God Is Greater Than Our Famine
In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. Ruth 1:1
From a human perspective, Elimelek’s move to Moab made perfect sense. Bethlehem, whose name means “House of Bread”, had no bread. Life was hard. His family was hungry. So like the culture around him in the days when the judges ruled, Elimelek did as he saw fit (Judges 21:25). And what seemed right in his eyes was a move to the greener pastures of Moab.
This was contrary to God’s command! He had delivered His people from Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land. But Elimelek’s heart was back in Egypt where fields were fertile. He preferred a full stomach in enemy territory, than to lean on God and press into the pain of this place.
The famine was physical. Food was scarce. The famine was spiritual. The people had rejected God, and broken His covenant. Everyone did as they saw fit (Judges 17:6).
Ironically, Elimelek’s name means, “My God is king.” Yet he lived as if he were the sovereign one. Instead of repenting, he pushed God off the throne of his life. Instead of returning to God, he moved to Moab.
When there’s scarcity in supplies or healing, or when faced with extreme heartache and hurt, how do you react? How do we respond to famine?
Do you trust in human perspective? Maybe you’ve looked at every angle of your famine and it just makes sense to head back to Egypt for a little while. After all, extreme circumstances call for extreme measures, right? So you’ll compromise God’s command, just this once. You won’t make it a habit, of course. It’s a one-time deal.
Or do you trust God’s faithfulness and grace to meet you in the famine and carry you through it? Scripture never promises that life will be easy, but it does promise that we will never walk alone. The One who walks with us is a man of suffering, familiar with pain (Isaiah 53:3). He sympathizes with our weakness. He knows our every temptation (Hebrews 4:15). In seasons of pain, suffering, and famine, let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
Are you in a season of famine? If so, how are you responding to it?