I am sure you are familiar with the story of Ruth and Orpah in the book of Ruth chapter 1 in the old testament. Orpah is usually portrayed in a negative light but there are still valuable lessons we can learn from her life and the choices she made.
In this post, we will discuss those 5 major lessons from Orpah found in the book of Ruth and what to do and not do when you are faced with a similar situation to her.
The different choices both Ruth and Orpah made in their lives teach us a lot of valuable lessons as believers today on how different we all are as individual humans.
With that said. Let’s look at the 5 vital lessons from Orpah we can learn and the different choices she made in her life in contrast to Ruth’s choices to follow Naomi, her mother-in-law.
5 Main Lessons From The Life Of Orpah.
Below are the 5 important lessons we can learn from Orpah’s life and the choices she made with her life you must take to heart as a believer today.
- We All Take Different Paths In Life.
- Choosing To Serve God Is Strictly Personal.
- Different Journeys, Different Destinations.
- Loyalty Can Only Be Proven True When Tested.
- Our Faith Must Not Be Convenience Based.
1. We All Take Different Paths In Life.
One of the vital lessons we can learn from Orpah’s story in the book of Ruth 1:11-16 is that we all take different paths in life and that everyone’s journey in life is different.
Orpah could have chosen to stay with Naomi, her mother-in-law as Ruth did but for reasons known to herself, she chose to do otherwise. Similarly, Ruth like Orpah could have chosen to leave Naomi, her mother-in-law together with Orpah.
But due to her character which vastly differed from Orpah’s, she chose to stay with Naomi and parted with her sister-in-law, though painful.
Ruth and Orpah taking different paths in life is a reminder to all of us Christians today that we all at some point have to choose our destinies. You have to choose for yourself if you either want to serve God or Satan in your life as Ruth did.
Or be like Orpah who returned to Moab to her gods rather than choosing the one true God Naomi worshipped. Just as Ruth never allowed her sister-in-law to hinder her from following God, you as well must not allow any family member to hinder you from following God.
2. Choosing To Serve God Is Strictly Personal.
The second lesson we can learn from Orpah’s life is choosing to follow God is strictly a personal issue as we are all saved individually, not collectively as salvation is not communal but personal.
Ruth choosing to serve the Lord as Naomi did and Orpah choosing otherwise is a reminder that just because you are saved doesn’t automatically mean that other family members will be saved as well.
You need to understand that you need to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior individually as no one including family members can do that for you. Getting to heaven is a personal choice you must make for yourself.
Even if your other family members choose to reject God in their stubborn life of sin that doesn’t mean you must do the same because you will be judged alone and give an account of your earthly life alone (Romans 14:12).
When Ruth chose to be with Naomi, she didn’t allow Orpah’s choice to return to her false gods in Moab to hinder her from following the true God Naomi served. Don’t allow sinful family members to hinder you from getting saved.
I also encourage you to be like Ruth and not allow the wrong choices of your family members to hinder you from following God as He’s the only one who will never let you down.
3. Different Journeys, Different Destinations.
Orpah’s choice to return to her people and her gods in Moab (Ruth 1:14,15) exemplifies the understanding that everyone has their own unique journey in life.
We are not all called to follow the same path. While Ruth’s path led her to become a key figure in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ, Orpah’s life continued along a different course into obscurity.
The above different choices Ruth and Orpah made as we see in Ruth’s story tells us that even in a family, people will take different journeys in life.
Some will choose to follow and serve God, while others will choose otherwise like Orpah did to remain in their old sinful ways despite the goodness of God they have witnessed in their lives.
You need to understand that in this life, you will go to heaven and hell alone based on the life choices you made while on earth and how you lived your life.
My encouragement to you as you read this post is to make the right life decisions that you will not regret for all eternity. Choose the way of life by choosing to follow Jesus Christ and after righteousness even when other family members choose otherwise.
4. Loyalty Can Only Be Proven True When Tested.
Another lesson we can see from Orpah’s story in the book of Ruth 1:1-17 is true loyalty and true love can only be proven to be so if truly tested under difficult situations.
The love and loyalty of Ruth to Naomi were proved to be genuine when she chose to stay with her mother-in-law even when she had the option to leave her as Orpah did.
At first, as we see in Ruth’s story, may have seemed that both were resolved to stay with Naomi, no matter what. However, when Naomi stated in Ruth 1:11 what it will cost her two daughters-in-law to follow her, something interesting happened.
Orpah upon hearing what it would cost her, she chose the easier and more familiar route of returning to her false gods rather than face the uncertainty that came with choosing to follow Naomi and to serve her one true God she followed.
Ruth, on the contrary, chose to stay and be loyal to Naomi by refusing to leave her, no matter what even if it meant dying with her. Sadly, not many can do that today as most people will only be with you if things are going well in your life.
Her choice to stay with Naomi in times of uncertainty proved her love, loyalty, and faithfulness to Naomi were genuine, not superficial or convenience based. We as believers must remain faithful to Christ in all situations, whether good or bad.
5. Our Faith Must Not Be Convenience Based.
Last but not least, another lesson we see from Orpah’s life choices is our faith must not be based on convenience. If her faith wasn’t convenience based, she would have followed Naomi as Ruth did.
Since Ruth’s faith unlike Orpah’s wasn’t based on convenience, it’s why she chose to believe and have faith that God will somehow save and redeem her if she followed Naomi to the Land of Judah they previously left due to famine.
As we see later in Ruth 4:1-17 this is what exactly happened when she married Boaz who turned out to be her redeemer. Ruth had no idea that she would meet a wealthy man, Boaz who would change her fortune and eternal destiny forever.
However, her genuine faith in the true God Naomi served and doing the right thing to stay with Naomi paid dividends in the end. You as well will be richly rewarded in the end if you don’t lose faith in God when it really matters.
Don’t let external circumstances doubt God but be a woman of faith like Ruth and your faith will be rewarded in the end just as it was in the case of Ruth if you don’t give up on God of course.
Have the 5 lessons from Orpah in the bible helped you learn one or two things to apply in your Christian life? If so, let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share before you leave. God bless.
Other Related Posts.
- 5 Characteristics Of Lydia That Made Her Truly Special.
- Ruth Chapter 1 Summary & 3 Vital Lessons To All Believers.
- 5 Defining Characteristics Of Naomi That Made Her Special.
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