Esther & Ruth Bible Study- Ruth Chapter One Discussion

Ruth 1 16-17 verseHello Divas! Thank you so much for joining us for our Spring/Summer Bible Study Series… “Ruth & Esther”.  Need more information about our study?  Go HERE.  Session one of our series is focused on the book of Ruth, chapters one and two.  Each week, at least one discussion post will be available with additional “food for thought questions”.

The book of Ruth is a fabulous short story that is completely ready to become a lifetime movie. There is a great plot, masterful character development, high-drama dialogues and a girl-gets-a-prince conflict resolution.

In chapter one, we are introduced to a family….(Hum the Brady Bunch Tune as you read)

Here’s the story of a lovely lady (Naomi) who was married to a man named Elimelech.
With two sons, living all together, in Beth-le-hem. 
Till one day when a famine hit the la-nd
so they moved to a town called Moab.

Right after they mov-ed, Eli-me-lech di-ed
and they were all alone.
Naomi’s sons married Moab women…..Orpah and Ruth

This group, became a new family…………

At this point in the story, you would hardly find Naomi, her sons, Orpah and Ruth smiling and waving at each other like the Bradys did each week at the beginning of the show.  Moab was no place for Israelites.  The Moabs worshiped various Gods and it would have been hard not to assimilate into the culture to some degree.  Naomi’s sons married Moab women which had been deemed illegal by Moses.  As if being in a strange land was not enough, Naomi’s sons both died and she was left a widow with no heirs because her son’s wives did not have children. Naomi was left with two Moabite daughter-in-laws…Orpah and Ruth. 

Widows in those ancient times lost all social, political and economic status. Without a male to protect and provide for them, widows were completely dependent on society.

With nothing left, Noami decided to return to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-laws.

After a great deal of urging by Naomi and a lot of tears from them all, Orpah decided to return to her family in Moab.  Ruth pledged her allegiance to Naomi and to God saying these famous words: 

“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17

At the close of the chapter one, Naomi and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem and their presence has caused a gossip buzz around town. When the women in town spoke to Naomi, she told them to stop calling her Naomi which means pleasant, and begin to call her Mara instead which means bitter. In verse 21 Ruth cried out that the Lord had afflicted her.

With no dramatic pause the chapter ends with this final verse:  So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning. (Ruth 1:22)

The chapter started with famine and ended with a harvest…sounds just like my GOD!

Food for thought questions:

1. Can you describe the turmoil Naomi must have been feeling because of all that had happened to her?

2. What is the most traumatic thing/event that has happened to you over the last six months? Did you have a “Ruth” to “go with you” during your hard time?

Homework for this week:  Read Ruth 1&2, complete the “Session One” discussion questions located in the “Ruth & Esther Bible Study Handout”

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