Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

God Blesses Ruth


Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - David Confesses and God Forgives (2 Samuel 11:26-12:13)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Opening Prayer

The Time of the Judges (Judges 2:10-23)
    What law did Moses give to the Israelites about the people who lived in the Promised Land?
      Deuteronomy 7:2-3 = Destroy them, do not intermarry
    Why was this important?
      Deuteronomy 7:4 = They'll lead you away from God and He will punish you
    How well did the Israelites remember and follow this command?
      Judges 3:5-6 = Lived among other nations & intermarried & served their gods

    How did God handle this?
      Judges 2:14-15 = He punished with raiders & let enemies defeat them
    How did God respond to Israel's cries? = Shophet - director, governor, savior, judge
      Judges 2:16 = He raised up judges to save them
    Did the judges have a lasting effect on Israel's faithfulness?
      Judges 2:19 = After the judge died, they returned to evil & became more corrupt

    Other than following other gods, did the people of Israel at least live good and moral lives?
      Judges 21:25 = In those days ... everyone did as he saw fit - evil times

Elimelech's Family From Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1-5)
    What do we learn about Elimelech and his family? = E - My God is king, N - pleasant
      Ruth 1:1-2 = Moved to Moab from Bethlehem (Ephrath) during famine (Gideon's time?)
    What happened to this family in Moab?
      Ruth 1:3-5 = Sons married Moabite women, all 3 men died
    Besides the command not to intermarry, what other problem did Moabites in the family present?
      Deuteronomy 23:3 = Descendants would be excluded for 10 generations

Going Home (Ruth 1:5-13)
    Did Naomi stay in Moab the rest of her life?
      Ruth 1:6-7 = No, she returned when she heard there was food in Judah
    What did Naomi remember along the road?
      Ruth 1:8-9 = That Orpah & Ruth were from Moab, not Judah - sent them back
    How did Naomi use logic to send these daughters-in-law of ten years back home?
      Ruth 1:10-13 = There were no more husbands for them through Naomi
    What was this levirate marriage that Naomi was referring to?
      Deuteronomy 25:5-6 (5-10) = Widows were to marry brother-in-law to carry on name

Where You Go I Will Go (Ruth 1:14-22)
    How well did this sensible logic work in getting these women to leave their mother-in-law?
      Ruth 1:14-15 = Orpah reluctantly left, but Ruth wouldn't leave
    How did Ruth respond to Naomi's urging that has become a famous phrase of devotion?
      Ruth 1:16-17 = She wouldn't leave the woman nor God she had met and loved

    How did Naomi respond to Ruth's stubbornness?
      Ruth 1:18-19 = She saw Ruth was truly dedicated so she let her come along
    How happy was Naomi to see her friends after so many years? = Mara - bitter
      Ruth 1:20-21 = She was too bitter about how God had mistreated her

What About Food? (Ruth 2:1-3)
    How would two poor widows find food in Bethlehem? = Barley harvest was in the spring
      Ruth 1:22, 2:2 = Glean (left-behind grain) the barley fields (only poor ate barley)
    How would she be able to find a field where the owner would let her glean?
      Leviticus 23:22 = Farmers were commanded by God to leave grain for poor to glean

Harvest Steps
    Harvesting grain in ancient Canaan took place in April and May (barley first, wheat a few weeks later)
    1. Men cut ripened standing grain with hand sickles or pulled out of ground
    2. Women bound the grain into sheaves
    3. Gleaning - Stalks left behind were gathered
    4. Sheaves were transported to the threshing floor - usually by donkey, sometimes by cart
    5. Threshing - The grain was loosened from the straw by treading of cattle,
      by toothed threshing sledges or by the wheels of carts
    6. Winnowing - Grain tossed in air so afternoon wind would blow away straw and chaff
    7. Sifting - Grain was sifted to remove any leftover chaff, dirt, etc.
    8. Grain was bagged for transportation and storage

A Friendly Relative (Ruth 2:3-16)
    Whose field did Ruth happen to glean in?
      Ruth 2:3 = Boaz, a wealthy relative of her father-in-law's
    Was it entirely by chance that Ruth happened upon Boaz's field?
      Proverbs 20:24 = A man's steps are directed by the Lord - God led her there

    What did Boaz do when he learned that Ruth was gleaning in his field?
      Ruth 2:4-9 = He offered her protection and refreshment
    Did Boaz normally do this for strangers coming into his fields? = Ruth stayed humble & thankful
      Ruth 2:10-13 = No, he did it in response to her reputation and what she had done
    How else did Boaz go out of his way to help this poor Ruth?
      Ruth 2:14-16 = Fed her lunch, told harvesters to leave grain for her

