Old Testament Studies Book of Ruth Introduction: Ruth was written during the time of the Judges.

Early in this story we are introduced to a broken-hearted mother in Israel who had lost almost everything of value in this life. It is at this place of devastation where the story begins. The Word of God brings to us a real story like this to teach us how to understand life¶s perplexities. We are very human with hearts that can be broken and the woman we are about to consider was just so and in her great distress and despair, God met her and blessed her. God¶s work in the hearts of those who trust in Him is a marvelous and precious thing. God, a long time ago, had a message of great importance to a young convert. The message was this«. I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake." Why is there suffering for those who trust in Christ? In Romans 8:17 we read ³if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.´ Although it is hard for us to understand, suffering according to the will of God is a stepping stone to glorification. In Philippians 1:29 we read this ³For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake«.´ Suffering according to the will of God is granted as a privilege worthy of the Lord we serve. God has granted suffering to us to draw us closer and closer to the Lord we love. In 1 Peter 4:19 we read, ³Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.´ In this verse we learn how to respond to suffering according to the will of God. The instruction here touches the heart does it not? What a blessing to experience suffering that may be beyond our ability to stop, or amend. The suffering may be deep and overwhelming and may feel like death, but what does the one who trusts in Christ do? The saints commend their very soul to God, who alone knows what we need and who alone is worthy of all our trust. The purpose in this is to increase our faith and dependence upon God. Often, we will find at the outset of suffering that we may feel some bitterness or may resent the trial. This should serve to remind us, how needful this suffering is for the improvement of our soul. In this story before us, when the fiery trial fell upon Naomi, she said, ³call me not Naomi´ (Naomi means pleasant or delightful), call me Mara (meaning bitter), for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. Little did Naomi know how much God would bless her. All her overwhelming sorrows would end by the God of grace and compassion and the blessings would eclipse all the sorrows and replace them with such joy. No One teaches us joy better than the Lord Himself. Remember the Man of Sorrows, who was acquainted with grief has carried your sorrows« and ³for the joy before Him endured the cross´ for you and for me«.. David says, ³weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning«..´ for the believer there will be a morning and the promise of fullness of joy in the presence of the One who is the lover of your soul. Please read Ruth chapter 1 and answer the following question in preparation for our discussion: 1. What motivated Elimelech and Naomi to move to Moab and what did they hope to gain by the move? Ruth 1:1 2. The land of Israel was described by God as a land the ³flowed with milk and honey.´ What might have been the cause for the famine? See Leviticus 26:19-20

Jesus spoke of repentance in Matthew 9:13. When Elimelech and Naomi left Israel what were the spiritual consequences? See Numbers 33:51-54. Ruth 1:11-13. In Ruth 1:6 we read that Naomi ³had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread. What does sin lead to? Ruth 1:3. What was her testimony of God during her affliction? Verses 20-21 10. Why did Naomi want to change her name to Mara? Ruth 1:20-21 6. Despite Naomi¶s bitter words against Him. Ruth 1:4.5 and Romans 6:23 13. What do we learn about God in leading us to repentance? Romans 2:4 . What does this verse and Ruth chapter one teach us about the nature of repentance? 12. How long did Naomi sojourn in Moab before she decided to go home to Bethlehem and what does this indicate to us about decisions in our lives? Ruth 1:4 5. Acts 20:21 15. God was moving to bring Naomi to repentance and Ruth to salvation. God was going to bless Naomi. Ruth 1:15 4. 20-21 14. What does repentance lead us to? Acts 5:30-31.´ Just think how the LORD worked in a marvelous way to make sure Naomi heard of His blessings. There must have been a long chain of communication that brought this message of hope to Naomi¶s ears. What clues do we have that Naomi had testified to Ruth and Orpah about the true God of Israel? Verse 16-17 9. Nehemiah 13:23-27. In verses 715 we read of Naomi¶s advice to her daughter-in-laws? Was Naomi¶s advice good and why do you think this? 7.3. What was the first step of repentance in Naomi¶s life? (repentance means to turn back) See verse 7 11. How does bitterness in the life of a believer affect our testimony? Hebrews 12:15. but she could not see it because of her suffering. Why did Ruth decline to follow Naomi¶s advice? Verses 16-17 8.

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