Now it came about in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech….
— Ruth 1:1
Before we can become mature as Christians, we must experience three things: we must first taste Christ’s riches (Bethlehem), then we must confront dryness either individually or corporately (famine), and finally, we must experience a return to the Supplier of the riches.
The reason we love the Lord is because He is so lovely (1 John 4:19). If we have never been drawn by the Lord, our love for Him will be hollow. We should experience the riches of the Lord in many aspects—the more the better. When we enjoy Him in this way, we are captured by Him. Those who have known the Lord and His riches can never forget Him, but if we abide in the riches alone, we may never come to know the Supplier of the rich enjoyment, for the riches we enjoy may replace the Lord Himself.
Therefore, the Lord allows each of us to experience a dryness in our church life or in our personal Christian life. This “famine” exposes who we are and where we are. When we have plenty of food, we are able to boast, “God is my King” (the meaning of the name “Elimelech”), but how do we react when the food supply dries up? Do we cling more closely to the Lord, or do we seek to meet our needs elsewhere?
Elimelech had a meaningful name, but when famine came, it turned out to be a mere slogan. God did not remain his King. This is why Elimelech had to die in Moab. When what we have is merely a slogan, it cannot match God. It must be exposed and allowed to die. By such a death, the Lord has a way to produce something for Himself.
Adapted from Ruth: Growth Unto Maturity, pages 19-20.
Monday: “Resting in the Flow”