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Day 2: Empty

‘Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food. Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.” So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, “Is this Naomi?” She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?” ‘So Naomi returned from the country of Moab, and with her Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law. And they arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.’

Ruth 1:6,12-13,19-22 (ESV)

We see Naomi lamenting over her circumstances. She is obviously feeling alone and like the Lord has abandoned her. She remembers leaving Bethlehem with her family intact- a husband and 2 sons. She decides to return to Bethlehem and urges her daughters in law to return to their own homes. Orpah decides to go back but Ruth says to her: “Do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord do the same to me [as He has done to you], and more also, if anything but death separates me from you.” ‘Ruth 1:16-17,22 (AMP)

Right away we start to see that this faithfulness from Ruth is not something transient but that it has been birthed in Ruth towards Naomi by the spirit of God. Even though Naomi is feeling empty the Lord has been providing for her all along. We begin to see the evidence unfolding in Ruth’s loyalty for Naomi but mainly because it is evident that Ruth is being loyal to God. She is clinging to God so then she must also cling to Naomi. We can see that Ruth has been transformed by the love of God through Naomi and she is not okay with returning to her life as before. She must know what the faithfulness of God will bring to her life next. Naomi is not able to visualize this yet, but the Lord has provided this young woman to love her in such a way that Naomi will soon see what he has in store for them. 

Are you feeling desolate and weary? Maybe you have lost sight of the one who is walking every step of the way with you and instead you have begun to rely on your own understanding and provision. You are invited today to take time to stop striving and examine your heart before the Lord. As you examine your heart and motives know that he will not renounce his love for you but instead is waiting to pick up where you left off. Will you take time to bring your emptiness to his feet? As you lay it down will you bring to mind his character? He is completely faithful to you.

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