Ruth 1: 16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
A happy new year to everyone, my prayer for you this year is that you will increase and grow in all areas of your life.
We start with the intriguing story of Elimelech, his wife Naomi, their two sons and daughters in law Ruth and Orpah. The economy was bad, there was famine (food shortages) in the land and they had gone in search of greener pastures. Now on the surface there’s nothing wrong with this except for two things: they were Jews and therefore children of covenant, and secondly they had left Bethlehem (“the house of bread”).
As children of covenant we cannot make decisions the same way other people do, the fact that everyone is doing something and getting away with it doesn’t make it right. I see people making decisions about jobs, family, relocation based on what natural parameters and it saddens me because I know God has more in store for us that that.
Secondly they left the “house of bread”, they left the place of their provision and unfortunately suffered dire consequences. God’s blessings are sometimes geographical, are linked to our continued obedience and manifest fully when we learn to walk in purpose.
We have a generation today that are not ready to wait upon God for Him to come through in their circumstances, people want to walk away from marriages at a whim. Of course if there is abuse and threat to life I would say walk away but nowadays were too eager to quit and many people don’t realise that there’s no guarantee that where you’re going to will be any better!
They were seeking a change and one of the things I’ve come to learn is that not all change is progressive but to progress one must change. I’ll credit where credit is due, they wanted a change and they went for it- at least they took action, This time of the year many are making all kinds of resolutions and savvy businesses take advantage of this, for example most people will register for gym membership in January and by February ending only a small fraction of those people will still be visiting the gym.
In fact in a Forbes magazine 2013 survey it states that only 8% of New Year’s resolutions ever make it to reality. (Less than 1 in 10), the law of diminishing intent states: The longer you wait to embark on something, the less likely you are to actually do it! If you have any sort of goals this year please make sure they are SMART –Specific, Measureable, Attainable Relevant and Time bound. I shall be speaking more about this later.
Concluding our story does have a happy ending, although Elimelech and his two sons did not make it back to Bethlehem, we read of the brave daughter in law Ruth who chose to stay with her elderly mother in law. She has become an example of loyalty, faithfulness and making decisions beyond what is immediately appealing. One chord this strikes with me as well is that no matter how far you may have strayed or missed it, no matter how bad you may think your situation is, God is able to redeem, restore, revive and re instate. Be blessed.
Dr Joseph Omofuma
Pastor Grace Community Church