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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book of Ruth Study (Chapter 2)

Book of Ruth Study- Questions

Chapter 2 Opening Discussion

1. Have you ever worked on a farm? What was it like?

2. Have you ever been part of a harvest? What was it like?

Chapter 2 Questions

1. What signs of hope do you see as this chapter opens? (vv. 1-3;also 1:22)
As it is harvest time, how long until Naomi and Ruth can grow their own food? In the meantime, how will they meet their most pressing need?

2. What initiatives do Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz and his men take to meet this need? What does that say about the character of the mother-daughter bond? The owner-harvester rapport? The Hebrew- Moabite fear? The man-woman chemistry?

3. What hope is awakened at the close of this chapter? (vv. 20-22) What law about “gleanings” is Boaz heeding? (See Leviticus 19:9-10)
What role does a “kinsman redeemer” play in providing an heir for a brother who had died?(see Deuteronomy 25: 5-10)
In redeeming a relative sold into slavery? (See Leviticus 25:47-49)
Redeeming land sold outside the family? (4:34 see Leviticus 25:25-28)
Or avenging the murder of a relative? (See Numbers 35:19ff, where “avenger” means “kinsman redeemer”)
Which of these regulations directly affect the situation Ruth and Naomi find themselves in?

4. Do you think Naomi dares to hope in any of these provisions?(v. 20)
Or is she still feeling like “Mara”? (1:20-21) How has this change been brought about? What does this reveal about the power of God’s love? What does it reveal about Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz?

5. Given the sad state of Israel- Moab relations (See Genesis 19:30-38; Numbers 25:1-3), what surprising turn of events would the original readers see in this chapter?
How does Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi (vv.11-12, 23), and Boaz’s loyalty to Ruth, defy the historical prejudices of the original readers? How does their loyalty reflect the Lord’s?

Chapter 2 Reflection

1. What mechanisms does your country have for coping with the hungry and the homeless? What is your view of beggars? Of welfare programs?

2. If you suddenly had no means of supporting yourself, do you think your reaction would be like Orpah (and do what was expected of you)? Like Ruth (simple, humbling action)? Or like Naomi (with some bitterness creeping in)? Why?

3. When have you shared Naomi’s experience of God using a Ruth to show his kindness to you(as in vv. 11, 12, 20)? How did this unmerited act of kindness change you?

4. Whom do you know that needs to be reminded that God still loves them? What will you do today to demonstrate such love?

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