went to live for a while in the country of Moab….(Ruth 1:1).
Last night I asked my junior high bible study girls what their Moab was. I said when I was a teenager Moab for me was boys and the pursuit of beauty. You see, Moab was the place God told the Israelites not to go. The region of Moab was birthed out of an incestuous relationship with Lot and one of his daughters. Out of their own fear of not having children, his daughters got him drunk and slept with their very own father. We do abhorrent things when we are led by fear.
Elimelech was led by fear too. This fear took him out of the promised land during a time of famine and into the country of Moab. Although it was a quick way to ease his families present woes, the consequences of living in Moab turned out to be quite devastating.
Sometimes God has to send famine into our lives. It’s not because He’s trying to punish us. It very well could be that we are suffering some consequences of sin in our lives, or it could be for the testing and growing of our faith. Temptation arises within us to flee from God’s promised land so we can ease our immediate discomforts and worries. Whenever we are led by fear, we will a bitter road of destruction. Sometimes we are led by the approval of people and quickly, we are caught in a trap. A trap of sin that eases our own hearts present worries and needs.
It feels better in Moab because it offers instant gratification. Moab seems better than waiting on God’s promise because in the present moment there is no milk and honey, no bounty to feast upon. The good news is that in the midst of our calamity brought on by our own sin, as we repent and turn our hearts back to the Lord, He reigns down His provision on our lives, if we are willing to walk the road of difficulty for a season.
Our culture does not like to wait and I can’t say that I do either. In my own stubbornness, there are times when I want to shout up towards heaven, “OK God, the waitings over now, right??? I think I’ve had enough for now.” However, there’s something about waiting that grows our hearts and sets us free from the prisons in our lives we have long been held captive by. It’s in the waiting that we become more like Him. It’s in the waiting that our hearts grow to be like His. There, in the waiting, we find Him to be our daily bread in the midst of famine.
Press into Him, lean not on your own understanding and wait with God even when it feels like He’s not going to show up.
Oh Lord, you are so good. All I have is you. You are the joy of my life. I still am tempted to run to Moab. I still am tempted to run towards temporal comforts. I still am tempted to ease my present worries, but I know that my comfort and joy is found in you. My victory, vindication, and blessing are found in the power of your presence. You will shield and defend me. You are my joy in the land of the living, in Jesus name, Amen!