“If we obey God’s will, everything in life holds together; but if we disobey, everything starts to fall apart.” Warren Wiersbe
We see in chapter one three mistakes that were made that you and I need to avoid in our Christian walk. We will talk about one of those mistakes today. Mistake number one was Unbelief: Trying to run from our problems. Do you find it ironic that there was a famine? In Bethlehem? Which means “House of Bread” Warren Wiersbe writes “when troubles come into our lives, we can do one of three things endure it, escape it, or enlist it.” If we endure trials, they can easily become our master and we can become bitter. If we try to escape them, we will probably miss what God was trying to teach us through them. If we enlist them, our trials, they must serve us and work for us. For our good and His glory. Sound familiar (Romans 8:28) So what made this a bad decision to try and flee from their trials? Well First, Elimelech walked by sight and not faith. You cannot run from your problems no matter how much you would like to. No matter how tough our circumstances are the safest place we can be is in the will of God. How do we walk by faith and not sight? By claiming the promises of God and obeying the Word of God. Sounds simple and elementary but it is so difficult sometimes. Second, he focused on the physical and not the spiritual. As a husband and a father Elimelech wanted to provide for his family, and so do we. But we cannot do it at the expense of losing the blessings of God on our family. In times of difficulty if we die to self and submit to God, we can rest assured He will either, bring us out of the trouble, or be with us through it. Third, He honored the enemy and not the Lord. Notice he takes his family to Moab. The sworn enemy of the Israelites. The Moabites were descendants of Lot’s incestuous relationship with his daughter. Isaiah 16:6 speaks of the pride of Moab and how God hates pride. Ironically, the name Elimelech means “God is my king” unfortunately God was not king in Elimelech’s life because we see he leaves God completely out of his decisions. His bad decision to leave Judah and go to Moab resulted in another bad decision where his sons married Gentile women (that was forbidden) Elimelech left Judah to escape death, yet Elimelech, and both of his sons would soon die. Verse one tells us they only went to “Sojourn” in Moab. Sojourn means to dwell temporarily. I think the old saying “Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay, cost you more than you want to pay” fits right here. We clearly see the steep cost of the sin of unbelief.