The Winning Side

The other day, I was doing some internet search on a Bible character and I made a very interesting discovery. The story of Ruth in the Bible is quite widespread. Ruth and Orpah were Naomi’s daughters-in-law. At some point, all three of them became widows and when Naomi felt it was time to get back to Bethlehem, her homeland, Ruth and Orpah chose to go with her. Naomi encouraged them to go back to Moab, their homeland so they could have another chance at being married and possibly becoming mothers.

At first, Ruth and Orpah refused to yield to their mother-in-law’s plea but after a while, Orpah decided to go back. Naomi tried persuading Ruth to follow in Orpah’s steps but she adamantly refused!

“And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi. “Look,” Naomi said to her, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.” But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.” Ruth 1:14-18(NLT)

So, Orpah separated herself and went back to her homeland while Ruth stayed and went to Naomi’s homeland. What then happened afterwards? What was the end of the story? Here’s the interesting discovery I made:

*Orpah and Ruth were sisters, daughters of the King of Moab
*When Orpah turned from following Naomi, she went back to her parents and married one of the Philistine giants, a result of an alliance between her father and the King of Gath
*Orpah gave birth to four ‘big’ (giant) boys named Ishbibenob, Saph, Lahmi, and Goliath
*Ruth followed Naomi back to Bethlehem, married Boaz, gave birth to Obed, and became the great-grandmother of David
Here’s where it gets interesting…..
*In a battle, David killed Goliath (1 Samuel 17), his great grand aunt’s son/great grandmother’s nephew/his grandfather’s cousin (in short, they were family!)
*In later battles (2 Samuel 21, 1 Chronicles 20:5), the rest of Goliath’s brothers were killed by leaders of David’s army.

Wow! What a turn of events? Orpah eventually embraced the gods of Moab (Ruth 1:15) while Ruth embraced the God of Israel (Ruth 1:16-17) and the difference became so clear.

The Lord’s side is the winning side and the winning side is the Lord’s side. Ruth embraced the Lord God of Israel and she moved to the winners’ camp. She flourished and even became a reference point in the greatest event ever recorded – the birth of our Lord Jesus. Orpah chose to go back to the gods of her father and her descendants perished.

You have to choose whose side you’re on. I have to make same choice too. Are you with God or with other gods (represented by any idolised object that takes center place in your heart or diverts your attention from God)? You gotta decide who you wanna be with (Joshua 24:15). Remember, you can’t sit on the fence for you cannot serve two masters; you cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).

Who is on the Lord’s side? I know I am, what about you?

© 2014 AyotundeElegbeleye
Jesus is LORD!

Reference: Jim Cole-Rous (What Happened to Orpah?)globalchristiancenter.com/lesser-known-bible-people-series/what-happened-to-orpah.html

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