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.
In Ruth, the agricultural calendar matches the seasons of the soul: famine and death, gleaning and grace, winnowing and choosing, harvest and new life. They set out to find greener pastures but weren’t planning on burying the family in a foreign land outside the will of God. Three tombs in Moab: Elimelech, Mahlon, and Chilion. Those were the three people who died, but three other things died in the land of Moab for this family.
Cares of the world destroy the work of God in people’s lives.
- Mark 4:19
- 1 Corinthians 7:33-34
Leads away from God’s promise
- 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 as to say that most of the evil in the world is done and justified with good intentions. Good intentions is the lie we let our heart tell us when we don’t want to obey God.
- 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
- You’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.
Influences the next generation into acceptable disobedience
- 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.
- Commitment to a bad decision becomes more complicated.
- 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
Leads to a grave apart from the LORD
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Psalm 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
- Presence of the emotion of fear is not the sin. The sin would be to take advice from that fear.
- That means the crossroad of decision to trust God appears when the temptation to follow the fear or cares of this world appear.