Ruth 1:1 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 Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. 2 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 Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
Last week we studied about famines and our reaction to them. By definition a famine can be described as a time of great need. Though we most often think of a famine as pertaining to the scarcity of food, we can also experience a time of famine in many other ways. Sometimes people face famines in their finances. Others face famines in their health or in their emotions. Families go through famines and so do many marriages. Anytime there is a great need in our life, whether it’s physical, emotional or spiritual, we are in a time of famine.
Famines can’t always be avoided. The Bible teaches us of a man named Job whom scripture says was perfect and upright and one who feared God and hated evil (Job 1:1); yet Job experienced a tremendous time of famine in his life. As you will remember, he lost all of his children as well as his wealth and his health.
Because we can’t always avoid facing a famine, we must learn how to react to them in a way that will be both helpful and productive. From the story of Ruth we can see three different types of reaction:
- Elimelech reacted negatively to his time of famine by trying to run from God and avoid dealing with the sin in his life.
- Naomi, his wife, also reacted negatively by rebelling against God and becoming angry and bitter.
- Only Ruth reacted in a positive way. Rather than running or rebelling, Ruth rested and trusted God to take care of her. Boaz gave testimony to Ruth’s trust when he said: “The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. Ruth 2:12) Though Ruth knew very little about the God of Israel, she believed that He was the one true God and a God of grace.
Are you currently in a time of famine? If so, I pray that Ruth’s example will be an encouragement to you. Take some time to carefully read the little book of Ruth. I am sure that it will be a blessing to you.