Choosing to Leave the Promised Land
Oh my! The things we do when things don't go well.
Because of a famine in the land, verse 1 tells us that Elimelech made a conscious decision to leave "Bethlehem-Judah" for the country of Moab. The name "Bethlehem" means "House of Bread" and the name "Judah" means "Praise". At the present time neither of those places were living up to their names. There was no bread in "The House of Bread" and there was no reason for rejoicing in "Praise".
However, while the geographic locations failed to live up to their names, so did Elimelech! His name means "My God Is King." If that had been true about this man, he would have known that God's valleys do not last forever and that God would have taken care of His people.
Elimelech chose to leave his inheritance in the promised land and head off to a land where God would not bless him!
This is a scene repeated countless times in the family of God! Here is a person who proclaims themselves to be a "Christian". That is a name that means "Christlike One."
Yet, when things become difficult, they take matters into their own hands. They sell out friends and friendships to save their own hide. They make decisions that pull them out of the will of God. Or they will completely run out on God.
Maybe things arent going well at church. Maybe the church is not growing. Maybe a trial arose in their life and they were blind sided by it. Maybe they were placed in a financial crisis and placed God after income. Maybe they just came to love the world more than they loved the Lord. Whatever the reason, they chose to walk out of the promised land of God's blessing and to head off into the world to live life on their own terms.
Often, as we pass through this life, God will orchestrate these famine experiences for us. It may take the form of a financial famine, when there is more month than money. It may take the place of a physical famine where health and well being become elusive. There may be a spiritual famine when the heavens become brass and the Lord seems very far away.
Whatever form it takes, it is a famine in your life. God's intention during those times of life is not to drive you away from Him, but it is to draw you nearer to Him. He may be trying to correct you, Rev. 3:19; or He may be trying to perfect you, 2 Cor. 12:9.
How you react to your famine experience determines whether it becomes a time of blessing in your life or a time of devastation.
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