Summary: Ever experienced a famine in your life, a spiritual lack, a time of trial? What do you do? This sermons looks at how to turn your famine into a feast.
From Famine to Feast
In the first of this series we began to look at Abrahams life and to look at his example of the footsteps of faith he took. In Genesis 12 he left Canaan for Egypt because of famine. This sermon is a stand alone but answers the question how to turn your famine into a feast using the Book of Ruth Chapter 1:1-14.
CONSIDER THE TIME
There was famine in the land - famine is the evidence of God’s discipline and testing.
Deut. 8:1-3 Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers. And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
CONSIDER THE PLACE
Bethlehem, the house of Bread in Israel (Canaan) the land of promise – in contrast to what should have been evidenced – abundance in a land of promise – the people experienced famine
CONSIDER THE PROMISE
In Ruth chapter 1 by interpretating the meaning of names we see what the heart of God desires for His people: Elimelech an Ephraimite from Bethlehem Judah
Elimelech = God is my King - Ephraim = fruitful – Bethlehem = the house of Bread - Judah = praise
God’s desire for His people is that when we put God as our King we become fruitful dwelling in abundance of life which causes the people of God to sing forth His praise.
CONSIDER THE DECISION
When life is not being lived to its fullest what is our response? When trials and troubles come we can do one of three things:
1. Endure them and turn to God – or let them harden us and make us bitter
2. Escape from them - under the stress of circumstances we step outside God’s provision and seek our own solutions
3. Enlist them and allow them to perform their work in us
Elimelech subscribed to escape because: Elimelech walked by sight not faith - he majored on the physical not the spiritual – as a result Elimelech abandoned God’s land for the land of the enemy – to enter Moab Elimelech had to cross back over the Jordan – which of speaks of leaving the promised land
Faith does not believe in the evidence but believes in the promise!
CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES
Lack of faith and trust caused Elimelech to forsake the promise of God and head to Moab this ultimately resulted in death and ten years of distress leading to bitterness – Moab was the son of Lot through an incestuous affair with his daughters who wanted to preserve their generations and therefore speaks of –
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Elimelech died with his two sons Mahlon and Chilion – meaning sick and pining – Naomi meaning pleasant – called herself Marah or bitter - Ten years = testing or tribulation - Ruth – friendship and Orpah - stiff-necked.
Naomi returns to Bethlehem after hearing about the Lord visiting that place and return of the bread – her daughters have to decide to go with her – friendship goes – stiff necked stays
Ruth 1:6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread.
We can run away from our problems but our problems won’t leave us because they come from an unbelieving and disobedient heart. Feast is a result of fruitfulness, the book of Ruth starts with Famine but ends in Birth.
Lessons to be learned from this example:
Stay where you are placed despite the situation
Psalm 33:18-19 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.
Psalm 37:18-19,25 The Lord knows the days of the upright, And their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.