Who would think the first few verses in the book of Ruth would have me thinking all day long? But they did ….
In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him. (Ruth 1:1, NLT).
In a nutshell, we learn in this verse that a man, Elimelech, leaves Bethlehem (ska The House of Bread) due to a famine which is hitting the land. He takes his wife and two sons to live in Moab (which can also be called, The Garbage Can). In Psalm 108:10, the psalmist refers to Moab as God’s washbasin.
The man’s name was Elimelech and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. (verse 2).
Interesting that Elimelech takes his family from The House of Bread to the Garbage can. His two sons Mahlon, which means unhealthy and Kilion, which means puny, went with him. In the town where misfortune follows them, both sons die ten years after their father dies, leaving Naomi alone with her daughter-in-laws. There is a wonderful play on words going on which stood out to me.
Here is the lesson I took note of this morning:
- When we are in the very place where God would have us to be we will find bread, nourishment for our souls. God will feed us with the finest of wheat (Psalm 91:16), satisfying our thirst and filling the hungry with good things (Psalm 107:9).
- All other places will come up empty.
- If we remain “unhealthy” or “puny” spiritually, we will die spiritually as well.
Naomi hears that God is blessing his people and returns to the House of Bread to find nourishment for her soul. And in so doing, she regains her life as well. May we, too, come to His table, the very one He Himself prepares for us and find the nourishing we need. May our souls grow healthy and strong as we remain with Him, Who is the Bread of Life.