How Are You Solving Your Problems?

“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 dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion—Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.”

Ruth 1:1-5

Ponder This

Why did Elimelech leave Bethlehem? He was afraid he couldn’t survive. He left the house of bread with the wrong motive, the wrong method, and the wrong master. And what does he do over there? He dies. And what happens to his little boys that he was so concerned about? They die.

There’s an old story about a rich merchant of Baghdad who had a servant. And the servant came to him and said, “Master, I want you to give me one of your best horses. I must flee.” And the merchant said to his servant, “Why do you need to flee?” The servant replied, “I was in the marketplace today, and a sinister figure jostled me, and I turned, and I looked in his face, and I was staring in the face of Death. Master, give me a horse, I must flee to Samara.” The master, loving his servant, said, “Take my best horse and flee if you will.” And then the rich merchant went to the marketplace, and there he saw Death. And he said, “Death, why did you startle my servant when you saw him?” And Death said, “I didn’t mean to startle your servant; it was your servant that startled me. I didn’t expect to see him here. I have an appointment with him tonight in Samara.” Elimelech sought life on his own terms, but all he found was death. We must be careful not to do the same.

  • What are some ways we might seek our own solutions to the problems we face in life?
  • What would it look like to give those over to God instead?

Practice This

Write out the problems you are facing today; seek to give those to God in prayer.