A Fruitful First Day (Ruth 2:17-23)
    What did Naomi think of what Ruth was able to bring home that first evening?
      Ruth 2:17-19a = Someone nice obviously helped her to get so much
    Did Naomi know who Boaz was? = Kinsman-redeemer was in line for levirate marriage
      Ruth 2:19b-20 = Yes, Ruth apparently didn't until now
    Did Boaz's kindness to Ruth go beyond the first day?
      Ruth 2:21-23 = Yes, she gleaned in Boaz's fields through the barley & wheat harvests

Naomi's Concern (Ruth 3:1-6)
    What was Naomi's concern as harvest and their source of food were ending?
      Ruth 3:1 = Not that she would be without food, but that Ruth needed a home
    What idea did Naomi come up with to solve this problem?
      Ruth 3:2-4 = For Ruth to lay at Boaz's feet at night like a servant
    What did Ruth think about such a strange suggestion?
      Ruth 3:5-6 = She obediently did whatever Naomi told her

Boaz's Surprise (Ruth 3:7-18)
    How did Ruth explain her actions when Boaz woke up and found her there?
      Ruth 3:7-9 = She was asking Boaz to redeem her, share garment meant ownership
    How did Boaz respond to this request by the young Ruth?
      Ruth 3:10-13 = He was impressed by her uprightness, promised to get her redeemed
    How else did Boaz show concern for Ruth that night?
      Ruth 3:14-15 = Let her stay the night, sent her before recognizable, sent with food
    What did Naomi think of what Boaz had done and promised?
      Ruth 3:16-18 = She knew Boaz was a man of his word and would resolve it that day

The Kinsman-Redeemer (Ruth 4:1-5)
    What was the first thing Boaz did that morning? = Town gate was center of important activity
      Ruth 4:1 = Went to the town gate to catch the kinsman-redeemer when he walked by
    Why else was it important for Boaz to be at the town gate?
      Deuteronomy 25:7-10 = It was where the elders were & where a k-r would say no

    What did Boaz present to the kinsman-redeemer and how did he reply?
      Ruth 4:2-4 = There was land to be redeemed, He said yes
    What Jewish law was Boaz referring to?
      Leviticus 25:25 = Land was to stay in the family, relatives were to buy (redeem)
    What treasure came with the land that Boaz tried to present as a liability?
      Ruth 4:5 = The widow of the man to whom the property belonged
    What parable of Jesus might Boaz's action remind you of?
      Matthew 13:44 = Man who finds a treasure, hides it again and buys the field

Always a Catch (Ruth 4:6-12)
    How did the kinsman-redeemer respond to this catch?
      Ruth 4:6-8 = He backs out of the deal and tells Boaz to buy the land
    How long did Boaz wait before laying claim to this land and Ruth?
      Ruth 4:9-10 = He immediately formalizes his claim
    How did the elders and witnesses accept Boaz's claim? = Israelites came from Rachel & Leah
      Ruth 4:11-12 = They offer marriage blessings, Bethlehemites came from Perez's line

Naomi and the World are Blessed (Ruth 4:13-22)
    Besides being paid for the land, how else was Naomi blessed through Ruth's marriage to Boaz?
      Ruth 4:13-16 = She was given a grandson to carry the family name

    Though interesting, what made Ruth's story important enough to become part of the Scripture?
      Ruth 4:17 = Boaz and Ruth's son Obed was David's grandfather
    What other important Bible character descended from Ruth?
      Matthew 1:1 = Jesus Christ

Jesus' Ancestry (Matthew 1:11-17)
    How could God allow a non-Jew to taint Jesus' ancestry? Were there any others?
      Matthew 1:5 (Joshua 6) = Boaz's ancestor was Rahab - Canaanite prostitute at Jericho
    Were there any other scandalous women in Jesus' ancestry? = Tamar was Perez's mother
      Matthew 1:3 (Genesis 38) = Tamar posed as a prostitute to trick father-in-law Judah
    Are any other women mentioned in Jesus' family tree? = Next week's lesson
      Matthew 1:6 (2 Samuel 11) = Bathsheba; David had husband Urriah killed to get her

    What does this tainted ancestry remind us?
      Galatians 3:26-29 = Jesus came to save the world, we are all heirs of Abraham
    Who is our kinsman-redeemer?
      Galatians 4:4-7 = Jesus, sent by God specifically to redeem us

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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