Weekly Word Definition – Empty

“Empty,” adjective meaning void, etc., as the translation of rēḳām, etc., occurs in the literal sense of “with nothing” (Genesis 31:42; Job 22:9); in 2 Samuel 1:22, it is equivalent to “in vain,” “hungry” (Isaiah 29:8); in some instances the meaning is comparative only; bāḳaḳ, “to gush out,” “to pour out,” “to empty” is used adjectivally (Hosea 10:1, “Israel is an empty vine”; but the Revised Version (British and American) takes the Hebrew word in its original sense of “pouring out,” rendering “Israel is a luxuriant vine”); tohu, “emptiness” (Job 26:7); kenós, “empty” is so translated (Mark 12:3); in Matthew 12:44, the Greek word is scholázō, “to be free,” “unoccupied”; “to empty” (verb) is the translation of bāḳaḳ (Nahum 2:2), of dālal, “to become poor,” etc. (Isaiah 19:6, the English Revised Version “minished,” the American Standard Revised Version “diminished”). The Revised Version (British and American) has “empty” for “vain” (Eph. 5:6), “emptied himself” for “made himself of no reputation” (Phil. 2:7), “emptied out” for “gathered” (2 Kings 22:9; 2 Chron. 34:17, margin “poured out”). The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

  1. Containing nothing; not filled or occupied:
  2. Lacking meaning or sincerity
  3. Having no value or purpose
  4. Hungry

“An empty heart is a lonely place” fill it with the Holy Spirit and you will never again be alone.

I remember back in the early 90’s, I was on my way home to my family after being gone for seven- and one-half months. We had already left our last port (Rota, Spain) and we were not due to pull into port again for another ten days.

In our haste to get out of Spain, we had not taken the time to hand out the mail that was picked up there. That afternoon, there was mail. I had been below decks when the letter came. It was a letter from my Mother-in-law (mom).

I always looked forward to my letters from mom. She always had a way of lifting my spirits, though she never even knew I had a problem.

This time was going to be different. Her letter this time was to tell me she had cancer. She had been battling cancer for several months but had withheld the news to keep me from worrying while I was deployed. She only lasted a few days after I got home. She passed in her sleep.

I wasn’t a Christian at that time. I didn’t have God in my heart, now mom was gone. The person that had kept me sane, lifted me up when I was down, gave me advise when I needed it, and gave me almost as much as my wife. She was gone.

Can you imagine how empty I felt at that moment? Can you imagine having to go through something of this nature without God?

That was the perfect example of “Empty.”

Also, the Sons of the Foreigner

“Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants– Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant.”

Isaiah 56:6 (NKJV)

When I was in the Navy, my wife made sure I got off the ship in every port and had some fun. Her rule was, I had to buy her a coffee cup in every port my ship pulled into. Needless to say, my wife had lots of cups from Naples Italy.

One day I was with about ten other guys and we were just looking through the shops in Barcelona, Spain. One of the men turned to me and stated, “I wish these foreigners would speak English.” The merchant looked at us and stated, “You do.”

As Americans, we sometimes forget that we are foreigners when we are in a place where no one knows us. Even if I went back to the town where I was raised in Arkansas, I would be a foreigner because no one there has seen me in fifty years.

As Americans, we have the mindset that “foreigners” are people who are not Americans. To the Jews, a foreigner is someone who is not a Jew.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  1. A person belonging to or owing to a foreign country.
  2. Chiefly dialectal: one not native to a place or community

One time when my ship stopped in Barcelona, three of my friends and I decided to find a small bar (I wasn’t a Christian then) and have some fun. We found such a place deep into the community.

When we entered, there was only the girl behind the bar and an elderly man sitting at one of the tables. It was my turn to buy, so I went to the bar and the others sat down at a table. I managed to tell the girl what I wanted by pointing and holding up four fingers.

The girl motioned for me to go to the table and she brought us our drinks. When the girl arrived at the table, one of the guys had taken his camera out and was taking pictures of the inside of the bar.

The girl promptly sat in my lap and indicated through hand gestures that he should take her picture in my lap. She then sat in each of the others’ laps and got her picture taken.

That afternoon we all had some good clean fun, we and the people in the bar laughed along with us and when we started to leave, there was no tab to be paid. Tell me, who were the foreigners that day?

African American Family studying bible together

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.

Romans 3:21-22 (NKJV)

Notice that Paul didn’t say the name of any denomination, creed, color, or gender of people. Paul stated those who believe. That does not include those who attended some class to become a member of the church, was anointed by a priest as a baby, or pretend to be a believer so they can gain status in the community.

God (through Paul) stated that anyone who believes and continues to believe until they look like Christ. Those are the ones who will become the “righteousness of God.”