His name meant "my God is king" yet his lifestyle did not reflect this belief. There was a famine in the land. Once again the Israelites had sinned against God by worshiping idols. Because of that, God had cursed the land by withholding the early and latter rains (Deuteronomy 28:15-24).
A true worshiper of God would have interceded on the peoples behalf, like Daniel, Moses, Ezra and so many other prophets did. Instead, Elimelech chose to flee from the wrath of God (as if that were possible).
And he didn't just take his family any place - he took them into Moab. A land filled with heathens and idolatry.
While there, he transgressed another command of God: he allowed his sons to take wives from among the heathen people (a violation of Deuteronomy 7:3). He seemed to be living according to Judges 21:25 ... "every man did what was right in his own eyes".
What's a girl to do? It would have been easy for Naomi to throw her hands in the air and say "if he's not serving God, then I won't either." But thank God she didn't.
Her ministry is one of the more powerful lessons of the Old Testament. Naomi did such a great job of converting her Moabite daughters-in-law, that the women were willing to leave their homes to follow her (Ruth 1:14-15).
Which brings up an interesting question? Are we being true witnesses to the God we serve? Or are we paying lip service like Elimelech did?
Isn't it sad that Elimelech had access to so much power but didn't tap into to it? Aren't we just like him sometimes?
Lord help us to be witnesses for you wherever we are. Remind us that You are all-powerful and all-present. In Jesus' name. Amen.
What kind of witness are you being for Christ? Share with us stories of how you tell others about Jesus.