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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Book of Ruth Study (Final Discussion)

Book of Ruth Study- Questions

Final Discussion on Book of Ruth

Opening

1. Of which ancestors are you very proud? Of whom were you embarrassed?

2. What would you like to be famous for?

Questions

1.How is the birth of Obed announced? How is Ruth’s selfless devotion celebrated? What is the point of this unusual birth announcement?

2. Why do you think the story of Ruth concludes with a genealogy of David? Why two such genealogies (vv. 17 and 18-22)?

3. In the ancient Near East, genealogies often served in context to connect two people. For instance, the genealogy in verses 18-22 connects David with Perez, the son of Judah and Tamar, who are also mentioned in verse 12. For David and his descendants, who faced numerous challenges to their right to rule, how would this “famous” connection help to legitimize their claims to royalty (see Genesis 49: 8-12)?

4.How would Moabite history (see Genesis 19: 30-38; Numbers 25: 1-3; Deuteronomy 23: 2-4) affect the Israelites, such as David , who are linked to the Moabites? (vv. 13-17; 1 Samuel 22:3-4)?

5. What would someone reading this artful story of David’s roots have to conclude about the righteousness of Ruth and Boaz?

6. Define “providence”. In this story, what evidence do you see for divine providence superseding: (a) Human ingenuity? (b) Cultural prejudice? (c) Marriage and property laws of that day?

Reflection

1. When have you seen God as your kinsman- redeemer like Boaz?

2. Where have you seen the God of Ruth and Boaz act providentially and redemptive on your behalf? Where have you seen the God of Israel and Moab concern himself equally for any and all people who put their trust in him?

3. Who is the “untouchable” Moabite in your life--- the one whom you keep at arm’s length? How will you bridge the gap between you?

4. How would your association with the “Moabites” of today affect your status with your peers? How would that affect your status with the Lord?

5. Who among your friends and relatives suffers: (a) because of their “suspect” associations (e.g. with modern “Moabites”)? (b) Because of their personal emptiness? What will you and your group do (this week) to demonstrate God’s concern for these people?

6. There are two books in the Bible bearing the title of women’s names. Both experienced successful cross-cultural marriages. Is there a lesson to be told with respect to this activity? If so, what?



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