In Ruth 1:1-2 we see a series of bad decisions made by a man named Elimelek.
In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there. Ruth 1:1-2
First decision of Elimelek – meant “king” and Naomi meant “sweetness”.
He made decisions without consulting God. Because there was a famine in Israel, he decided to take his family and go to Moab. Judah was in crisis, and there was hunger. So he decided to just go.
What was so bad about it? Moab was the land of the enemies. The Israelites weren’t allowed to destroy them. When you make decisions, where do you go? To the land of the enemies?
Their god was Quemos: they would sacrifice children on their hands while it was burnt and and while they would scream it was a worship to their god. Elimelek went to live in this town.
You don’t make decisions when you’re in crisis. You worship God and you stay where you are. Elimelek moved to Moab because he was hungry. He walked by sight and not by faith.
– He had a bad motive
– He had a bad method
– He be a bad teacher
What were the consequences?
– He brought death to his family in only 10 years. He died, the older son died, the oldest son died.
– He had curse. He left his wife a widow.
– No food, etc
Come back to the house of Bread.
Naomi went back to Bethlehem, the house of Bread. Decision of Naomi: The power of a good decision. Ruth didn’t have hope, but you have hope because Christ came to redeem you. How good is God that Ruth decided to follow Naomi.
The decision that Ruth to follow Naomi is a parallel to the decision that we make with Jesus. Are you like that with Jesus? Where you go I go, where you serve I serve. I will follow you where you go, I will not move from your presence. I am not going to be in the enemies territory. Wherever you take me that’s where I will go. I will die with Christ.
Sometimes the decisions we make are the Elimelek decisions. Only according to my physical needs and when you do that the consequences will be the same.
When you’ve made a bad decision you have to return to Bethlehem.
The consequences of Ruth’s decisions: new determination, new direction, new dependency, new desire, new devotion, new dedication.
Another character in this story is Orfa – couldn’t let go to Moab. Didn’t follow Naomi and stayed back like Lot’s wife desiring the land of the enemies.
Which one are you? Jesus said: whoever wants to save their life will lose and those who lose it because of me will win it. It is better to eat bread of pain but to have abundance in the land of the enemies.
What territory are you in? How do you make decisions? Do you want to stay in Moab or go to Bethlehem “the house of bread”?
Come back to Bethlehem. Make a decision today.