Summary: When life turns bitter we can become better if we quit blaming God, quit trying to isolate ourselves from people who really care, and finally get ready to embrace a new season of hope. There is be glory, after this! God’s word still has answers for a plagued world.
Often times, when we’re faced with a difficult situation, it requires us to take a step back. We don’t always have the tools to navigate an emotional roller coaster, especially if we’re dealing with something that we’ve never faced before. No one ever expect to go through another plague of virus bringing death, sickness, tragedy. In order to be prepared to fight some of these things, we have to go through them. When life turns bitter we can become better if we quit blaming God, quit trying to isolate ourselves from people who really care, and finally get ready to embrace a new season of hope. There is be glory, after this! God’s word still has answers for a plagued world.
In the lesson before us, we have a family, a godly, god-fearing family living in Bethlehem, which means "the house of bread." Judah which means "praise" or a place of rejoicing. The man's name is Elimelech which means "God is King." His wife, Naomi ‘s name means "my pleasant one" or well-favored one. They had two sons. Their two sons, Mahlon means "weakness" or weakling and Chilion meaning pining, to become weak through sorrow. Life has a way of sending each of us a mixed bag. To have two wonderful sons is a blessing, but to have both of them sickly can be a burden. Life comes with many seasons!
As our story begins, there is a famine in the land. It was a time of little food, limited provisions and state of general lack. The Bible does not say that this was a grievous famine or a prolong famine, but it was a period of drought. Where there is lack and drought, if you are going to survive, you must be willing to put forth a greater effort. This man, Elimelech chose to leave Bethlehem-Judah and journey to a place called Moab. The Jews were forbidden to mixed with the Gentiles, but this seemed to be an emergency. He decides to make an exception to the rule. It is dangerous to make exception to the rule for personal gratification. He goes to Moab. This incestuous nation, living under a curse but they had bread. Elimelech is trying to find bread, not riches or wealth, just bread. Just to get by, make a living, just to make ends meet until the famine is over. He knows the dangers of Moab, but he feels it will not affect him.
Many seek to find a better life, to have better things, better houses and cars and the like, but I am afraid that they desire it too much, so they are willing to leave the house of bread to find a deal in Moab. Many of our brothers and sisters find themselves in trapped in Moab or on road that lead to bondage instead of freedom. Now they are hooked up to wrong people, picked up wrong habits, and lived ungodly lifestyles. They never thought it would end up this way!
How did this godly family end up in such a bitter place? How does anyone? What causes life to turn bitter of them? Mt 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. You really do not have to commit sin for life to turn bitter. Rain falls on everyone. Every child of God knows that it will not rain forever. The sun will shine again. Doing a drought, life in Moab can be tempting. Moab is like the prodigal son’s far country. It’s a place you look for satisfaction away from God.
1. If You are Going Survive A Drought, You Should Look before You Leap - Ru 1:2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
Look before you leap because living in Moab is time consuming; Moab is a strange land, unfamiliar territory and a place where you can lose what you can’t replace. Every day you spend in Moab will cost you something. So many choose to visit Moab looking for satisfaction but end up entangled, in trouble, in sin or in great distress looking for bread.
Look before you leap because in Moab you may find more than you are looking for - Ru 1:4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.” They found wives, and a measure of satisfaction. Elimelech dies in Moab. They spent ten years in Moab trying to escape a one year famine.