As children of the Lord, we are permitted by God to come
into trying circumstances. In them, we are called upon to
make important decisions which greatly affect our spiritual
development and eternal destiny.
The Book of Ruth records two bereaved women and their choices.
One, Orpah, chose to return to her own people and to her own
way of life. But Ruth chose differently and pleaded with Naomi,
"Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following
after you: for whither you go, I will go; and where
you lodge, I will lodge: your people shall be my people,
and your God my God." Ruth 1:16.
Though completely unknown to Ruth, only as she left behind
those things that were dear to her could she become the bride
of Boaz, her kinsman-redeemer. Because of this choice, she
also become a part of the family line that led to the birth
of the Messiah. So also, only as we make our choice to conform
to the Lord's choice for us, can we, in the highest sense,
please the heart of our heavenly Bridegroom.
In the year of Jubilee, those who were in bondage were set
free to live their own independent lives. But if a servant
was pleased with his master and was loath to leave, he stood
at the post of the door and held the lobe of his ear against
it, to have it pierced by his master. This made him a bond,
or love slave for the rest of his life. Jesus became a bond
slave of His Father. Psalm 40:6 reads,
"My ears have You opened." (or digged).
We have two types of Christians ever with us. The one type,”Orpah,”
chooses their own independent way. The other, “Ruth,”
chooses the sovereign purposes of the Lord Jesus for their
lives through a total abandonment to the Holy Spirit and unconditional
commitment to the will of God.
There is no place for a spirit of independence within the
Kingdom of God. Once we have submitted ourselves to the Lord
as a “love slave,” the Lord begins to bring us
to a realization of our independent attitudes through our
failures and mistakes. Recognizing this, we may seek a "fig
leaf” covering in order to hide our failure and continue
in our independence. But now the Lord is our “Master”
and will deal with us accordingly, because we have given Him
the right to do this.
The independent man will often ask the Lord's blessing on
his ways and efforts, but he will seldom step out of the way,
so the Divine Leader can take over the reins. On the other
hand, the love slave, having undergone an inner crucifixion
of his self life, is delivered from his own independent desires
and ways, and will most gladly submit himself to the True
and Living Head.
Our trials will reveal which of these two types, Orpha or
Ruth, are a picture of us. Each one of us should prayerfully
ask the Lord to bring us out of our own independent ways,
and into the life and purpose that He intends for us.