Two Sisters, Two Nations, Two Enemies
THE CONNECTING LINK: TWO SISTERS
TWO SISTERS: RUTH AND ORPAH
The story opens with two Moabite sisters, Ruth and Orpah who married into the family of Elimelech, an Ephrathite of Bethlehem. When a famine broke out in Judah, Elimelech, his wife Naomi and their two sons went to the land of the Moabites which was east of Jordan. Eglon the father of the girls worshipped and sacrificed to the Moabite god Chemosh. He saw that Elimelech sons, Mahlon and Chilion were good sons and he gave his daughters in marriage to them,
However, Elimelech died, and his sons died when they lived in Moab for about ten years. Ruth and Orpah became widows. During this time, the famine in Judah had ended and Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. She urged her daughters-in-law to return to their homeland so they could remarry for both were still young. Naomi told Ruth and Orpah she did not have any more sons for them to marry.
Ruth clung to her mother-in-law and said, " Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: (v. 17) Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me" (Ruth 1:16-17).
Naomi and Ruth returned to Bethlehem and she found favour in the eyes of Boaz a rich relative who married her. They had a son called Obed who bore a grandson Jesse, the father of King David.
Ruth was a faithful wife who gave herself to serve her mother-in-law and put her faith in the God of Israel. Thus she was grafted in to the Jewish genealogy and became the great grandmother of King David, and eventually the ancestress of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Faith in the Lord of Israel was rewarded and Ruth was grafted into the race.
Orpah differed from her sister Ruth for she returned to Moab where she married a Philistine from the giant race of the Rephaites. Orpah gave birth to Ishbi, the father of Barzillai, the father of Goliath of Gath. Orpah was very unhappy and longed for death because her son was involved in terrorism and murder. She had her chance of belonging to the family who believed in God, but she returned to the land of worshipping idols. Thus God rejected her.
TWO NATIONS: ISRAEL AND PHILISTIA
Jacob was one of Abraham's twin grandsons and his name was changed by the angel of God when he returned to his father's land after an exile because he had cheated his twin brother, Esau of his birthright and fearing that his brother was going to kill him, he went to live with Laban, his mother's brother for about 20 years.
Jacob fell in love with his cousin, Rachel and worked for her father seven years so he could marry her. But his uncle cheated him and gave his older daughter instead and Jacob had to work another seven years before he could marry Rachel.
In all, Jacob worked for his uncle 20 years. His uncle's sons complained that he cheated them of their father's property.
"And the Lord said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee" (Genesis 31:3). So Jacob set out to return and took his two wives and eleven sons. He put his wives in different droves ahead of himself and he was alone that night when an angel of the Lord wrestled with him all night till day break. Jacob would not stop wrestling until the angel blessed him and said, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed" (Genesis 32:28).
The twelve sons or tribes of Jacob (renamed Israel) made up the tribes of Israel.
Philistia is the land of the Philistines (Psa. 60:8; 87:4; 108:9). They were a powerful sea people settling down in the coastal area from Joppa to south of Gaza. They were a strong rival to Israel
Originally, they came from Caphtor (Amos 9:7; Jer.47:4). They existed during the time of Raamses III (1195-1164 B.C.) of Egypt.
The government consisted of a league of five great cities, namely Gaza, Ekron, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Gath (Goliath was from Gath). From Gaza they controlled the caravan routes to Egypt and Arabia.
They had control of the iron monopoly and made use of various iron military weapons. The Israelites had to go down to the Philistines to sharpen their plowshares, axes, and sickles, etc. made of iron.
Previous to the time of Samson, Israel was overrun by the Philistines for forty years. Jonathan defeated the Philistines at Michmash (1 Sam. chap. 13 and 14). David also won victories over them (1 Sam. chaps. 17 and 18).
Remember that Orpah returned to Moab and married a Philistine and was the ancestress of Goliath of Gath.
