The Ways of the Wanderer
There was a famine . . . so they went to the land of Moab. . . Ruth 1:1
When the going gets tough, we get out. It seems easier to leave than it does to stick it out and fight through it. Whenever the situation is fight or flight, most fly away quickly. In doing so, they stray from the place and the path God has for them, aimlessly floating from place to place.
The story of Ruth begins with wandering. There was a famine in the land. It was their land, it was their father’s land. Their family and friends were there, but most of all, it was the Lord’s land. However, it was a time of temporary trouble, their life was becoming more and more uncomfortable. The next season might have been better. All the losses might have been returned in abundance. But they didn’t stay long enough to find out. So they left.
There are many who wander from God; there’s Adam, who with one single restraint made him wander from God. Because of Adam, wandering comes easy for all of us. None can ever find happiness by running from God. What we fail to realize, is it’s the wandering that makes us empty. Our choice to live like stray dogs becomes the source of guilt and sorrow.
Jonah wandered when God sent him to Nineveh and went to Tarshish. Demas wandered for the love of the world, deserted his leader, never to return again. Judas wandered and he met a tragic end. This wandering away from God, from His spirit and from His word, reveals that whenever one goes astray from God, they desert the destiny and provision God has designed for them.
Moved by discontent Elimelech and family left Bethlehem and wandered to the land of Moab. A land of idolatry, a land of crime, and a land of immorality, a land which disgraced its own citizens. Moab was a doomed country. More than a hundred years before Ruth’s birth, the prophet Balaam had pronounced judgment on Moab. Life became a life of exile.
We should never forget that wandering from God is unnecessary. All we need abounds in Christ. How sad it would be that in our wandering we gain the world, but lose out on the abundance of life in the Spirit.
Are there any circumstances which are drawing your heart away from the Lord?