“Lead us not into temptation.”
And Elimelech…died. —Ruth 1:3
Read Ruth 1:1-6
Elimelech did not think that it was wrong to leave Bethlehem of Judea and cross over the Jordan River to the land of Moab. The descendants of Lot (Gen.19:37) lived in this area, and it was a land where heathen idols were served. But what was one to do when there was a famine in Israel? Elimelech’s excuse was that he had to provide food for his family, which seems reasonable enough.
However, Elimelech left the land that God had given to his fore-fathers. He left the land where God was served and the sacrifices for sin were brought. So by leaving he denies himself God’s blessing. How important was the service of the Lord to him? He went to a heathen land where many dangers were lurking. Was Elimelech sure that he could remain standing in the midst of so many temptations?
God’s blessing was guaranteed to Israel in the Promised Land as long as they served the Lord. However, a famine indicated that God was withholding His blessings from his people. Elimelech should have humbled himself under God’s punishment instead of trying to escape it. Furthermore, he needlessly placed himself in the path of temptation. But he could not escape from God! This soon became apparent when he suddenly died.
What did this family do wrong?