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. I 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? So 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. (Ruth 1:19-22)
Today's Morsel: Do you ever feel as though you are running on empty. My friend and I were returning from Milwaukee and his truck kept beeping saying that we were low on gas. I said, do you think we should stop and get some gas? He pushed a button and said, "We can go thirty more miles." Great faith! Me, if it gets down to a quarter, I'm pulling in the station to fill up. Why is it that once we are filled with the Holy Ghost, we sometimes have a hard time remaining full. Has the Holy Ghost left you, or have you left it? The Lord told Jeremiah, "Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children's children will I plead. For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water"(Jeremiah 2:9-13). Why in the world would anyone choose another God or depart from God? Bethlehem means the city of bread. Even though there was a famine in the land, it was Naomi's husband's own doing to go from the city. Or maybe she talked him into leaving and go to Moab. Some wives have been known to do that! Now she says that she went out full, but returned empty. It amazing how quickly the world will destroy and drain you after you have tasted the fountain of living water and then choose to walk away from it? The world will drain you dry and cause you to be bitter, mad, sad, hurt, sour, unpleasant and very disagreeable. It will make you harsh, cruel, unkind, unsympathetic, ruthless, inconsiderate of others, and unforgiving. Naomi had become cold, uncaring, heartless, and hard. In other words she was saying, "Stay away from me." Let me encourage you today, don't let this world cause you to become bitter and uncaring. Even though your church may seem like it's going through a famine, stay put. As long as the Word of God is being preached, and there is bread and living water there, you can be full. But if you walk away, you may find yourself as the five foolish virgins without any oil when the call comes to meet the bridegroom. You may end up like Naomi, going out full but returning empty.
Sing: Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up Lord, come and quench this thirsting of my soul, bread of heaven, fill me till I want no more, here's my cup, fill it up and make me whole.