"Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.
The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem of Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there." — Ruth 1:1-2
“There was a certain man of Bethlehem, of Judah….”
This man belongs to the tribe of Israel. This man was separated from the world. He was from Judah. He was redeemed and ransomed. At this day and age, this man could have been called a Christian.
“There was famine in the land and a certain man of Bethlehem.”
There were challenges in the land. Just like you and I will always face things and situations that look like famine. Just like you and I will sometimes find ourselves in situations that will not be favorable to us.
This man faced famine and he decided to leave the land of Judah and journey to Moab.
This man decided to leave the security of God’s own land and he headed to a foreign land where there were more meals than where he was coming from.
You might find yourself facing a situation where it seems like you have prayed and fasted and nothing is forthcoming. It would seem like all you have tried is not yielding result and it looks like there is famine everywhere.
This certain man decided to help himself by going to the land of Moab. There was no record saying that he decided to ask God before he took the step. Even though some of the written laws were strongly against living among a foreign people and their gods, yet this certain man of Bethlehem, whose name was Elimelech, decided to go to Moab because of the famine in Israel.
Are you currently experiencing famine in your “Israel”? Please check your resolution so it does not lead you out of God’s presence into Moab. Please check your decision so that it does not lead you to compromise your stand with God.
Elimelech did not go alone into Moab, he went with his household.
Whatever decision you make will always affect the people around you. If you are a father, you have direct control over the family. But if you are the mother, daughter, son, you can influence the decision of other members of the family. You can discourage them from going to Moab or you may be the one championing the cause and encouraging them to cut-corners and leave God alone. You might not say it in so many words. But every time your life agrees with the world, either in fashion, word, or lifestyle, then you are compromising and encouraging others to lower the standard of Christ.
“….and they went to the land of Moab and remained there.”
They did not just enter into Moab, they remained there. “To remain” means to be in the same place or condition during further time and to continue to exist or stay.
They did not just compromise; they remained in compromise. They did not just disobey; they remained in disobedience to God.
Brethren, every time you do not seek his counsel before taking any step, you’re making a dangerous decision. You might not know you have left Israel. You might not know you are in disobedience. And you can only correct what you know. You cannot correct what you do not know.
Elimelech died there. He died in exile. He was out of God’s jurisdiction of protection. It is better to remain in God. That is where our security and protection lies.
Every gift God gives us can only be sustained by God. So if a gift that is given by God is taken out of God’s presence, then we might lose that gift. Each time we stray from God’s will and His purpose, we run the risk of losing something precious to us.
“Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband died and she was left and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab….”
Naomi’s husband died. Her family was depreciating numerically. But the family decided to compensate for that. The sons took wives of the foreign women. Naomi’s family began to multiply in disobedience and expand even though it was not according to God’s pattern.
They continued in that for another ten years.
There was no productive record of this period in their family history. Instead, there were so many destinies cut short. Every time we stray from God’s presence, we lose some of the things we went out with. The things we take away from God cannot be sustained by the world or its pattern. When we return, we might have to start all over again.
“then she arose with her daughters in law that she might return from the country of Moab”
At last Noami arose and returned. The famine was for a limited time. No matter what you experience or might experience, it will be for a limited time.
“… for she heard that the lord had visited his people…”
The Lord will always visit His people. The LORD will always remember His people and He will rescue and deliver them. The Lord will make a way. He is never late.
But the ones that leave Him will return with tears and have to begin again. Only through the mercy of God can they recover and be restored.
Please, I beg you by the mercies of God, no matter how turbulent the storm is, let your anchor remain in God and you will experience victory in the end. Let your life be free of compromise and take a stand for the truth.
It is never too late. You can “go out from the place where you are…. And return to the land of Judah”
Just like Naomi, you can change from the areas in your life that is not consistent with what the Bible says and you can start a life of obedience and surrenderedness.
That is the only pathway to restoration and recovery.
May the LORD cause you to pursue, overtake, and recover all in Jesus name.