What does it say?
- Read Ruth 1
- When do the events of Ruth take place? (HERE is a short introduction to the book to help think about the timeline)
- What characters are mentioned?
- How are they described?
- What locations are mentioned?
- Where are Elimelech and Naomi sojourning?
- Where have they come from?
- What hardships has Naomi endured?
- Why does Naomi return to Bethlehem? (verse 6)
What does it mean?
- How does Naomi describe God?
- What does this reveal about what she believes about God?
- Is she right to feel that God is against her?
- Why does Naomi urge her daughters-in-law to return to their mothers' houses?
- Why would it be difficult for Ruth or Orpa to stay with Naomi and go to Israel?
- Were you surprised that Ruth "clung" to Naomi? Why/Why not?
- What do you think motivated Ruth to stay with Naomi?
- What does this say about Ruth's faith?
- How do you see God's providence at work in the story of Ruth so far?
How should it change us?
- How should suffering affect someone's attitude towards God?
- Have you ever felt like Naomi did? (Bitter? Empty? Afflicted?)
- How did you respond?
- How did you see God work in your situation?
- What can you learn from Ruth's faith?
- How does your own testimony relate to what Ruth says in verses 16 and 17?
- What's something in your life that you need to leave behind in order to follow God?