It shows the 3 paths a widow could choose after the funeral.
When we look at the three widows in the Book of Ruth, we see that they each chose distinct paths. Understanding these paths can help widows today realize and define the choices they also might have.
Orpah REMAINED in her homeland, with her familiar surroundings.
Naomi RETURNED to her roots not knowing if she had any life left but stepping out in faith.
Ruth RISKED everything to follow Naomi and find God.
Let me clarify that Orpah's “remaining” is not a sinful choice. People like to judge Orpah, but it’s based on Naomi’s assumption that she will return to "her gods.” (Ruth 1:15). Of course returning to idolatry is wrong, but remaining with the familiar is often a wise choice for the early days of widowhood and grief if at all possible.
Which path are you on?
As we consider Naomi's example we can see that at first she remained where she was for at least 10 years after her husband died, (Ruth 1:3-5), but after her sons died is when she decided to return to what was left of her family home in Bethlehem. There's a clue about her decision to return in Ruth 1:6 which sets a good guideline for our own decision making and it's this: God was on the move in Israel; He'd come to their aid and was providing food for them after the famine. Are we willing to relocate by faith to a place where God is blessing?
Are you beginning to see why I say "Ruth is for widows?" The details of Ruth bring our issues and challenges out in the open! I'll continue to briefly touch on more reasons throughout the rest of February and I hope you'll be encouraged, enriched and amazed at God's providence, grace and deep love for widows.
To save 20% on my book Postcards from the Widows' Path during my once-a-year sale (only in February) click here:
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