Ruth 1:14 “At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her.”
Here we are at the turning point. The crossroad. The place of decision. Naomi has urged her daughters-in-law to turn back. Orpah, broken hearted, kissed her mother-in-law good-by, and turned around. Ruth, on the other hand, clung to Naomi. When she married, she became Naomi’s daughter, and she refused to turn back.
Ruth, a Moabitess, had no way of knowing that one day, in the stable of an inn in Bethlehem, a baby would be born. She had no way of knowing that her great-great-great (many greats) grandson would be the promised Messiah. At that point, she didn’t know if she would ever marry again, or have children of her own. All she knew was that she had to follow her mother-in-law. She felt compelled by a Greater Power to stay with Naomi.
Compelled, yes. Forced, no. God had plans for Ruth, for her offspring. Who knows, He may have had plans for Orpah, too. We know that God invites all to come and join His family. But He never forces Himself on anyone. Ruth felt she needed to follow Naomi, and she did what she felt was right. Orpah, on the other hand, wept, and kissed her mother-in-law good-by. She didn’t feel right about this decision. But she knew in the long run, life would probably be easier for her in Moab than in Bethlehem. So she took the easy way.
Orpah did what many of us would have done. We reason things out in our minds. Sometimes, we make decisions based on what looks right on paper, even when those decisions just don’t feel right. Ruth, on the other hand, stepped out in faith, and followed her heart, and she was blessed because of it. If she had taken the easy way, she would have missed God’s amazing blessings on her life.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not against reasoning things out. After all, God created us, He created our minds, and He created within us the ability to reason. We should absolutely use that God-given ability! But in the midst of our research, our facts, and our probabilities, we must never discount our gut feelings. Often, the feelings we get are from God Himself, from His Holy Spirit. Once we have weighed all the facts, and reasoned things out, we must be willing to step out in faith and go against reason, if that is what we feel God is telling us to do.
Remember, God has given us His Word, and He will never tell us to do anything that goes against His laws. So, if we feel like robbing a bank, or having an affair, or gossiping about a neighbor, we shouldn’t act on those feelings. That would be sin. But if we seek God, if we pray, if we weigh a decision based on God’s Word and all the available facts, then we have done what we need to do to act responsibly. Sometimes, the reasonable thing is the right thing. Other times, as in Ruth’s case, the right thing is to go against reason and follow our hearts. And we never know what God may have in store for those of us who are willing to step out in faith, and follow Him.
Matthew 1:5 – 6, 16 “Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David . . . and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.”
Dear Father, Please help me to trust You when I feel You are leading me to do something. Help me to seek You in all things, and to make wise choices.
What a beautiful post to read in the early morning light. That’s all Ruth had at this point: the early morning light, the quiet realization that she should follow her heart.
How well put: the balance between reason and intuition. There are clearly times when God calls us to do the unreasonable.
Because His thoughts are higher than our thoughts; his plans greater than our plans.
Thank you, Ruth, for following God’s Spirit and beginning to walk the road that would eventually lead us to that little baby in the manger.
I was blessed when given the card for Morning Coffee for the Soul in Wal-Mart—an answer to my prayer that very day!
I love the types set forth in the Book of Ruth!
I see in Ruth, a Gentile bride, a love not only for her mother-in-law but also for the Jewess Naomi’s God, and a desire to see her thru to her homeland for her ultimate salvation. While Naomi (Israel) was yet without hope and faith for her own survival, Ruth came along side to strengthen her and give her hope. This love and faith in the Living God is why God chose Ruth to be set apart for His plan to bring in Messiah, the seed promised in Genesis 3, as well as the promise that salvation is to the Jew and Gentile alike. Such God given love for His people and His land is meant to be in the Church today! We are called to stand by Israel and Jerusalem, in faith, for the promises yet to be fulfilled for her—Israel—and the Gentile nations, by our Kinsman Redeemer, Jesus. This Jubilee will come! Interesting too, the book of Ruth is read by the Jews at the Feast of Pentecost—a 50th—a Jubilee.
Saturday, Dec 8, is the lighting of the 5th of 8 Hanukkah candles celebrating the rededication of the Temple in 165 BC on the 3rd anniversary of it’s destruction by Antiochus IV Epiphanies —the type of Antichrist yet to come. We hear everyday in the news how Jerusalem and Israel is coveted by her surrounding Arab nations and many Gentile nations—just as it was back then. We must stand along side her, working and praying for the redemption of Israel and Jerusalem. He has brought His people back (dry bones assembled) and He will breathe His breath into them. The land belongs to God and He keeps his promises!
Grace and Peace, Connie