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:


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…


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

What decision will you make in your current circumstances?