TWO ENEMIES: DAVID AND GOLIATH
The two sworn enemies, David and Goliath were the third generation of descendants of Ruth and Orpah. Ruth adopted the Israelites as her people and the God of Israel as her God. On the other hand, Orpah returned to her people and married a Philistine. The Philistines were cursed by God.
David, the youngest son of Jesse, grandson of Ruth and Boaz was born in Bethleham. He was valiant and slew a lion and a bear in defending his father's flock (1 Sam. 17:34-37).
The Philistines had gathered for war against Israel. The two enemies camped on opposite sides of a steep valley. Goliath, the Philistine champion who was over nine feet tall challenged the Israelites for forty days. No one took the challenge for the Israelites were afraid of the giant Philistine.
On visiting his brethren who were fighting against the Philistines, David was outraged by the cowardice of Saul's army and volunteered to fight Goliath, the giant Philistine. He took five stones from the brook and his sling and with one shot, he slew the mighty Goliath.
David relied not on his own might but in the power of God for he said, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come in to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou has defiled ... (1 Sam 17:45) And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands (vs 47).
With one sling shot, David killed Goliath the Philistine and gave victory to Israel over the Philistines.
FAITH OF DAVID
Faith means a firm belief or trust in a person, thing, doctrine or statement.
If one has faith in God, anything can be accomplished. The greater the faith, the more can be accomplished. If one's faith is small, one can only accomplish some minor miracle. Faith can be divided into:
Cruden's Complete Concordance (I) Historical faith which is a belief in the truthfulness and accuracy of the Scriptural narrative and teachings (Jas 2:17, 24). (II) Saving faith is the acceptance by the intellect, affection, and will of God's favour extended to man through Christ. This faith produces a sincere obedience in the life and conversation. The firm foundation of faith is the essential supreme perfection of God: his unerring knowledge, immutable truth, infinite goodness, and almighty power.
David's faith in the Lord God gave him victory over Goliath, his third cousin by birth through Orpah. The two Moabite sisters married to two Israelite brothers from Bethlehem eventually became the great grandmothers of two warring nations, Israel and Philistia. The Philistines fled before the Israelites when David defeated Goliath.
David's faith is the second type of faith which is called "Saving Faith" as outlined in Cruden's Concordance. David great faith in the Lord God made the shepherd boy kill the hated giant Goliath with just one sling shot. He accomplished victory over the Philistines which the whole army of Saul could not. Thank the Lord God, David did slay Golilath through his magnificent child like and complete faith in the power and might of God. He had been brought up in the faith of the Lord God. Hallelujah!
FAITH OF RUTH
The faith of Ruth can be compared and contrasted with that of her sister, Orpah. Both were strangers to the Lord God for their father worshipped and sacrified to the Moabite god Chemosh. Both were married to Israelite brothers for about ten years before their husbands died leaving them widows. During the ten years of marriage, they were introduced to the God of Israel, but when their husbands died, Ruth hung on to the faith, but Orpah did not. Ruth took the high road and put her complete trust in her husband's family and in their God for she uttered that their people would be her people and their God, her God. Where Naomi, her mother-in-law would die, there she would die. She showed complete trust and submission to God and her husband's family.
On the other hand, Orpah reacted differently. She left after her husband died and went back to the land of Moab and resumed her previous life from where she left off. She was rejected by God. If pagans became Christians and then reverted back to their former paganish and irreligous life, God would have none of them. They would be shunned by God too. There is no turning back just like Lot's wife who became a pillar of salt.
Ruth was a model Christian and she must have taught her son Obed what she had learnt and in turn passed the knowledge down to her great grandson, David. Thus, God's will was established in Ruth and passed down to David. Praise and thank God for the virtuous and completely submissive Ruth, who became the ancestress of Jesus, the Messiah. Praise and thank the Lord God. Amen.
Two Sisters, Two Nations, Two Enemies
Do you believe it was the faith of Ruth in God that led to the triumph of David over Goliath?
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