she knows and is comfortable. I may well think ‘ what is wrong with that’ . We may well see Orpah’s decision as sensibile. When you a emotional and grieving over something we have known and lost we are often encouraged not to make massive changes. The stressful decision to move house, town and nations would be a crazy decision for a grieving widow. Don’t make any big changes. That makes sense. But when was the li of God’s propel meant to make sense and be safe.
The author of Ruth actually sees Orpah’s decision very differently …A decision as a return to her gods. This is a worship choice. When we look deeper at the text we can see that the author is helping us see that when we choose the familiar or return to what we know it is a choice to walk by sight and connect with the gods of the tangible. The author helps us see Ruth’s choice is not just a choice to stay with Naomi but to cling and cleave to Naomi’s God whereas Orpah ‘returns to her gods’. This is very powerful. My walk with Jesus so a walk of faith and reined me to go places I have never been but my choice Is always one of worship and lordship. Naomi wants these women to know that she has nothing to offer..they are not going to go with her because she is going to have a better life and something to give them. Orpah feels the pull and makes her lordship choice. What gods am I choosing to serve when I choose to walk by the familiar and by sight instead of walking by faith. Ruth is contrasted to Orpah not because she is a better person or she has better character. both of them left Moab And started the journey but when given the choice and freedom to choose ..how often do we go with what feels safe.
Ruth had so much to return to but her eyes of faith could see something in Naomi and her future that drew her to Naomi’s God.
My prayer today is that I will have a sensitivity to knowing what I am choosing and why safe is not always the God choice. When I decided to follow JESUS …was it only when the promises of God were being fulfilled and my life was abundant and full or is it a call to follow JESUS and make him Lord and make MY GOD IS KING a reality. Orpah teaches me just as much as Ruth about what my life is reflecting. Orpah leaves me sad because she literally disappears of the pages of the Bible and from history except this one small story of her choice.