Summary: 28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose

I Went Out Full But Came Home Empty

Pastor Ken Crow

Ruth 1:21-22 (King James Version)

21I went out full and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

22So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

In life we make mistakes.

Naomi and her husband Elimelech had made a great mistake.

They had departed their inheritance from God due to the circumstances around them.

They were living in Bethlehem Judea. The very center of God’s concentration.

They were living in their inheritance from the Lord.

In reading from verse one we see the reason for their departure.

The bible says there was famine in the land.

We need to realize this morning that there will be unpleasant circumstances arise in our life.

We live in this world.

The weather affects us.

The economy affects us.

The laws of the land affect us.

Even though we may be in the center of God’s will as long as we live in this world “things” will have an effect on us.

However, even though we are affected by things around us those same circumstances do not have to determine our course of action because we have this thing called faith.

Elimelech and Naomi had allowed the famine or the economy around them to bring about fear. That fear got a hold of them and they began to plan their move.

Yes it was only the fear. Yes there was famine. Yes things did not look to good around them. Crops were not growing. The rain had stopped. Everything was drying up .

But notice Naomi’s statement in verse 21.

“ I went out full.”

Out of fear of the future they hastily made this mistake. Even though the famine they were still full.

They had food. They had a roof over their head. They had their sons and animals but this fear of the worldly circumstances began to get into their thinking and they let it determine their actions.

Perhaps they listened to too much news .Yes we need to know what is going on in the world. Yes we need to stay informed on what’s going on.

But we have someone not mentioned on the nightly news that has to determine our thinking and our actions!

We have Jesus Christ!

We have a word from God called the B-I-B-L-E that must determine our thinking and actions!

We have a comforter and guide called the Holy Spirit that must determine our thinking and actions!

Jesus is perfect love! God is perfect love! The Holy Ghost is perfect love!

1 John 4:18 (King James Version)

18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Romans 8:15 (King James Version)

15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

There is someone else in this story of Ruth that is often overlooked. His name is Boaz. While Elemilech and Naomi were on the run over a little bit of hardship Boaz just stayed put.

Notice that Boaz made it! It was his fields that Naomi and Ruth gleaned from when they returned.

If we will just put our faith in Jesus and stay put in the faith he will do what he promised and take care of us!

Because of Naomi’s mistake she lost just about everything!

By leaving the promise and going to Moab she lost her sons, her husband and everything she had in the world. Notice as she entered back into Judea she made the statement “I have came home empty!”

Aw but there is a principle of God even though we may make mistakes.

Romans 8:27-28 (King James Version)

27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The prodigal son in Luke 15 made a great mistake but it turned out well.

Naomi and the prodigal have two things in common .

One is they made a mistake.

But the most important is that they returned!

We will make mistakes. We will fall short. But oh if we return!

We may return empty. We may return bruised and wounded but if we will just return!

Naomi was not as empty as she seemed to think.

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