The Flip Side of Encouragement (Part 2)

Posted on July 10, 2023

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The Flip Side of Encouragement (Part 2)

Our example today touches on our women folk, particularly those who are married. In these dangerous times when circumstances can drive wrong decisions, take heed to yourself and your heart!

In the story recorded in Genesis 19 regarding the conduct and judgments of Sodom and Gomorrah, a singular clause in verse 26 spoke about Lot’s wife.

But [Lot’s] wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.  Genesis 19:26 (AMPC)

While the scriptures don’t explicitly speak to this, there is room to infer that the one who had more to lose was the one who would look back upon a place that was destined for judgment. And if that were the case, it is also a great possibility that it was this “sense of sight” that may have influenced Lot to move from where he was staying in the empty hills rubbing shoulders with his uncle to just across on the other side where he could see lushness enough to multiply his wealth, without understanding that there is more to it than what he was seeing!

What was the influence of Lot’s wife? It’s something to think about. Where your heart is not set right in looking at what God can do and what He promised but is fixated on the things you see, you run the risk of becoming a wrong influence upon your husband.

Ruth 1 is another sad story of the family of Elimelech. Learning from the impact of famine, particularly on children in contemporary times, the names of the children of Naomi tell a lot. Remember the images of those children from Somalia and Sudan! You saw them skinny and sick, enough to push the heart out of the presence of God and to seek to move to another land. Mahlon means ‘sickness’, and Chilion means ‘wasting’. Their children were skinny and sick and the effect of the famine may have actually influenced the names and provided the motivation that pushed them to go to Moab. They forgot the name Elimelech, my God is King, and worse that in moving to another land they changed gods.

Two things called Naomi out:

  • Her confession in Ruth 1:20,21 (AMPC)—And she said to them, Call me not Naomi [pleasant]; call me Mara [bitter], for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, but the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me? It was a clear admission that “I’m being repaid for what I did.”
  • Her scheming that we also saw in the way she was pushing Ruth to seduce Boaz rather than wait for God’s plan to materialise. Thank God for Boaz’s intervention, but the scenario tells a lot about the nature and the character of this woman.

And this we say with all humility in theses dangerous days, dangerous and difficult times that we are in, O woman, what influence are you wielding on your husband? What things utter from your mouth that negate the promises that God has given and push your husband and yourself out of the place of covenant?

Pastor Afolabi Oladele

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