I was reading in Ruth yesterday, and God revealed something to me about the difference between Orpah and Ruth. At first glance, one might miss what is written “between the lines” in this story. But there is something to be said about Ruth’s determination to follow through on her word, and stay with Naomi as she said she would. This is not to say that Orpah going back to her hometown was “bad”, after all, she was returning to her own people. But just because something is “good” in our eyes, or familiar even…does not mean that it is God.
As I have said many times…
Our comfort, does not ensure His glory. @LauraPLytle
Ruth and Orpah both said that they would not leave Naomi, but when asked again, (aka: when put to the test) Orpah returned to her homeland…she went back to what she knew. Yes, the plans changed. I can guess that when both ladies married, they did not imagine that 10 years later… they would be widows, in a foreign land. I bet they never thought they would have to make such a decision.
Likewise, plans often change in our lives too. Maybe you thought that you were going to pursue that career, or had hopes or plans to marry that person, or move to that place. But now you’re at a point where every plan that you had, seems to be directly opposing the steps that God is ordering in your life. It is crucial that during those pivitol points in life, we cling to Jesus, as Ruth clung to Naomi. If we follow our feelings, our fears, our families, or other things that are familiar; instead of seeking God and His perfect will for our lives…we may end up like Orpah instead.
It was at such a pivitol life point, that Orpah leaves the story…and in no way is there mention of God’s glory or redemption coming in her life. But Ruth…she understood the importance of being willing to surrender her plans, for God’s perfect will. She was willing to leave her hometown, and let go of anything and anyone (including her mother and father) to follow the One True God! She decided to follow Jesus; wherever He led her, whatever she had to sacrifice. Without hesitation, (because in reality, hesitation is disobedience), she was determined that no matter what, she was never going to turn back. And because she set her heart on following His will, His way…God was able to bring complete redemption and restoration into her life.
Are you like Ruth, or Orpah? Are you more interested in your comfort, or His glory? Are you insistent on going back to, or staying with the familiar? Or are you willing to step out into what requires complete faith? Are you committed to clinging to Jesus; even when your plans change, or you don’t understand what He’s doing? When He asks you to move, will you obey immediately? Or will you let fear and feelings, cause you to hesitate? Ask yourself, today…will you go where He goes, and stay where He stays?
Thanks for reading! -Laura