Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Are You Orpah Or Ruth?

Reading through commentary last night I began to see the relationship between Naomi and her daughter in laws, Orpah and Ruth, from an entirely different vantage point.

Just as Naomi left her religious homeland at the beginning of Chapter 1, Orpah and Ruth are faced with the option to leave their own religious homelands of Moab.  Naomi encourages both of her dil's to go on back where they came from, afterall, their own people would help take care of them, and they would stand a better chance of remarrying there.  In this time period, women couldn't really 'fend' for themselves, so to speak.

In essence, it almost looks as if Naomi tries to rob them of the chance of conversion by sending them back to Moab when she knows good and well that her homeland is a place of God honoring customs and tradition.  In essence, the opposite is true.  Just like when a person is converted to the faith today, they can't come by it begrudgingly or be tricked into it manipulatively.  It must be a decision based on ones own desires and convictions.  Naomi's encouraging them to go back to their own homeland confirms that not only is she not into manipulating them into a relationship with the big G God, but that she knows that only God can control the situation anyway.

Orpah - though this first Chapter in Ruth says she is saddened to leave Naomi - does, indeed, leave.  She loves Naomi, but she doesn't love Naomi enough to give up everything for her.  She desires a relationship with Naomi, but not enough to give up her little g god and the temptations that come from her homeland... the chance of life, the chance of children, the chance of love.

Ruth - on the other hand - not only is willing to go with Naomi, but she may as well be begging to follow.  She does not go begrudgingly, but goes by her own will.  She knows what opportunity she has in Moab and what leaving and relocating could mean for her relationally and spiritually, but her desire is to be with Naomi.  "Where you go, I will go.  Your people will be my people.  Your God will be my God."

Do you think we approach Christ in the same way.  Are our attitudes such that we can say, "Wherever you lead me, I will follow."  Even if it is scary, uncertain, and maybe even hard?  Do we love Christ enough to turn our backs on all that we've known?  Just think, Ruth left family.  Moab was her homeland.  She probably had parents and siblings there, and she forsook it all to go with Naomi.

And with Orpah - it just wasn't worth it.  She just couldn't do it.  She loved Naomi, well, so she said, but she didn't love her enough.

Is that how we are with Christ.  We say we love Him... but do we really love Him enough?  Who are we?  Are we Ruth, or are we Orpah?


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