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Summary: How can we make decisions that are most glorifying to God and resulting in His blessing of our lives? When you surrender your decision-making process to God; God will guide and direct you in your decision-making process.

Opening illustration: Listen to this description of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in northern Ukraine (summary of the report): "There were two electrical engineers in the control room that night, and the best thing that could be said for what they were doing is they were 'playing around' with the machine. They were performing what the Soviets later described as an unauthorized experiment. They were trying to see how long a turbine would 'free wheel' when they took the power off it.

"Now, taking the power off that kind of a nuclear reactor is a difficult, dangerous thing to do, because these reactors are very unstable in their lower ranges. In order to get the reactor down to that kind of power, where they could perform the test they were interested in performing, they had to override manually six separate computer-driven alarm systems.

"One by one the computers would come up and say, 'Stop! Dangerous! Go no further!' And one by one, rather than shutting off the experiment, they shut off the alarms and kept going. You know the results: nuclear fallout that was recorded all around the world, from the largest industrial accident ever to occur in the world." This city, which formerly had 55,000 people, is now largely abandoned.

The instructions and warnings in Scripture are just as clear. We ignore them at our own peril, and tragically, at the peril of innocent others. (Bobby Scobey, Cornerstone Church) Let us turn to Ruth 1 (quickview) 

Introduction: Decisions determine destiny. Your life tomorrow will be the direct result of the decisions you make today. In the first five verses of Ruth we encounter a man named Elimelech, a man whose destiny was indeed determined by his decisions. The Bible tells us that he was a Hebrew of the tribe of Judah. As such, he was privileged to have extended to him the promises of God. Sadly, Elimelech failed to realize the fullness of those promises. Being a Hebrew, he had been taught the absolute truths of God's revelation of man. Though the Old Testament had not been completed at the time of Elimelech's life, he did have the divine truth of the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy). Elimelech, however, chose to make critical life decisions based on human rationale instead of God's divine leading. We can learn three principles from Elimelech's decision-making.

What happens when you MAKE the WRONG DECISIONS? When you make decisions based on human rationale instead of divine leading …

1. You distance yourself from the blessings and promises of God (vs. 1-2)

Names in the Bible are very significant. We miss a great deal in our Bible study if we fail to note the meanings of names. The name Elimelech means, "My God is king."' It could also mean "God is my king."' What a great name for a man to have! Imagine what it must have been like for Elimelech to go to the marketplace in Bethlehem. As he made his way through the crowds people would say to him in essence, "Hello, Mr. God Is My King.” His name made a personal theological statement. Regretfully, Elimelech did not live up to his name. He chose to rule his own life by leaving Bethlehem of Judah to go to the land of Moab. The children of Israel were to live exclusively in the Promised Land. God had made that clear through Moses (Deuteronomy 6:1 (quickview) ). Therefore, Elimelech's sojourning was an act of disobedience.


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