Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. -Ruth 1:14 (NKJV)
When Orpah married her one son and Ruth married her other son everything to Naomi seemed to be going pretty good. Unexpectedly so since she had just lost her husband. Years before she and Elimelech had become refugees in a new land because of a devastating famine back home in Israel. But now her two sons were married. Life had regained some normalcy.
About ten years later both of her sons passed away. By then bread was again plentiful in her home country. So Naomi decided to have a heartfelt talk with her two daughters'-in-law. She explained why she wanted to return home to Israel; then tried to convince them a more promising future lay ahead for them if they would choose to remain in their own country.
Naomi explained she had no close family members obligated by Israeli custom to marry them, that they would most certainly find husbands for themselves if they remained in Moab. Interesting name, Moab. Some render its literal translation, "Who's your daddy?" Or, "What's your father?" The name begs questions such as, "What's your heritage?" "Wherein lies your national loyalty?" Figuratively, "Who's your daddy going to be?" was laid heavily upon both Orpah and Ruth. Both answered truthfully, honorably. Possibly both without later regret. Ruth, we know for sure.
Immigrants before our country was founded encountered similar loyalty issues when discussing with family members their misgivings and hopeful prospects before boarding ships to sail here. The same "daddy" dilemma remains today. Whether boarding a plane or fording the Rio Grande these questions should be answered truthfully and honestly, "Will all of me make the trip? Or will my druthers remain in the past, in the old country?" Respectfully, lovingly, Orpah made her lifetime choice. Gave Naomi a kiss goodbye and returned to her village, her home in Moab.
Her daddy, her future progeny would continue to be descendants of Lot: Abraham's nephew, a son of Abraham's brother, Haran. Unlike Orpah who honorably made her choice to remain in her own country; some immigrants today arrive here dishonorably, without any intention at all of accepting George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, or John Adams as their father(s).
Americans during the Revolutionary War disparagingly labeled such part-time immigrants, even a few of their longtime neighbors: Tories. Even today some arrivals identify with La Raza, holding Mexican flags while standing around blazing American flags. Others cross over as global citizens, possessing in their minds a "right" to start voting here immediately, without even asking first. These individuals detest the Ellis Island model of assimilation, claiming they're doing us a big favor by multiplying our country's diversity.
But Ruth said:
Whereas Orpah walked away, Ruth clung to her mother-in-law. Would not let Naomi go without her. Begging can be honorable. Sometimes, deep down we have no choice but to entreat, desperately plea for a necessary to us outcome. "Don't talk me out of going with you," Ruth plead. Then her negotiation: "I'll go with, stay with, be one with, worship with, die with, and turn to dust with you. If not, may God judge me as harshly as He would the worst of sinners."
We, like Ruth, have the right to negotiate, to beg if necessary, to be presumed armed and dangerous. Everyone around the world has the right. Rights are like that. They generally apply to everyone, regardless where an individual lives, including gun free states and countries that have disarmed their citizens. Meaning every individual everywhere has the God-given unalienable right to arm himself with sufficient force or negotiation prowess to help level or bring to his reasonable advantage any playing field disadvantages he might encounter.
As part of the negotiation, Ruth made a momentous pledge to Naomi. Not knowing what her future held; that she would become a great grandmother to King David, a great great grandmother to King Solomon, and either the 34th or 43rd great grandmother of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. (Matthew and Luke seem not to have come to an agreement on the actual number.) Still, not knowing what her childrens' childrens' fortunes might bring, Ruth clung to Naomi. She had made a purchase, a purchase of a relationship, not just some sizzle.
As part of the negotiation Ruth also determined Naomi would not face her senior citizen journey alone. Negotiations usually have such a result. Both parties benefit, come out winners; because each side has something to offer the other side. America is aging. Like Naomi, Americans not only have something to offer those who move to our shores; Americans also have needs. That's where Boaz comes in. As it turns out, a most grateful Boaz. For as it turns out, he was aging also.
Upon arrival in her new home country, Ruth set about doing what she could to bring food home to their table. While in a field picking up stray grain left behind by some reapers, Boaz looked up and took notice of her, then asked around, "Whose woman is this?" Or maybe he asked, "Who's her daddy?" Hearing she had been married to one of his kinsmen, one thing led to another, to a delightful another. Until the day "she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, 'Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?' And Boaz answered....'"
It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. -Ruth 2:11 (NKJV)
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About The Pundit
This retired window washer now provides instruction on the benefits and perils of time travel through focusing an allegorical lens on the present.