“God Can Turn It Around”
“Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. And she said, ‘Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.’ But Ruth said:
‘Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.’ (Ruth 1:14-16)
It always amazes me how God can take a completely horrible situation and turn it around with a redemptive “off the wall” purpose. It is without a doubt that Ruth is one amazing character!
There are many reasons why we decide to move from one city, town or country to another; perhaps because of the loss of a job, high crime in an area, searching for better education for the children, etc. Elimelech and his wife Naomi left Bethlehem to go to the country of Moab in search for the “better life” that many of us search for. At the time, things were pretty difficult in Judah as they were experiencing hunger. Elimelech and Naomi had two sons. After Elimelech died, their two sons married two Moabites, Orpah and Ruth. In an unspecified time frame, these two sons died also.
Naomi was left alone with her two daughters-in-law and she then decided to move back to Israel. In the process, Naomi strongly encouraged both of them to return to their land after both followed her. It really made no sense for an old woman to go back to her land as a Jewish lady with two Moabites. Naomi also encouraged them to go back to their gods and find husbands there. Orpah finally decided to go back; however, we see clearly in these verses that, that was not the case with Ruth!
We can’t even begin to comprehend the greatness of this story without doing a basic study on who were the Moabites. Genesis 19:31-36 gives us the shameful pass of the Moabites:
“Now the firstborn said to the younger, ‘Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.’ So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, ‘Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.’ Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father.”
TO BE CONTINUED…