In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a man from Bethlehem in Judea, together with his wife and two sons went to live for a while in the country of Moab.
Don’t you find it interesting that this set apart people, the Israelites, often had to leave the God given land of Jerusalem and Judea in order to survive? The land flowing with “milk and honey”, the land blessed by God, some times was not safe. Was it that God could not provide for His people or was something else a foot?
To the Israelites, a Moabite was unclean, vile. And yet it was to Moab that Elimelech, Naomi, Mahlon, and Chilion move when Judea no longer could provide nourishment. Why? Is there a lesson for us in just this very first verse of the Book of Ruth? I think the answer is “Yes.”
Sometimes staying amongst our “own people” is detrimental to our well being. Sometimes life is preserved by “outsiders”, those not like us; looks, beliefs actions, likes, dislikes, etc. Sometimes refusing to move on from the old ways, can mean starvation; starvation of the soul/body/spirit. Sometimes a Moabite is just who we need. Sometimes a Moabite is who God is helping us to meet.
It is much too easy for us Christians to keep the box of what we believe so neat and tidy that there is no room for growth, no room for nourishment, no room for blessings, no room for God.
I challenge all of us to break out of our self-imposed boxes and travel with God to places and thoughts previously unknown to us so that we can stretch and grow as Believers in Christ. I would like to hear about the Moabites you meet along the way and what you learn from them. God did not set us apart to exclude others. We have been set apart by blessing so we may be a blessing to others.
Bless Your Heart,