“At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, 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’.”
These verses bring so many emotions, questions and comments to mind. First, I have a visual in my mind of the three ladies continuing to weep side-by-side while talking and debating decisions. I picture the tears flowing and hearts racing. I caught myself wondering what the circumstances were that made one woman so adamant about staying with her mother in-law and the other cave into the decision to leave.
In commentary from Warren Weirsbe, he says that “Orpah was the weaker of the two sisters-in-law. She started to Bethlehem with Naomi, kissed her, and wept with her; yet she would not stay with her. She was “not far from the kingdom” (Mark 12:34 NIV), but she made the wrong decision and turned back. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but we wonder whether her heart was really in it, for her decision proved that her heart was back home where she hoped to find a husband. Orpah left the scene and is never mentioned again in the Scriptures.”
This reminds me of the cliché, “So close, yet so far away.” Orpah strove to have faith like Naomi and be in the Holy Land, but failed to hang on. She was a serious candidate for conversion. She took religion and spirituality quite seriously. She just fell short when it was time to make the decision to follow and go the way of the Lord. She was ALMOST there!!
There are times in my life that I, like Orpah, choose to follow something else over God. I make decisions that keep me from growing closer to Him. For example, years ago, I was not in God’s Word. I would spend my time knee-deep in reading books, but never the Bible. I would pack my day with activities, but never make time for God and His Word. I loved God. I just wasn’t loving Him and following Him with my whole heart. I had to commit to loving Him as He calls and abide in His Word.
What about you? Are there things that pull you away from following the Lord with a whole heart? Are you almost there?
For further reading: Psalm 86:11; Mark 10:17-22; Matthew 6:24; Matthew 12:30
Dear Heavenly Father,
My love for you is deep and real. I don’t want a divided heart wandering away from you. Let seeking Your heart be the goal of my life even when life gets crazy busy and stressful. In difficult times, open my heart to receive your revelation. Please Lord, teach me how to align my heart with yours. When your heart beats, let mine beat and when yours breaks, let mine break. Let my whole heart be your whole heart. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen