“Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye; but Ruth embraced her and held on. Naomi said, ‘Look, your sister-in-law is going back home to live with her own people and gods; go with her.’ But Ruth said, ‘Don’t force me to leave you; don’t make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I’ll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god; where you die, I’ll die, and that’s where I’ll be buried, so help me God—not even death itself is going to come between us’!” Ruth 1:14-17 (MSG)
Have you ever met someone by “coincidence” who later helped you accomplish a dream? Maybe you were at church, and someone introduced you to their friend. You didn’t know anything about them, but they eventually helped you get a job, write a book, raise support for a missions project, or accomplish another dream. God can use just one moment to change the course of our destiny.
Although the book of Ruth is highlighted by Ruth’s journey back to Naomi’s people, the Israelites, there is one person, Orpah, who is often overlooked. Orpah was Naomi’s daughter-in-law whose husband had also died. Originally, Orpah wanted to go back to Naomi’s homeland with Naomi and Ruth. As Naomi tried to persuade Orpah and Ruth to stay with their own people, the Moabites, Orpah decided to stay. It seemed like a small decision that wouldn’t make much of a difference. However, Ruth could not bring herself to stay with the Moabites, so she went back to Israel with Naomi. Through a series of events, Ruth married Boaz and became part of the lineage of Jesus. Today, we still talk about Ruth, but few people will mention Orpah. Orpah had a missed opportunity that she didn’t even know existed. Wow. I wonder what would have happened if Orpah had gone with Naomi and Ruth. Orpah’s decision was destiny defining. In the same way, sometimes we are faced with “small” decisions that impact our destiny. Sometimes we say “no”, because we choose what is comfortable and convenient. Other times, the cost of saying “yes” is overshadowed by fear. Before you say “no” and let an opportunity pass to the next person in line, look to God and ask for His wisdom. He just might be setting you up for something that is destiny defining.
Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.