By John O’Malley from the book Reflections from Ruth: The Pain from Leaving (Volume 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 Beth-lehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons” (Ruth 1:1).
Sojourning in Moab should be a startling phrase for the believer! Elimelech, an Israelite, felt it necessary to leave the famine in Bethlehem-judah for the land of Moab. Scripture indicates that his plan was only to sojourn in Moab. When one sojourns, he desires to be a temporary resident in a place. The verses following reveal that Elimelech’s family first continued in Moab (Ruth 1:2), and then ended up dwelling in Moab about ten more years (Ruth 1:4).
Although a temporary famine made Elimelech leave Bethlehem-judah, his family did not leave Moab when death, disappointment, disease, disaster, and discouragement came to their home. Odd, is it not? He left a famine in the land and ended up with a famine in his soul.When a man takes himself out of God’s will, he ends up losing far more than he ever intended to give.
What would make a man leave the “House of Bread” (Bethlehem) in the “Land of Praise” (Judah) for the land of the incestuous son of Lot (Moab)? Who could make a man believe that bread in Moab would be better than a tough time in the Promised Land? The answer is simple—no one but Satan!
Satan still takes people and convinces them that a sojourn in Moab is better than staying in God’s will and watching God provide. Has your sojourn in Moab led you to continue or even dwell there? Time in Moab saddens the heart, drains the soul, and skews your thinking. Even if you have to come back empty, find the prayer train out of Moab and come back to Bethlehem-judah today.
Think about it...