The Mathematics of Sin
"I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. . . ." Ruth 1:21
There are hungers, longings which blind us to the peace of God. It's not a deep, dark, disgusting sin. It's an appetite for an unhealthy solution to our needs. More than once we have come face-to-face with our unholy monster, we've seen this strange god we've given ourselves over to.
We should have given it up long ago, but we didn't. Every time we thought the monster was going to take us down one last time, we made it through by the skin of our teeth only to discover we weren't free from the struggle. Without a Savior, sin will always win.
This verse should be highlighted in the Bible of every believer. It contains the timeless principle of choice and consequence. Whenever one leaves Bethlehem-Judah – the house of bread, the place of praise – and wanders off into Moab, one will always leave full and come back empty.
Sin always brings sorrow and sadness. The new testament equivalent of Ruth 1:21 is Galatians 6:7-8, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, this shall he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption, . . ."
Naomi went through ten years of hell on earth and would carry the scars of the long, hard season for the rest of her life. Her bent, broken and travel-worn, weary body tells the story of her battle with pain and loss. All because she left the land of the living God. Carrying the cares of this world have a way of wearing us down. So great were the struggles of Naomi, that when she arrives, her neighbors don't recognize her.
In the gathering crowd that day were women who had attended Naomi's wedding, there were men who were friends with Elimelech, there were young men who, as boys, had played with Mahlon and Chilion. The townspeople are all around two weeping women. It's a bitter moment.
Sin has its own mathematics. Sin adds to your sorrows, subtracts from your energy, multiples your troubles and divides your loyalty.
If you knew the outcome of your decisions, would you have done it?