Summary: I question Naomi’s statement. Naomi said that she had left Bethlehem “full” and had come back to Bethlehem “empty.” If she had been so “full,” Why then, had she ever left Bethlehem to begin with? Empty? Didn’t Ruth just pledge to be at her side?
Title: “Being Full and Running on Empty”
Introduction: I question Naomi’s statement. Naomi said that she had left Bethlehem “full” and had come back to Bethlehem “empty.” If she had been so “full,” Why then, had she ever left Bethlehem to begin with?
But it is the second part of that statement that I want to preach on today. Ruth had just pledged to her mother in law, “I will be with you, you can count on me, I will always be here for you…”
How did Naomi respond to those who asked her of how she was doing? She said that God was against her. She said that she was “empty.” What an insult to God! What an insult to Ruth! Think about it. If I were Ruth, I think I would have quickly turned to my mother in law and said, “Hey, what do you think I am? Dog meat?”
Do you realize that as a Christian, when we are acting depressed, we are really insulting God? Think about it.
It is true that many of our “friends” are like Orpah. When we find ourselves in trouble, these fleeting “friends” give us a little kiss as they are waving “good bye.”
But perhaps you have a few “friends” are likened unto Ruth. The word “end” is in the word “Friend.” Ruth would be a friend until the end.
Here is a list of five things that Ruth would provide for her Mother-in-law, Naomi.
1. Ruth would offer daily bread for the supper table.
She went to work to glean among the barley friends.
2. Ruth would offer companionship.
Every night, she and Naomi would discuss their day together.
3. Ruth would offer her abundant life.
Eventually, Boaz and Ruth would be married. They would have a son, Obed. Grandmother, Naomi, now a purpose for life!
4. Ruth would offer her a home. She would live in a palace.
Boaz was a wealthy plantation owner. Let me encourage you to picture in your mind, Grandmother, Naomi, sitting on the porch steps with grandbaby, Obed, in her arms!
Now, let me ask you a question, “Who is that standing next to you?”
Please don’t tell you that you are empty!