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 Bethlehem, Judah, went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.
Desperation can drive us to many extremes. Comedian Woody Allen characterized our times when he said, “We stand at a crossroads. Down one road is despondency and despair, and down the other is total annihilation. Let us pray that we choose the right road.”
This kind of desperation sometimes even plagues God’s people and causes them to make poor choices.
Elimelech was facing desperate times, and he needed to make some difficult choices. He was struggling to feed his family.
A wife and two growing boys needed nourishment, but a famine gripped the land. Famines were often God’s way of bringing His people to the point of submission. They were not simply to punish Israel, but to get them to turn from their sins.
Yet without clear guidance from God, Elimelech chose to run away. Instead of facing the Lord’s judgment on the land and trusting God to provide, he
moved his family to a pagan land and raised his children in a society that did not know the God of Israel.
He even broke God’s law by allowing his sons to marry pagan wives (Deut. 7:3-4):
It is very tempting to look for the easy way out of our problems.
But any choice that takes us away from God is, in the long run, the wrong way. Elimelech’s choice ultimately brought death to himself and his two sons. No matter how desperate the situation, it is always better to face what God has allowed and trust Him than it is to run from our circumstances and go it alone.
If you are experiencing difficult times, make your choices based on clear direction from God. Don’t allow a feeling of desperation to steer you in the wrong direction.
DESPERATE CHOICES ARE SELDOM THE BEST CHOICES.