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The Book of Ruth: A Love Story

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1 The Book of Ruth: A Love Story
During the chaotic period of the Judges, some Israelites did trust and follow God. The book of Ruth tells of such a family in a humble village outside of Bethlehem. In this book, two people are united — a Jew and a Gentile — to become ancestors of Israel’s great King David. In the dark time of the judges, this tiny love story shines out…

2 Naomi Faces Great Loss (Ruth 1:1-5)
Who was Naomi, and where was her home? Why did her family leave Bethlehem, and where did they go? What happened to Naomi’s two sons?

3 Naomi Faces Great Loss (Ruth 1:1-5)
Why didn’t the Israelites conquer the land of the Moabites? (Deuteronomy 2:9) What happened earlier when the Israelites associated with the Moabites? (Numbers 25:1-3). What other separation from Israel was pronounced on Moab? (Deuteronomy 23:3-6)

4 A Brief History of Moab & the Moabites
Moab’s citizens descended from Abraham’s nephew, Lot, whose incestuous encounter with his older daughter, resulted in the birth of his son Moab. Moses told Israel not to provoke the Moabites, because God had given their land to Lot’s descendants. A Moabite King, Balak, asked Balaam, to curse the Israelites God did not allow the Israelites to be cursed. Nonetheless, the Moabites tried to seduce them into idolatry. Giving in to these temptations produced devastating results for the Israelites then (Numbers 25) and throughout their history. Much later, King David would conquer the Moabites...

5 Naomi Decides to Leave Moab and Ruth Goes With Her (Ruth 1:6-18)
Why did Naomi decide to return to Bethlehem? Why didn’t she want to take her daughters-in-law back with her? What blessings did she give them?

6 The Levirate Law Women at that time needed men to protect and provide for them — either a father, brother, or husband — unless they were independently wealthy. Ruth and Orpah needed such help. Long ago at Mount Sinai God had provided for widows like Naomi and Ruth. At that time God made a law requiring the closest male relative to marry the widow or daughter. This was known as the levirate (the Latin “levir” means “brother-in-law”) marriage law (Deuteronomy 25:5-6).

7 the dead man’s property. Remember this was the time of the judges!!
The Levirate Law Thanks to the levirate law, a woman could have a child to carry on the family name and inheritance. The man required to help a widow in this way was called the kinsman-redeemer. He was a close kinsman (relative) of the family, and he redeemed (brought back) the dead man’s property. Naomi and Ruth’s case presented certain problems: Who would marry an old widow or a foreign woman from Moab? What man would want to purchase and work another’s land only to give it up later when the first boy was born. Remember this was the time of the judges!!

8 Naomi Decides to Leave Moab and Ruth Goes With Her (Ruth 1:6-18)
Why did she think it was pointless for them to go with her? (Deuteronomy 25:5-6) What was Naomi’s attitude toward God and toward her daughters-in-law? How did Ruth and Orpah respond to Naomi? What was Ruth’s response to Naomi and to Naomi’s God?

9 Naomi Returns to Bethlehem (Ruth 1:19-22)
How did the people of Bethlehem react to Naomi’s return? What are the words Naomi used to describe her condition. How was Naomi’s faith affected by the afflictions she suffered? How do you think Ruth’s faith might have been affected?

10 Ruth Finds Food in Boaz’s Field (Ruth 2:1 - 7)
What do the greetings between Boaz and the harvesters tell you about their relationship to God and to one another? What command from God was Ruth relying upon to get food for herself and Naomi and what were the promised blessings for those who obeyed God’s command? (Deuteronomy 24:19)

11 Ruth Finds Favor With Boaz (Ruth 2:8 - 16)
What advice did Boaz give Ruth, and how did he care for her needs? What connection do you see between Boaz’s actions and his words in verse 12? How did Ruth recognize and acknowledge verbally what Boaz had done for her? Although Boaz had not met Ruth before, how did he know her and what did he know about her?

12 Naomi’s Plan (Ruth 2:17 – 3:5)
How was Naomi’s attitude in verses 17-21 different than her attitude in Ruth 1:21? Describe Naomi’s plan and why she believed it was necessary. What was Ruth’s response to Naomi’s plan?

13 The Plan is Successful (Ruth 3:6 – 18)
How and when did Boaz discover Ruth’s presence? Why do you think Ruth asked Boaz to spread the corners of his garment over her? (Ezekiel 16:88) How did Boaz show his approval of Ruth, and how did he accept responsibility for her? How does Naomi’s advice to Ruth in verse 18 apply to us?

14 Ruth and Boaz Are Married (Ruth 4)
When a son was born to Ruth and Boaz, how did the women acknowledge his importance to Naomi? What two things would the baby do for Naomi and how did Naomi respond to him? Boaz had hoped that God would bless and reward Ruth. How that hope was fulfilled? (Ruth 2:12; 3:10; Matthew 1:3-6)

15 Lessons from the Story of Ruth
In this story, Ruth, the foreigner, the outsider, embodies selfless love and devotion. Reminding us that is not about where you come from; it’s about obeying and honoring God. In her selfless love for Naomi, Ruth echoes the faithful love of God for his people. In rescuing Ruth and Naomi from poverty, Boaz embodies another big theme of the Bible, of God’s story—redemption. Redemption means buying someone’ freedom; purchasing a relative from slavery.

16 Lessons from the Story of Ruth
In this book, two people are united — a Jew and a Gentile — to become ancestors of Israel’s great King David, from whom the Messiah would come (Matthew 1:5-16). Ruth’s Moabite background established the truth that the Messiah would not only be the Savior of Israel, but of all people. The redeeming love of Ruth and Boaz leads to David who will rescue Israel and make it great— and even further, such love points to the one who will redeem all people from eternal slavery—Jesus!

17 “…but [Jesus] made himself nothing,
Boaz is called Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer. How is Christ our Kinsman-Redeemer? Jesus, our Kinsman “…but [Jesus] made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:7-8)

18 Boaz is called Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer
Boaz is called Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer. How is Christ our Kinsman-Redeemer? Jesus, our Redeemer “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:18-21)

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