Reflection on Ruth 1:14

“And they lifted up their voice, and began to weep again: Orpha kissed her mother in law and returned: Ruth stuck close to her mother in law.” (Ruth 1:14)

Literal Sense:  Orpha and Ruth were both gentile daughters in law to Naomi, a woman of the seed of Abraham according to the flesh.  Both Orpha and Ruth’s husbands died and while Orpha chose to leave Naomi, Ruth chose to stay and live with her mother in law.

Allegorical Sense: Naomi is a type of God’s covenant people and Ruth is a type of the God-fearing gentiles who, like Ruth when she chose to stay with Naomi and worship her God, joined God’s covenant people and chose to worship the God of Abraham.  Orpha is a type of the unfaithful gentiles who are joined to God’s covenant people for a time but later leave the covenant and return to a life of sin, just as Orpha began to live with Naomi but eventually chose to leave and return to her land.

Moral Sense: Just as Orpha and Ruth were faced with the option of either staying with Naomi or returning home, each Christian is daily presented with the option of remaining in covenant with God or returning to their original life of sin.

Anagogical Sense: A day is coming when there will no longer be any temptations to return to sin, as Orpha returned to her home, but God’s people will continually behold His beauty and will stick close to the Lord, as Ruth stuck close to Naomi.

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