We saw earlier the reason why we believe that Elimelech did not mean to make his stay in Moab a permanent one.
Ruth 1:6 (NIV)
When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there.
Elimelek made a decision for himself and on behalf of his family to settle in Moab for a while. Perhaps, after the famine in Bethlehem, they will return. However, his decision was questionable because he left a place of potential fruitfulness to a place where idolatry was the order of the day. Moab was known for idol worship.
This was a costly decision because Elimelek did not get the chance to correct himself.
Decisions are never to be taken lightly or made casually. The outcome of any decision can bless you or leave you permanently broken.
For Elimelek, he died in Moab and his two sons died after about 10years of marriage. Elimelech did not even get a chance to see and enjoy the marriage of his sons.
Noami became a widow instantly and did not get to remarry. Ruth later got married to Boaz and we are not told about the future of Orpah.
Although not mentioned, it is a risk at your own expense to purposefully position yourself in the midst of idolatry versus when you are forcefully recruited to live in a land where idolatry is the order of the day.
That was the fate of Elimelech. He consciously decided to live in Moab.
This is significant because, as much as we see that there were physical repercussions, there could be possibilities that they could have suffered spiritually.
Here is our focus, do not allow temporal situations cause you to make temporal decisions which may lead to permanent changes be it in the physical and the spiritual.