Over the next few posts I’m going to go through one of my favorite books, Ruth.
I have always loved the Book of Ruth. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read it. I’ve read commentary after commentary on it. I’ve taught it to the girls in my Sunday School class more than once. In fact, every time I go through it God shows me something new that I had never considered before.
Ruth 1:1-2 (NIV)
“In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.”
So, here we have Elimelek, Naomi, Mahlon & Kilion. They are living in the land that God promised to His people, when suddenly famine comes. Things were bad, it looked bleak. So what did they do? Elimelek decided to leave and move his family to the country of Moab.
So, why is this a big deal?
Well, for starters you should know that this was The Promised Land that they were leaving. When Moses freed God’s people from Egypt and they wandered the dessert for 40 years, this is the land that God said would be theirs (eventually).
Famine has come and instead of trusting that God would take care of them, just like He had with their ancestors, Elimelek decides to take matters into his own hands. He decides that he knows what is best for his family and they move to Moab.
Not only are they leaving Judah, they’re leaving Judah for Moab. Moab was a country that worshiped other gods. The Moabites didn’t worship the one true God.
When I read these first two verses I’m reminded of all of the times that I didn’t trust that God would take care of something for me.
I can think of so many times in my life that “famine” has come and I instantly react. I always want to fix it as soon as possible, so I decide on my own the best way to make everything better again and do it. I just go off of my own understanding and don’t turn to God for the solution.
Have you ever tried to fix something yourself without turning to God first? How did that turn out for you?
“Famine” in our lives can be all kinds of things. Family problems, friend problems, boyfriend/girlfriend problems, school, work, money… the list goes on and on.
The problem isn’t that we have problems, the problem is that we don’t turn to God for the solution.
We think we know best, and we put God aside for a while & we “fix” the problem.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
In other words, don’t assume that you know the best way. Trust that God is God & that He knows the best way to handle it. Ask Him to help you, listen to Him, and do what he says to do. He will help to make it all ok.
Maybe you’re dealing with a “famine” situation right now in your life. Life is stressful & the bible says that we will have problems. Whatever you are dealing with God wants to guide you, you just have to turn to Him.
In my next post we’ll continue with Ruth 1:3-5
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