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.