Ruth Study- Week 3

We meet again, after some difficult self-reflection. Our past decisions and current conundrums can be difficult to cope with. However, God offers us not only the testimony of people who have gone before us, but also the hope of redemption even in the worst circumstances. This week we’re in chapter 2 of Ruth, exploring what happens as the women settle into life in Bethlehem.

Here are questions from the Reading Guide with a few extra additions from my own experiences. If you want a copy of the full Reading Guide, pick one up in our Ministry Center at CVUMC or click through to find print versions.

 

Week 3 Reading Guide- Ruth 2

II. Known and Unknown (2:1-23)
A. Portrait of a “worthy” man (2:1-16)
1. “Happening” to find the right field (2:1-7)
2. Boaz “notices” Ruth (2:8-16)
B. “Kindness” has not forsaken living or dead (2:17-23)

  • Who in our world faces the same kinds of problems as Naomi and Ruth? (lack of resources, gleaning from others, living on charity without employment) Consider both local and global communities.
  • What would have happened to Ruth if Israel had an immigration policy? Does this challenge or affirm your view on modern immigration laws? Explain.
    • How do you co-mingle your faith and your political stances? (keep it civil friends!)
  • Read 2:8-16 How does Boaz protect Ruth as she works?
    • Do you consider Boaz to be a respectable man, as he is named in verse 1? What are his motivations for acting as he does towards Ruth?
  • Boaz, regardless of motivation is used by God for redemption. When has circumstance allowed you to act as God’s agent for redemption?

 

This week, pray for those who do not have enough. Record any thoughts as you pray for the following:

  • for redemption
  • for resources
  • for relationships that can relieve the poverty

 

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Ruth Study- Week 2

Welcome back! I hope you’ve enjoyed slowly tiptoeing into the Book of Ruth. This week lets get right into the text of chapter 1.

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Here are questions from the Reading Guide with a few extra additions from my own experiences. If you want a copy of the full Reading Guide, pick one up in our Ministry Center at CVUMC or click through to find print versions.

Week 2 Reading Guide- Ruth 1

I. Turn, Turn, Turn (1:1-22)
A. Turning Away (1:1-5)
B. Turning Back (1:6-22)
1. “Return to your mother’s house” (1:6-14)
2. “Don’t tell me to turn my back on you!” (1:15-18)
3. Turning bitter (1:19-22)

  • Naomi loses husband, 2 sons, and all hope for a family to preserve their estate and their future. Have you ever experienced great losses in a short amount of time? How did you react? Who did you turn to for help or comfort?
  • Reread 1:6-22 knowing the conversation stems from grief and fear. Describe the two daughters’ reactions in your own words.
    • Orpah
    • Ruth
      • Whom do you identify more with? Why?
      • How does God begin to bring redemption and joy to their griefs?

 

Prayer

How can you pray for redeeming joy and love in your overwhelming situations? Write your prayers and griefs that you are handing over to God:

  • Personal life
  • Community
  • Family
  • World

Blessings to you all as you study and grow in God’s grace.

Ruth Study- Week 1

Welcome,

Each week I’ll have a video teaching, a copy of the study questions, and some added thoughts for discussion. I’ll check the comments a few times a week to see how discussions are progressing. Offer whatever you like- brief self-introduction, questions, answers, or related thoughts and stories. Please note this is a public site, so be prudent in how you share things or how much of your personal information goes public.
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  • Whether recent or long-forgotten, we all experience change, transition, or loss of identity. Some can identify directly with the women in this story, losing a spouse or a child. Others may have gone without, living with hunger, fear, poverty. But even the smallest transition changes who we are a bit. Job, home, friends, school, even the change of routines with the change of season. I remember grieving when my favorite coffee shop closed… change. When have you had cause to doubt who you are? How did you respond?
  • “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). I cannot be what I was before. I must be something new. Can I allow more of God in me? Ask yourself what that means to have more of God in you.
  • What do you anticipate as the theme of this book? If you’ve read it before, what do you love or hate about the story?

One of my favorite parts of Ruth is the ambiguity. I probably should have warned you sooner, but Hebrew is not simple. Nor is it precise. Original manuscripts have no vowels. Scribes have prayerfully done their best to estimate the best word. And translators do their best to go from Hebrew to Greek or Latin or German or French or English or Korean or whatever language is needed. My husband is a scholar of Hebrew and he snickers when I ask for translations, often giving me the most blunt terms which I then have to eloquently weave into narrative. All this is to say that sometimes we don’t know what the intent was, and it’s to our best benefit to try all the possibilities, and then zero in on what best fits the love and work of God in our world.
To get your own study guide, click through to this post and print or save your preference

Reading Guide- Ruth Bible Study

It’s finally here! This summer, I hope you’re ready to study with me as we read through the book of Ruth and explore what it means to have all our worst experiences used for God’s best. Ruth presents an amazing study of resilience, dependence on God even before fully understanding faith, and the messy history of Jesus’ family tree.

Below, you will find 2 pdf copies of our reading guide for the summer.

This is a copy if you intend to print the study as a booklet. (print 2 sided-flip on short edge)  Ruth Reading Guide

This is a copy if you intend to read it online or save it to a device. The pages are in order for reading straight through.  Ruth Online Reading Guide

Either way, I hope you’ll join in this week as we get started. Whether you’re from my congregation or friends from afar, you’re welcome to study with us through these 6 weeks, or catch up later when you stumble across these posts. First lesson will be up TONIGHT! (6/19/17)