Ruth 1, 2, 3, 4 Focus Verse: The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge! – Ruth 2:12
When Ruth made the decision to return to the land of Judah with Naomi after the death of her father-in-law, brother-in-law, and husband, she had no way of knowing that things would work out so well for her. She did not take refuge in Naomi because Naomi had lost everything. And she did not take refuge in Boaz because at the time she did not know that he even existed. In other words, Ruth’s faith and dependence was not in human beings. It was in God. Ruth meant it when she said that Naomi’s God would be her God. She fully came to believe in His grace and goodness. She had faith that He would work all things out for her good. She took refuge under His wings, and because she did so, God gave her a multitude of blessings.
When you choose by faith to take refuge under God, you will find eternal protection. He will provide you with all that you need and all that you desire. Amid danger, God’s wings will keep you secure. Amid fearful times, He will keep you from being afraid. Amid raging storms, He will give you peace.
Whatever happens to you, you will know that His will is being done. Your life will progress according to the perfect plan He has for you.
Focus Verse: At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. (14)
In turning back to Moab, Orpah also turned her back on the one true God. The Bible does not tell us what happened to her, but Jewish history has it that Orpah did find another husband. Her second husband was a giant of Moab. They later had four giant sons – Ishbibenob, Saph, Lahmi, and Goliath. This last son, Goliath, would challenge the army of Israel and be defeated by the great-grandson of Ruth, David. How different Orpah’s life and legacy could have turned out if she had opened her heart to God.
Just like Orpah, we may be tempted to turn back to things we are familiar with. We may be tempted to reject God. Unlike Orpah, we need to open our hearts to God and make the decision to follow Him daily. It won’t be easy. It will take a lot of faith. In the end, however, we will be infinitely better off because of it.
When God created woman, He made a very special creation. He made us beautiful and unique. He made us strong and resilient, gutsy and spirited, sassy and sweet. And He loves us. God really, really loves His girls. And the Bible is filled with many women – some good, some bad – all of who God made, who God loved, and who we can learn many lessons from.
Along with Esther, Ruth is the only other woman in the Bible to have her own book. Her story is short (only four chapters) and sweet. It is one of the most beautiful love stories in the history of love stories. Ruth’s life is a stark contrast to that of her sister-in-law’s life. Remember Orpah? While she decided to return to her hometown of Moab, Ruth decided to return to Bethlehem with her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi.
The first chapter of the book of Ruth is the only place where Orpah is mentioned. She was married to Chilion, the son of Naomi. This relationship made her the daughter-in-law of Naomi and the sister-in-law of Ruth, who had married Chilion’s brother, Mahlon. The Bible tells us that soon Naomi’s husband, Elimelech, died. After Elimelech, the husbands of Ruth and Orpah also died.