5 Signs You’re Heading Down the WRONG Path [Ruth 1:1-5]


Is Your GPS Broken?

The story of Elimelech in the Book of Ruth 1:1-5 offers valuable lessons about recognizing when we’re straying from God’s plan.

Let’s explore 5 signs that might indicate you’re heading down the wrong path.

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5 Signs You’re Heading Down the WRONG Path [Ruth 1:1-5]

#1 – Loss of Faith

Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled that there was a famine in the land.” [Ruth 1:1a]

In Deuteronomy 11:13-17 God had promised that there would be plenty in the land if the Israelites remained obedient to His commandments.

Unfortunately, in the days when the judges ruled, ‘everyone did what was right in his own eyes’ [Judges 17:6].

Because of their disobedience and rebellion, there was a famine in the land.

Instead of trusting God’s ability to provide even in the famine and His mercy to forgive and deliver, some Israelites lost faith in God.

Similarly, we encounter challenges in life – financial difficulties, health concerns, and relational struggles.

Do we hold fast to our faith, remembering that God has promised to be with us “even to the very end of the age” in Matthew 28:20?

#2 – Fear-Based Decisions

And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.” [Ruth 1:1b]

Fear can be a powerful motivator, often leading us down the wrong path.

Fear gripped ‘a certain man of Bethlehemjudah’, clouding his judgment and driving him to make a hasty decision.

He chose to leave a promised land – Bethlehemjudah, which means ‘House of Bread’ and return to the wilderness in a foreign territory.

In Ruth 1:3, we learn that the name of this certain man was Elimelech, which means ‘God is king.’

His actions show he did not believe in God’s power as a king ruling over famine and all impossible situations.

He prioritized his immediate sense of security over trusting God’s plan and seeking guidance through prayer.

Prayer allows us to surrender our anxieties to God and seek His wisdom in navigating through challenges.

Through prayer, we can access His strength to overcome fear and make decisions rooted in faith [Philippians 4:6].

#3 – Disconnection from God’s Community

And they came into the country of Moab and continued there.” [Ruth 1:2b]

Neglecting Christian fellowship can leave us vulnerable [Hebrews 10:25].

Elimelech left the Israelite community and dwelt among the Moabites pagans, leading to isolation and loss of faith.

By leaving Bethlehem, he distanced himself from the support and spiritual guidance of his community.

We were not designed to walk the Christian life alone.

Surrounding ourselves with other believers fosters accountability, encouragement, and spiritual growth.

If you haven’t already, consider exploring local churches, Bible study groups, or online Christian networks.

#4 – Disregarding Promise and Purpose

And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.” [Ruth 1:3]

By leaving “the house of bread,” Elimelech lost his positioning, alignment, and covering for the purpose that God had for him in the Promised Land.

In Ruth 1:1, we see that Elimelech’s goal was to ‘sojourn,’ that is, to leave for a short while with the intention of returning to Bethlehem after the famine.

Unfortunately, Elimelech was moving away from one problem – the famine, but he ended up creating a worse one – aborting destiny and purpose since he died soon after arriving in Moab.

Just like some crops do well in some climates and completely fail to yield in others, destiny is also location-dependent.

Each one of us has a mandated location where we are assigned to accomplish our purpose and destiny.

Apostle Paul said, “He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries” Acts 17:26.

Being in the right place at the right time is the antidote to being a victim or casualty of elimination before fulfilling your mission on Earth.

Do you ever feel lost and unfulfilled?

This might be a sign that you’ve strayed from God’s place of purpose and destiny for your life.

#5 – Leading Others Astray

And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.” [Ruth 1:5]

Our choices have a ripple effect, impacting not just ourselves but those around us.

Elimelech’s decision to leave the Promised Land not only affected him but also his sons and his wife.

His sons married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth, which wasn’t ideal according to God’s plan for his people [Deuteronomy 7:3].

Also, his wife Naomi lost her husband and both sons within a short period, leaving her feeling deeply alone and grieving.

The story hints at Naomi’s bitterness, calling herself “empty” (Ruth 1:21), suggesting the great burden she was forced to bear.

Overall, Elimelech’s faithless and fear-based decision turned into 10 tragedy-filled years, all because the faith GPS of the head of the family was broken.

Luckily, when Naomi decided to return to the right place of purpose, that is, Bethlehem, she managed to rewrite the story.

Her daughter-in-law, Ruth, eventually found a husband (Boaz), and this ultimately led to her becoming part of Jesus’ lineage [Matthew 1:5].

Do you need to re-route your faith like Naomi? 

It’s recorded that Boaz was very wealthy, proof that the sons who chose to remain in the ‘house of bread’ eventually experienced God’s provision and mercy since they were positioned in the right place.

That would be the story of Elimelech if he did not lose alignment from his rightful place of inheritance and destiny.

Fear can be a powerful motivator.

What are some ways you combat fear and make faith-based decisions?

We all make mistakes!

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Are you looking for a deeper understanding of your faith? I’m excited to let you know that I have written books that delve into scripture and offer insights to help you grow in your Christian walk. Learn more about my books by visiting this link.

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