ELIMELECH AND NAOMI

Ehlimelech and Naomi were not discerning appropriately that  the lineage of the Messiah would continue from their family line.They had allowed the economy...

     Ruth is the last woman to be considered on the series. The  Four Most Unlikely Ancestresses Of Christ.  Having considered three other women: Rahab, Tamar and Bathsheba. Our series shall begin with two interesting bible characters: Elimelech and Naomi

Ruth 1: 1-2

1Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. 2And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

     It was the last watch of the night. Elimelech could scarcely sleep. It was a long and weary night, full of disturbing thoughts.
How would his other relatives cope in his absence in this period of famine? But, the famine had lasted for long, longer than what was experienced in the time of Jacob his ancestor.

        Unfortunately, the last reservoir of barley in the store was near finishing. Would he have to beg on the streets? He tossed endlessly about the bed regurgitating over the import of a hard decision, His wild thoughts were disrupted by the sight of sweaty dust sloshed on Naomi’s (his wife) face, who lay beside him. Apparently, the effects of the famine had begun to weigh heavily on her.
He thought about his two young sons (Mahlon and Chilion). What future awaited them in this hunger-sticken vicinity? Probably, they might spend their entire lives struggling to survive, upon his death.

In those days, the spiritual laissez-faire left so much to be desired. People did whatever they felt like doing. Perhaps, the failed morality bore a crippling effect on their economy.

        Suddenly, a thought flashed through his mind, A short time visit to Moab would not be a bad idea after all. That could afford him some space from his overbearing responsibilities towards his other relatives. Probably, he could find breakthrough in business prospects to salvage the scourge of the famine.
          Undoubtedly, he was the wealthiest man amongst his kinsmen, with a number of them dependent on him for food, but that would soon be history, under the present circumstance.

 

        Two days later, the revered elderly statesman of Bethlehem-Judah set out to embark on the journey to Moab. Having informed Naomi of his decision. She had always respected her husband, whom she thought to possess a high mental acumen. Obviously, she was blind to the implications of their departure from Bethlehem Judah.
Elimelech saddled the last donkey with  the last pile of threshed grain some wheat bread and water, whilst Naomi did a thorough check to ensure that their basic necessities for the trip were all in place.
    As they walked along the paths traversing the borders of Ephrath (Old Bethlehem), curious stares and halts (from the bold relatives and friends) delayed their exit.

          A few weeks ago, a close Business ally of Elimelech’s and friend to another Moabite had visited their home. Though he spoke in low tones, it was not low enough to dissuade Naomi from eavesdropping into their conversation. Her heart pulse raced in miliiseconds on hearing that Moab had food! plus a shorter and safer route therein, (for fear of bandits). Indeed, she had begun to nurse a positive possibility, before her husband told her about it.

          Although Naomi was convinced that their departure was a step in the right direction, but a shroud of fear enveloped her mind. What would be the resultant effect afterall? But their stay would be brief, It was only a harmless sojourn. Mahlon and Chilion followed closely behind while Elimelech led the way.
The famine in Bethlehem Judah was as a result of disobedience. It occurred  in the era when the  Judges ruled the land of Bethlehem-Judah. However, this seemed not to alleviate the sorry state of affairs. Obviously, the people had fallen into the sin of disobedience to God.

          Elimelech is a Hebrew name meaning “My God is King” was a man of dignity and honour, who sat and spoke with the men at the gates. Married to a woman whose graciousness was not only physical, but grossly nominal. Naomi means “My Gracious (Pleasant/Delightful)  one”. 

One might as well assume that their union was made in heaven!

However, the names of their sons were not as princely as  they appeared… Mahlon meaning “Sickly” and “Chilion” meaning “Pinning” (wasting).

It leaves many amazed as to why the Hebrew parents Elimelech and Naomi) would name their children “Sick” and “Wasting”. Probably, the famine had deleterious effects on their senses of spirituality and godly parenting.

          Elimelech and Naomi did not discern  appropriately that  the lineage of the Messiah would continue from their family line. They had allowed the economic depression to becloud their discernment.

 

 

SIGNIFICANT TRUTH

  • It is foolhardiness to remain in sin and disobedience without repenting and seeking for forgiveness from the Almighty. The people had sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and favor, hence the prolonged famine.
  • It is always expedient for Christians to pray for their leaders.


(2 Timothy 2: 1-2)

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

  • This famine raided the land in a period when the judges reigned in the land. Several judges had ruled before them: Deborah, Gideon, Ehud etc. Wisdom was greatly needed for a redress.
  • It is risky to always judge difficulties from a physical plane. Ehlimelech largely saw the physical benefits of a temporary relocation, but paid little or no attention to its spiritual implications. As Christians, our destinies are not just beautiful, they are delicate. This bears so much on our choices of employment, geographic locations etc. Not everywhere will be helpful to even ‘visit’ shortly.
  • As Women, we are the gatekeepers of our homes, we must always pray for our husbands to see correctly. Knowing this, our spiritual senses must be heightened so as to detect errors , and not be blinded by the good things of this present world.
  • Godly parenting is indeed priceless. Elimelech and Naomi were not very exemplary in this regard. Our choices as godly parents will influence the future of our God-given children. Always realize that you have a generation to preserve.

Thanks for reading and God bless you!

Stay tuned for the next post!

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13 Comments

  1. Wow! This really blessed me! What an amazing storyline!

    The Lord enrich you with His goodness, Ma’am. How do I subscribe to this meaty blog?

    1. Amen to your prayers Gbemi, You can subscribe using your email address in the “Subscribe to TheWordHub” colum below….you’ll get all the good stuff delivered right to your mailbox. God bless you!

  2. What a unique perspective to speak on the lives of Naomi and Elimelech! We usually hear a decent amount of commentary on Ruth’s life, but not as much on some of the other figureheads of the Ruth narrative. Thanks for offering this unique view! I really like what you said here, “Godly parenting is indeed priceless. Elimelech and Naomi were not very exemplary in this regard. Our choices as godly parents will influence the future of our God-given children.” Yes! Such a great takeaway from this story!

  3. I’ve been in Proverbs doing some study, and I’ve really been reflecting on how we can stick our head in the sand and turn away from addressing sin, when it presents itself. I love that you call this out as “foolhardiness” because it is! Turning from sin when it presents itself is foolish. I love the reminder in your post. Bless you xx

  4. I never understood why parents would name their kids horrible things (like Sick and Wasting) in Bible times. Even Rachel named her son Pain until Jacob re-named him. Maybe they didn’t know they were dooming their children.

  5. Beautiful insight! I love that you mention not reducing our difficulties or measuring them only by physical implications, but that we must always consider the spiritual impact, too.

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