Summary: Elimelech did what so many Christians have tried to do. He tried to just play with sin for a little while, but he ended up paying the price for his sins. So will you.
There have been many ships that have sunk while at sea, but few have captured the attention like the sinking of the Titanic.
She sank on her maiden voyage in April of 1912 and the persistent theory was that an iceberg tore a three hundred-foot gash in the side of the nine hundred-foot ship. In 1985, the wreckage was discovered two and one-half miles beneath the sea near Newfoundland. Since that time, fascinating footage has displayed the mystique of this sunken ship. In August of 1995, an international team of scientists and engineers repeatedly dove to the remains for an exhaustive study of the ship’s demise. The fateful damage is buried beneath the ocean floor so these experts peered through the mud with sound waves. Their findings were astonishing. Rather than a massive three hundred-foot gash, as previously theorized, the total area of damage was about twelve to thirteen square feet (less than the area of two sidewalk squares). Six punctures across six watertight holds was all it took to sink the ship that some said even God couldn’t sink. Many times we tend to believe that avoidance of the “big” sins will keep us afloat, but in reality, sin of any size can sink us.
Did you know that most people don’t just go out and beginning committing big sins. Most men don’t just go rape a woman. It all begins with a few impure thoughts and then and goes on and gets bigger and bigger until they don’t even realize you stuck they are in their sin.
In 1982, "ABC Evening News" reported on an unusual work of modern art--a chair affixed to a shotgun. It was to be viewed by sitting in the chair and looking directly into the gun barrel. The gun was loaded and set on a timer to fire at an undetermined moment within the next hundred years. The amazing thing was that people waited in lines to sit and stare into the shell’s path! They all knew the gun could go off at point-blank range at any moment, but they were gambling that the fatal blast wouldn’t happen during their minute in the chair. Yes, it was foolhardy, yet many people who wouldn’t dream of sitting in that chair live a lifetime gambling that they can get away with sin. Foolishly they ignore the risk until the inevitable self-destruction.
In our Scripture reading this morning, Elimelech did what so many Christians have tried to do. He tried to just play with sin for a little while, but he ended up paying the price for his sins. So will you.
This morning I would like to talk to you for a little while about The Terrible Price of Playing with Sin.
I. Elimelech Reasoned with Moab.
The first mistake that Elimelech made was a mistake that so many people make, he reasoned out why he should go to Moab.
There was a famine in the land of Israel, and so he decided that he was going to take his family to Moab where there was more food available.
On the surface, this sounds like something anyone of us would do. There was food in Moab so what would be so wrong with going there to get it?
Well, the Moabites were descendents of Lot’s son Moab. The Moabites were known for their pride. Jeremiah 28:29 describes them, “We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart.” The Moabites were a very wicked and idolatrous nation of people. The Moabites were not allowed to worship with the Israelites, Deuteronomy 23:3-4 says, “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever: Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.”
The Israelites were to have nothing at all to do with the Moabites. And Elimelech’s first mistake was that he reasoned with sin. He reasoned in his heart, that because his family was starving he would take them to Moab.
Notice here in verse 1 this word “sojourn”. This word means to “dwell temporarily.” Elimelech’s intention was to only stay for a little while in Moab. He was only going to sin a little bit, kind of like telling a ‘white lie’.
Elimelech, like so many other people, tried to reason with sin. He reasoned in his heart that he would just take his family to Moab ‘for a little while’ and would then return. Well, second notice. . .