Ruth 1:11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. 15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods.
This passage of scripture brings to a sad end the friendship between Naomi and her daughter in law Orpah, who made the decision not to return with Naomi to the land of Judah, after promising to do so. Emotional ties are insufficient to keep the bond of true friendship alive, and although both her daughters in law expressed deep sadness at the thought of separation, Orpah still left anyway. But a deeper underlying motive was the driving force in Orpah's decision, because over the period of time that they had associated with Naomi and her sons, they must have come to at least a partial knowledge of the true God, but what they now knew of Him was not enough for Orpah to decide to stay the course.
Furthermore it seems from the narrative that Orpah's focus was dead set on the temporal benefit of a husband, which though not bad in and of itself, can usurp the rightful place of God, if one's spouse is more valued than a relationship with God. In other words, Orpah would be a Christian only if God will guarantee her a companion, and if not then she would have nothing to do with God. Let's read:
Ruth 1:11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; 13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? ..... 14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
The same mindset was also made manifest in the days of Christ when multitudes were following Him, not because they saw and admired the beauty of His character, but because there was temporal gain to be had through association with Him. He could heal all of their diseases, and he could supply them with unlimited food, and for this they apparently pledged their allegiance to serve Him. But when Christ disclosed the sacred truth that His kingdom was not of this world, and the multitudes realized that the focus of His ministry was not merely temporary benefit and self-aggrandizement, the overwhelming majority of them turned their backs on Him and walked no more with Jesus. Let's read:
John 6:25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? 26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
The health/wealth gospel that is being peddled across the land in our day boasts millions of subscribers who apparently have assumed the name of Jesus because of some temporal benefit their hearts are set upon. Many people become Christians with the hope that by so doing their financial debt can be erased, or their cancer cured, and because of these temporary objectives, a fiery zeal for God and spiritual things is often manifested in an emotionally charged form of worship, as if God can be flattered into pouring out His blessings. But many of the same subscribers will have nothing to do with the commandments of God which to them is as a galling yoke of restriction on their freedoms, and whenever the subject is raised, they quickly absent themselves, lest their consciences be awakened to truth and duty.
The prayers of such do not reach higher than the ceiling, for God is not seeking for those worshipers with a Santa "claws" mentality, but rather for those worshipers who desire to serve Him in spirit and in truth. Furthermore our prayers are labeled as an abomination, if we hate the laws and instructions given us by God. Let's read:
Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
It is important that we become acquainted with God's character so that we may serve Him for who He is, and not for the material blessings He bestows. No one should harbor the mindset of the "Material girl" as stated in Madonna's hit song, neither should our focus be on deliverance from temporal problems, disease, and debt. We therefore end with a passage of scripture that reflects the right attitude of a sincere worshiper, and may we never, like Orpah turn our backs on God, if we do not receive the material blessings we desire. Let's read:
John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship" ..... 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
May God add His blessing to the study and practice of His word. God bless!