Sunday, September 2, 2007

Coming Home Empty

Ruth 1:19-20 "So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me."

It is never God's will to leave where God has you because things get hard. Bethlehem means the house of Bread. They went to Moab which means the place of sin.

Much happened in Naomi's life that we can learn and get encouragement from.

After going to Moab and all that took place there she returned to Bethlehem. She had enough of being in that place of sin. To not be where God wants you is to be in sin. there is an effect of sin when a person gets away from God. When Naomi returned to Bethlehem the people questioned about her. She no doubt wore the marks of sin. She wasn't the same woman she was when she left.

When a person gets out of the will of God...sin will take a toll. She did the right thing in going back but she was different. When she left she was Naomi which means pleasant one. When she returned she asked to no longer be called Naomi but Mara which means bitter one. That person who gets back into the land of Moab will lose their pleasantness.

Naomi lost some precious things by leaving God's will and going to Moab. She lost her joy, peace, comfort, loved ones, testimony and power. When a person leaves God's will they will always leave with some things but they always return empty.

That person who leaves always comes back with grief and regrets. They always regret ever leaving in the first place. Staying in the will of God will save you from heartache. Time away from Bethlehem is time lost. That time cannot be reclaimed. It is time wasted.

Just like Naomi...the backslider becomes bitter. After about ten years she realizes where she needs to be. Many Christians feel the same way Naomi felt when they get out in sin for a while. Many plan to be gone from Bethlehem for a short time but it most always turns into a long time of hard times. God can turn that bitter one back to a pleasant one if that person will just go back to Bethlehem.

The backslider will always return empty. The prodigal son in Luke chapter 15 had this happen. He left with his hands full and had everything stripped of him and when he came back he had nothing.

She came back and she came back in the right way. She was humbled and broken. She realized she wasn't where she needed to be. She would never forget the regrets of the time she spent in Moab but she had a bright future ahead of her. There were many blessings ahead for her as a result of going back home. She wouldn't get back what she lost but she could look forward to future blessings.

So if you have left Bethlehem (the house of bread) and gone back into the land of Moab (the place of sin) are miserable and know where you need to be. Go back home and become the pleasant one again. There is no better place to be!!


Lula said...

Great post Sis. Julie. This is one of my all time favorite stories and it seems one can get something different about every time they study it! Thank you for being so diligent with your studies and posts..I enjoy them very much!

Jessica said...

Hey Sis Julie,
I was thinking about you, and I wanted to leave you a comment and say that I am praying for you! And say "thank you" for praying for me!! Also, I enjoy praying with you at chuch. I always know that when I go to the altar I won't be there alone!!
Love you, Jessica

Julie's Jewels said...

jessica...I love you too!! It is always a blessing to me to be able to pray with you at the altar and you bless my heart each time you take time to pray with me and for me. You are definitely in my prayers!!

Julie's Jewels said...

sis. lula...thank you for your comments. They bless my heart!! I'm thankful that you get a blessing out of what you read here. You are blessing to me for taking time to stop by and when you leave a comment.

Katy-Anne said...

Is it really right to "blame" (for want of a better word) Naomi for going to Moab? Do you think that she should have stayed in Bethlehem despite her husband taking him and the children to Moab? I've always seen the story that Naomi was a good wife for following her husband even though he made a terrible decision. I know a missionary who went to the field and took his eight children and left his wife at home because he said that it was God's will for him to be a missionary but his wife refused to go. (I don't advocate doing this, I'm just listing a situation...I think the guy should have had his "house in order"). Naomi could have been like that but she wasn't. It was her husband's choice to go, not hers. Again not trying to be argumentative, if you think that what I said isn't right, and you have some information about it, I'd be glad to see it.

Julie's Jewels said...

katy-anne....regardless of how you see this situation...even if she did follow her husband...she still left with him and due to things that happened in Moab...she became bitter (which we should never let happen) and came back to Bethlehem empty of things she took with her. The story does not say that she followed her husband. It simply says that she left Bethlehem to the land of Moab and it gives the account of what happened to Naomi. The point that this post is trying to make is when you leave God's will...everyone in the situation suffers...just as Naomi and her family. So the safest and best place to be is in God's will and when a person leaves that there are consequences to that sin of getting out of His will. Thank you for your comment Katy-Anne.

Mimi said...

this was a wonderful post... and oh so very true... it so easy to end up in the place of sin (if we don't stay in constant touch with God)
and the longer we are in sin the harder it is to find our way back home again..

Julie's Jewels said...

sis. are so right!! I know that I have not experienced this in my life but have seen it happen to others I am close to and it definitely has an affect on the person's life.

Amy said...

What a great post! I'm always so blessed when I visit - thank you!. :)

I can't agree more with mimi - it doesn't take much to end up heading down the wrong path and the longer you're away, the harder it becomes to return. I have struggled before and know others who have also but the Lord is merciful and thankfully He has always brought us back to Him. :)

Julie's Jewels said...

sis. amy....thank you so much for your comment.

Jerry Bouey said...

This was an excellent post! Good reminder of the cost of going our own way.

As far as Naomi going to Moab, there is nothing in the context to indicate she went against her own will - in fact, the chapter focusses on where her choices got her. More than likely, it was a decision made by both her and her husband - perhaps he bore the greater responsibility as the leader (his death may have been his chastisement) - though there is nothing at all to indicate she went unwillingly. Even when a husband makes a wrong choice and the wife goes along with it, she is affected by the consequences (think of Abraham and Sarah in Egypt and Gerar).

Genesis 20:16 And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.

Julie's Jewels said...

bro. jerry...thank you for your input about this account of Naomi. My husband and I discussed it as well and we came to the came conclusion as you did.


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