Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to reside in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons.
As I began the reading of the book of Ruth in my devotions I had been going through a tough time in my health which to me was like a physical famine. My heart and spirit are doing well, but my body is not doing so well. As I surrendered my situation to Father God in prayer I felt reassured, confident in His provision. As I read the above opening verse of Ruth the Spirit impressed on me the divine purpose of famines in God’s plan, after all my own present situation is a health famine. Let us look closer at His use of famine, I would encourage you to read the whole story behind the verses quoted below.
Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a time, because the famine was severe in the land.
Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines.
and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
Now Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, “Arise and go with your household, and live wherever you can live; for the Lord has called for a famine, and it will indeed come on the land for seven years.”
I first want to highlight the seven years in the last two of the listed scriptures, as many of us know seven is a divine number signifying the work of God. It occurred to me when we find seven years in the Bible it is the fingerprint of Almighty God at work.
In these stories famine is a tool in the hand of God, to carve out His plan for humanity. As He performs his mighty deeds in these cases He goes on to provide abundant wealth for His chosen people. From the riches Abram gained from the Egyptians to the beautiful story of Joseph being instrumental to bless his people during a famine, these are instructive accounts of how our Father God always provides for His children.
In Ruth Almighty God uses famine to lay the foundations for the greatest act of abundant provision, that is Salvation through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Famine is the matchmaker between the predestined couple chosen to continue the royal lineage to King David, and on to the Messiah in Bethlehem.
Dear reader, does this not excite your heart? We can follow the evidence of our Father God’s fingerprints through our Bible, and through history, seeing how His plans are always completed. As I meditated on these famine stories I was confident that His Spirit was showing me that my own health famine is only a waymarker on His Heavenly purpose. Take heart my brethren, this is also the case for you too!