February - 24 - Saturday

I went out full, and the LORD has brought me home again empty.
Ruth 1, 21

These were the words uttered by the widow Naomi on her return to Israel after living for some years in the foreign country of Moab. It was a shocking confession before the inhabitants of Bethlehem. But it was honest! It testified that God had worked in her heart to bring her blessing, peace and genuine joy. The words of her confession revealed her own exercise of heart, but they were also an acknowledgement of God’s working.

“I went out full.” Looking back, Naomi realized the reality of the situation. She had left Bethlehem with her family because of the famine there. But what was that compared with the loss of her husband and her two sons that ensued? And how she felt the burden of having lost her trust in God’s promises!

“I went.” The biblical report tells us that her husband Elimelech took the initiative. But she didn’t blame him; she recognized her own responsibility and failure in her action. That was imperative for full restoration.

“The LORD has brought me home empty.” Such an admission still proves true today. Going one’s own way in order to avoid difficulties will always end in disaster. That was Naomi’s bitter experience. But as soon as she found her way back, she owned that her return into the sphere of blessing was the LORD’s work.

If you have got away from the Lord, trying to escape from His corrective dealing, turn back, put things in order and confess all before Him! He will restore you and renew the blessing.