By Cheryl Crawford
At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her. “Look”, said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” Ruth 1:14-15
Both Orpah and Ruth made the initial decision to leave Moab. Whether it was because they had seen Godly character in the life of Naomi or because they did not feel that they had a place in the home of their parents after being married to men from Israel we do not know. Both girls started on the journey to the promised land. A journey from Moab. They started to leave the gods of Moab to walk away to a new life, but only one made the complete journey to Bethlehem.
Naomi painted a picture that was not very hopeful. She could not promise them a husband. She told them that she could make no promise for anything in Bethlehem. She was not sure of what the future would hold for her there and that they should return to their previous home and to the gods of their parents. Orpah listened and decided that she wanted something more tangible to lean on. She started well, but was discouraged in her decision to go with Naomi. When it came to counting the cost Orpah turned back.
Like Orpah I have spent a great deal of my life following after the way of the world. When my neighbor invited me to church I went because I liked my neighbor. I spent the next decade going in and out of church like a revolving door. I had a heart for the flesh instead of a heart for God. I found more promise in the world than I found in the promises of God. I believed the lies of the enemy more than the truth of God’s Word.
One Sunday morning after spending too many days out of church God got my attention to get me back in church. I was driving down the road without a care in the world when all of a sudden I hit the driver’s door of one of the church members cars right in front of the church. It was my fault and thankfully no one was hurt. Needless to say I was back in church the following Sunday.
God is ever working on our hearts to destroy what we put fleshly hopes in. We get comfortable living in this world and in what we know, but God will often cause discomfort to get our hearts turned toward HIm. I came to a place where I was completely brokenhearted and found no hope in the world. It was in this place I surrendered all to Jesus. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
It saddens me that Orpah turned back to Moab because she saw no hope in her circumstances. Leaving Naomi and Ruth. Leaving the one true God. A God of love. A God that is kind, pure and Holy. A living God so different from the gods of her people.
We can look at circumstances in our own lives and decide there is no hope. We can look at situations and how evil seems to abound. If we focus on how evil is abounding, how disease is rampant. If we focus on that then we do not focus on the King of Kings, and we will end up following after the way of the world instead of standing on the promises of who God is and the plan and purpose and good He has for our lives. “Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death because He focused on the joy that was set before Him; and now He is seated beside God on the throne, a place of honor.” Hebrews 12:2 VOICE ~ Cheryl
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Cheryl Crawford is a daughter of the Most High King, saved by grace. Her degree and field of work are in accounting, but would trade it all to farm if she could. She enjoys reading, writing, gardening, SEC football and playing cards with friends. Cheryl is a natural organizer with a heart that loves to serve. You can read more about Cheryl on her BoP bio.