The birth of Jesus means you always have a place to belong.
How does the story of Ruth’s life apply to the story of your life?
For the Next Lesson: Ruth 1:1-18
1.Read verses 1-5. Where did Elimelech and his family go, and why did they go there? What happened when they got there? Considering the culture of the time, why is this situation so desperate? What do you think was going through the minds of each of these three women? Do you think this country’s origin (see Genesis 19:30-38) has any bearing on this situation or the message of this book?
2.Read verses 6-10. What Naomi did plan to do in response to their situation, and what had Naomi heard that influenced these plans? What was Naomi’s intent and hope for her daughters-in-law? How did Ruth and Orpah respond? What about their response sticks out to you?
3.Read verses 11-14. How would you summarize Naomi’s words to Orpah and Ruth? How did Orpah respond? How did Ruth respond? Do you think you would have responded like Orpah or like Ruth? Why? Is either of their responses right or wrong? Why?
4.Read verses 15-18. What did Naomi say next to Ruth? How many times has Naomi encouraged Ruth to remain in Moab (see vv. 8, 11, 15)? What did Ruth say to Naomi in response? What stands out most to you about Ruth’s response? Why do you think Ruth responded this way? What does this teach us about Ruth’s character? What does this teach us about Ruth’s faith? What was Ruth giving up to go with Naomi back to Israel?
5.So what. How would you describe Naomi’s view of God from this account (see vv. 6, 8-9, 13, 15)? Do you believe Ruth’s response to Naomi in vv. 16-17 was in part motivated by her (Ruth’s) view of God? Why or why not? How does your personal view of God influence how you respond difficult and challenging situations in your life? What challenges or encourages you most about Ruth and her example? What are you willing, or perhaps unwilling, to give up to follow Jesus?