FAMINE OR FAITH?
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.” Ruth 1:1
IN JESUS TODAY:
It was in the days when Judges ruled, not in a time of chaos, nor was there rioting in the streets, but there was civility all around them. Yet there was also a famine in the land. A famine that obviously followed the sins of the people, because even the name of the land, Bethlehem-Judah meant “House of Bread” implying that it was a land that was full of provision, but now it had run dry, and there was no more bread for the cause. And although times do change, our God remains steadfast and true, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and remains in control over our lives. God provides, but we see here that His provision has been taken away. Now this invokes the question,
“Should they have stayed in Bethlehem-Judah, trusting that God would provide for them, or should they have sojourned to a land that served a foreign God, a Moabite God, just so that in their own minds they could avoid any possible suffering?”
All too often we do all that we can in order to avoid suffering, rather than to trust God to take care of us. Was this famine actually a time to stay in the midst of the problem, thereby allowing God, by faith in God the opportunity for God to show himself, and His ability to take care of His own? Or was this famine in the land God’s way of moving them to another place, called the Land of Moab where they worshipped Chemosh, the Moabites God? Would our God ever do this In order to save us from suffering at the hand of hunger?
This sounds to me too much like selling the Birthright for a morsel of food! Should they stay or should they go? Not too hard to figure this one out right? Our ministry opportunities often come in the midst of our problems. Difficult times and difficult places in our lives are often an open door into the hearts of others that are suffering with us. The answer is not in running away, but rather that we ought to stay and trust God.
“IT IS SELDOM THAT CHANGING OUR PLACE IN LIFE IS MENDING IT…” MATHEW HENRY
So we have established that God’s hand was involved in this famine. Yes, God will allow our sufferings to usher in opportunity. God dried up their resources so that they might learn to call upon Him. Difficult times often lead to our sojourning instead of our calling upon God, because we seek deliverance by our own hand, rather than His, by what seems right to us, rather than what is right according to God, and by any means that we legally, or sometimes not so legally, decide will be to our advantage! This is yet another sinful choice! It is sin when we do not trust God! Anything that is not of faith is sin! As we read,
“But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Romans 14:23
We should never seek provision and prosperity apart from our God! Our God is our provider, He is a jealous God, and He is a Father that loves his children beyond imagination! So Naomi and her family left Bethlehem-Judah to pursue a better situation in life. Does this sound familiar? Many in America are spiritually doing the same! All for a God that they think is better! Yet we see that during this process Naomi and her family also suffered great losses.
Deliverance belongs to God, and when we try to deliver ourselves we will find that it hurts more than it helps, as it was also true here. Elimelech dies, Mahlon and Kilion die, and the women are left to live alone in a land that is foreign to them.Now ask yourself is running away from your problems ever worth it?
LEAN NOT TO YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING! ALWAYS TRUST GOD!