Gone Back

by John O’Malley

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“And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law” (Ruth 1:15).

Naomi and Ruth stood as a pair in misery watching Orpah return to Moab. The moment was overwhelming. Discouragement’s trio became a duet. The remaining pair watched Orpah’s departure in agony. Naomi said to Ruth, “Behold, thy sister in law is gone back.”Naomi encouraged Ruth to do as Orpah had and go to her home.

Orpah went back to Moab’s people, principles, and priorities. She left the ways she had lived in for more than ten years. Orpah determined she would be more comfortable with the ways she once knew than to convert to another way. 

Today, some people are like Orpah. They once stood with God’s people in righteousness and truth. They used to sing the songs, pray the prayers, walk the walk, and talk the talk; but now they are gone. When the Orpahs depart, it has an effect on the remaining people.

The message of this verse does not solely rest in Orpah’s departure to Moab, but rather in Ruth’s decision to stay with Naomi and go to Bethlehem-judah. Sometimes the departure of an Orpah forces us to a place of personal decision about our own “stick-ability.” However, remember this one principle: never permit the departure of an Orpah to affect you.

Think about it...

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