Three Tombs in Moab

Text: Ruth 1:1-5

A Jewish family moves out of the promised land into Moab to get some relief from the famine in the land.  Elimelech has in mind to weather the storm briefly and move back to Bethlehem when the famine passes.  But that all changes.  Elimelech takes his family to Moab not knowing that this family will never return to Bethlehem Judah.  All of them will die outside of the will of God except his wife Naomi who will return home a widow.

They set out to find greener pastures, but weren’t planning on burying the family in a foreign a land outside the will of God.  Three tombs in Moab: Elimelech, Mahlon, and Chilion.  Those were the three people who died, but those three tombs represented three spiritual tombs.

Tomb dug by good intentions

  • sojourn, continue, complacent in where they were, took them wives, dwelled
  • Good intentions are common.  Most of us start out with good intentions.  In fact, I’d go so far to say that most of the evil in the world is done and justified with good intentions.
  • “My heart is in the right place.”  The philosophy of I can do anything I want to as long as my heart is in the right place.
  • Good intentions is the lie we let our heart tell us when we don’t want to obey God.
  • Proverbs 20:11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
  • Tempted to do something good like feed his family
    • James 1:14, drawn away of HIS OWN LUSTS
    • Good man is tempted to do good.
    • Bad man is tempted to do bad.
    • Arrogant man is puffed up in his mind.
    • Lady tempted to find security in a relationship.
    • You can’t be tempted with something you don’t care for.
  • It works by intimidation
    • Dou’ll starve and everyone else will starve if you don’t go.
    • Don’t you want to make more money for your family.
    • Take this job offer.
    • you need God’s word on it—He told them to inherit the land, Stay there!!
  • It works by convenience
    • Elimelech was only planning on staying until the famine passed, but he continued there
    • Moab is CLOSE to the promise land, I can go back when I want to… why should I uproot my family again and move back.

Tomb of a Godly heritage

  • God had given them the land.  It belonged to their family and the Lord said stay there, inhabit the land.  Elimelech physically left God’s inheritance.
  • Elimelech is the reason his family is out of the will of God
  • If you were to die, what will your children think of Jesus Christ? The Bible? The church?  What do they think of those things now because of you?
    • As a result of your influence on your family’s lives, what would they think about these things?
    • Have you given them any influence that would benefit their relationship with the Lord in your absence?
  • Elimelech is the reason his children aren’t in the blessing of God

Tomb of God’s blessing

  • Quit being surprised when you’re faced with a conflict that tries to take you away from something God told you to do and told you He would bless.
  • We’ll schedule to be out of the will of God for a season and then once we get our head above water we’ll get right back into it.
    • Elimelech had no idea this temporary move out of the will of God would be permanent and would start a series of disasters that would leave his family wrecked.
    • Boast not thyself of tomorrow for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
    • If you’ve taken some steps out of the will of God, there is no guarantee you’ll ever get back. Getting back in the will of God is not a momentum or a predetermined outcome.  Getting back in the will of God will be a decision you make.  And it’s harder to do the more slack you give yourself.
  • What was important to Elimelech was navigating this world, but it wasn’t important to navigate it in godliness.
  • 1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.