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Ruth | A Time of Desperate Cicumstances

from-despair-to-delight_thumbnailLast post Elimilech moves his family to this despised and wicked nation called Moab. Here we see a picture of that person who willingly turns his back on the things of God and he pays an awful price, he and his family. Yet, repentance and restoration was always a possibility.

The question was asked last post, where do you stand today?

At this moment you may be facing difficult times because of your decisions….

When we look at the story of Ruth, we find that there were those who were faced with a similar difficult time of decision. For Elimilech he felt it was:

A TIME OF DESPERATE CIRCUMSTANCES

Ruth 1:1 reads,

Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

This was a time of desperate circumstances. If you look closely at the text, you would see that there was a three-fold famine in the land.

There was a material famine in the land…

Verse 1 describes the situation that Elimilech and his family faced by telling us that there was “a famine in the land.” A famine is an extended drought. A time when food is in serious shortage. While there was a shortage of foods in the land at that time, it wasn’t the only famine the people of Israel faced.

There was a moral famine in the land…

Verse 1 tells us that this story takes place during the time of the Judges. The attitude of the people during those days is summed up in the last verse of the book of Judges 21:25.

“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

It can best be described as a time of turbulence and social upheaval. They were days marked by lawlessness, idolatry, false religion, theft, drunkenness, sexual perversion, violence, national division, civil war and extreme unbelief. Days, it would seem, that are not too different from the days in which we find ourselves. Of course, when man “does that which is right in his own eyes”, what else should we expect?

Lastly, there was a missionary famine in the land…

Often, in the Old Testament period, God used famine as a tool of discipline. When His people strayed away from Him, He would reach out to them to call them back to Himself by orchestrating a famine, Deut. 11:16-17; 2 Chron. 7:13-14.

(Note: Often, as we pass through this life, God will orchestrate these famine experiences for us as well. 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.

Elimilech faced in his mind a difficult set of circumstances. It overwhelmed him to the point that it seemed good to leave the promised land and go to Moab. This couldn’t be further from the truth…

Thought…….

Boaz faced the same famine, yet he stayed in the Promised Land.

What decision will you make in your current circumstances?

Ruth | Redeeming Love

Ruth Redeeming Love
Ruth Redeeming Love

The little book of Ruth has been called “the greatest piece of literature ever written.” Another writer called the story of Ruth “the Cinderella of the Bible.” It is the story of how a pagan girl named Ruth came to be part of the covenant people of Israel.

In the 100 verses that make up the book of Ruth, we see this young woman as she is redeemed by love, and brought out of her wretched condition.

This is a story of redemption, of love, of grace and of hope. It is a story we need to become familiar with on a very intimate level.

Over the next several posts, as the Lord leads, I will be sharing verse by verse through this book and talk about God’s Redeeming Love.

Let’s take a look at Ruth 1:1-7

Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.

And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread.

Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

In these first seven verses of Ruth we are introduced to the family of a man named Elimelech who lived during the days of the judges, v. 1. Who was Elimelech? His named meant “God his king.” He was a man of the tribe of Judah, of the family of the Hezronites, and kinsman of Boaz, who dwelt in Bethlehem in the days of the judges. In consequence of a great dearth he, with his wife Naomi and his two sons, went to dwell in the land of Moab. There he and his sons died (Ruth 1:2, 3; 2:1, 3; 4:3, 9). Naomi afterwards returned to Palestine with her daughter Ruth.

It is the sad tale of a man who chooses to walk out on the Lord and on God’s plan for his life. Because of his decision, he and his family pay a terrible high price.

We are told that Elimelech takes his family to a place called Moab. He decided to leave the Promised Land.

What was the Promised Land?

In regards to the land that God has promised Israel, Genesis 15:18 declares to Abraham, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.” God later confirms this promise to Abraham’s son Isaac and Isaac’s son Jacob (whose name was later changed to Israel). When the Israelites were about to invade the Promised Land, God reiterated the land promise, as recorded in Joshua 1:4, “Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west.”

According to Genesis 15:18 and Joshua 1:4, the land God gave to Israel included everything from the Nile River in Egypt to Lebanon (south to north) and everything from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River (west to east). 

Moab on the other hand was located just across the Jordan River, east of the Promised Land. It was inhabited by people who worshiped pagan gods.

The Moabites were the descendants of a man named Moab who was the son of an incestuous relationship between Lot and one of his daughters, Gen. 19:30-38. They were a proud people noted for their lawlessness, immorality and brutal violence, Lev. 18:24-25; Deut. 9:4-5; Isa. 16:6; Psa. 60:8. They attacked and opposed Israel, seeking to destroy the people of God, during Israel’s wilderness wanderings, Num. 23-25; Deut. 23:3-6. This was a people opposed to God and His ways.

In Psalm 60:8, God says this, “Moab is my washpot…

This phrase means that they were a despised thing, compared to a vessel containing water to be used by servants to wash the feet of a conquering hero. Yet, they were a people who could have been saved had they repented of their sins as Ruth did.

It is to this despised and wicked nation that Elimelech moves his family. Here we see a picture of that person who willingly turns his back on the things of God and pays an awful price. If this section of scripture teaches us anything, it teaches us that living in a backslidden condition carries with it devastating consequences, but repentance and restoration are always a possibility.

With this information in mind, where do you stand today?

CPR for The Church | Indie Author LaCedric Williams

CPR For The Church

CPR For The ChurchHelp for the struggling Church.

Is your Church healthy? Are the members healthy? These and other questions are answered as you try to find ways to awaken the local church. She will find her passion again as you focus on a few sustainable steps.

Often we avoid it and maybe think that it’s a difficult undertaking. However, as Pastors and leaders of the church we need to take time for strategy planning. What is Strategy Planning?

Strategy Planning is formulating a sequenced set of imperative actions chosen to address priority issues considered essential during a given time period in the pursuit of explicit ultimate purposes. In a nutshell, Deciding what you need to do, when you need to do it, and why.

CPR For The Church shares the Strategic Strategy already given by Christ the Head of the Church.

“Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body.

He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead.

So he is first in everything.”  Colossians 1:18

 

How awesome it is today, because God uses ordinary individuals to impact the Kingdom of God, by carrying out His will. Even now, writing this book as an indie author in social media and on my blog, God has given us a great platform to spread The Gospel into all the World. As you think about this opportunity take the time to consider and ask yourself, What avenue has God given you to share the Greatest Gift given to man? The Christ (#PoweredByIndie)