Troubles Come Not Singly, but in Troops

Michael Wilcock

READ : Ruth 1:1-2

There was famine in the land. (v. 1)

Never a week goes by without news of calamity somewhere! Sometimes it’s natural disasters, floods and earthquakes and droughts. Sometimes it’s the work of criminals or terrorists or warmongers.

All of us know about them. Perhaps we know the places where they are happening. Perhaps we have suffered from them ourselves.

It was the misfortune of Elimelech and his family to live in Israel “in the days when
the judges ruled.” What a dreadful period to live through. If it isn’t another invasion,
it’s another crime wave. The book of Judges tells it all.

As if the man-made evils of the time were not enough, famine struck. The family had
to leave their home and take refuge in another country. On top of everything else, it
seemed they had been let down by God. Israel, a land “flowing with milk and honey”?
Bethlehem, the “House of Bread”? This was supposed to be the Promised Land! Had the
promises failed?

No. “In all things God works for the good of those who love him,” says Paul (Rom.
8:28). When troubles come, hold on to that deeper promise, which never fails.

Lord, you bring good out of evil. Teach us that in the good times. Remind us of

it in the bad times—that’s when we need it.