Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Book of Ruth Study (Chapter 1)
Book of Ruth Study- Questions
Chapter 1 Opening Discussion
1. What was the economic climate like for the family in which you were raised?
2. When have you felt quite alone in the world, or most cared for? Explain
Chapter 1 Questions
1. What is the climate of the times for Naomi?
What personal disasters befall her? vv 1-5
2. Without husband or sons, what crisis is Naomi facing (vv 11-13)?
In a male-dominated, pre-welfare age, how important would male relatives be for widows?
3. What ethnic enmity complicates prospects for her daughters-in-law?
Why this hatred of the Moabites?
(See Genesis 19:30-38; Numbers 25:1-3; Deuteronomy 23:2-4)
4. Given the social problems facing these widows, why do you think Naomi tells Ruth and Orpah to return to their families?
Orpah returns to her family, while Ruth remains with Naomi; both do so out of loyalty. Which action was most surprising? Most expected? Why?
5. Both Ruth (vv. 16-17) and Naomi (vv20-21) confess God’s sovereign control of events, each in her own way. What truth does each convey of God? Of themselves? Of their success in coping with stress? Which confession do you think would startle the original readers most? Why?
Chapter 1 Reflection
1. Like Ruth, have you ever had to cross over to another ethnic or cultural group? Were you able to assimilate, or did you remain a stranger?
2. What kinds of groups do you feel like a stranger among? (On what basis: Social class? Race? Creed? Politics? Past hurts?)
3. Like Ruth, have you embraced God’s people as your own, forever? (Or have you settled in with a church?)
4. What has been stressful for you this year? Did you cope like Naomi, Orpah, or Ruth? How so?
5. Who in your life is like Ruth, who is loyal to you in your emptiness? How can you be like Ruth to someone else in their desolation?