Orpah Went Back to Her Idolatrous Friends

Orpah Went Back to Her Idolatrous Friends

Written By Charles Spurgeon

BOTH of them had an affection for Naomi, and therefore set out with her upon her return to the land of Judah. But the hour of test came; Naomi most unselfishly set before each of them the trials which awaited them, and bade them if they cared for ease and comfort to return to their Moabitish friends. At first both of them declared that they would cast in their lot with the Lord’s people; but upon still further consideration Orpah with much grief and a respectful kiss left her mother in law, and her people, and her God, and went back to her idolatrous friends, while Ruth with all her heart gave herself up to the God of her mother in law.

It is one thing to love the ways of the Lord when all is fair, and quite another to cleave to them under all discouragements and difficulties. The kiss of outward profession is very cheap and easy, but the practical cleaving to the Lord, which must show itself in holy decision for truth and holiness, is not so small a matter. How stands the case with us, is our heart fixed upon Jesus, is the sacrifice bound with cords to the horns of the altar? Have we counted the cost, and are we solemnly ready to suffer all worldly loss for the Master’s sake?

The after gain will be an abundant recompense, for Egypt’s treasures are not to be compared with the glory to be revealed. Orpah is heard of no more; in glorious ease and idolatrous pleasure her life melts into the gloom of death; but Ruth lives in history and in heaven, for grace has placed her in the noble line whence sprung the King of kings. Blessed among women shall those be who for Christ’s sake can renounce all; but forgotten and worse than forgotten shall those be who in the hour of temptation do violence to conscience and turn back unto the world. O that this morning we may not be content with the form of devotion, which may be no better than Orpah’s kiss, but may the Holy Spirit work in us a cleaving of our whole heart to our Lord Jesus.

“Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Ruth clave unto her.”
Ruth 1:14.

One thought on “Orpah Went Back to Her Idolatrous Friends

  1. As I read over this article I can’t help but notice the aftertaste of religion. Articles like this seem to discredit the sacrifice of Jesus, pointing our salvation back on us according to our works in the flesh. Specifically the sentence that reads, “forgotten and worse than forgotten shall be those who in the hour of temptation do violence to conscience and turn back into the world”, gives the reader the impression that when you make a mistake in the hour of temptation, and do something worldly, you will be worse off than forgotten by God. This would have been true under the law, for it exists to reveal sin and show man that he needs a savior (Romans 5:20, Galatians 3:19). However, to discredit the sacrifice of Jesus, putting the responsibility for staying saved our back on man (like in the Old Testament) produces a works mentality. A mentality that makes people think that, Jesus died a horrible death, to take the punishment for sin for us once, but if we mess up, and in a tempting moment turn to the world, He will leave us and forsake us. It’s a complete contradiction of the good news that says that God will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), that our names will not be blotted out of the book of life (Revelation 3:5), and that we have eternal life and that no one can snatch us from His hand (John 10:28). Yet Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the law Galatians 3:13), the curse of the law was death. Thus, we should not fear being forgotten or fear death even if we do break the law in a moment of temptation.

    We should be encouraged not to sin as believers because there is no sin in Jesus (1 John 3:5). As partakers in Jesus through his death on the cross (1 Corinthians 10:16-17), having the Holy Spirit living within us, there is no sin within our spirits either. So we should be encouraged to walk in holiness because that’s our new identity as believers, not because of the law. We should act who we are, being married to Christ our spirits have been perfected, they are sinless and blameless. This is Christ’s finished work on the cross. Thus, we should act and behave like holy people, because that’s who we are as believers.

    I don’t share this to be confrontational, or to make waves, however it’s difficult for me to sit on the truth when the poison of works, law and religion, with complete disregard to the end result of Cavalry, are in these kinds of articles for so many to see.

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