Sermon Bible Study Guides

in Ruth

Ruth 4 - 24th December 2021

OBSERVATION
What does it say?

  1. Read Ruth 4.
  2. What characters are mentioned? How are they described?
  3. Who gathers at the "gate" of Bethlehem?
  4.  How does Boaz describe the role of the elders and people gathered? (v. 9-11)
  5. What is the initial response of the unnamed redeemer? (v. 4)
    1. Why does he change his mind? (v. 6)

INTERPRETATION
What does it mean?

  1. What do you think is significant about meeting at the city gate?
    1. Read Genesis 23:10-18 and Deuteronomy 25:7
    2. What do these passages tell us about the kinds of things that happen at city gates?
  2. What is so significant about what Boaz does?
    1. How does the unnamed Redeemers reluctance help us to understand the cost to Boaz?
    2. How does the generosity of Boaz here point us to Jesus' costly generosity towards sinners?
  3. In verse 14, the women remark that the Lord has not left Naomi.
    1. How have things changed since Naomi entered Bethlehem at the end of chapter 1?
    2. Why do you think the author of this book includes all these things about Naomi?
    3. What does this teach us about God and how He works in the world?
  4. If you have time, look back at Genesis 38.
    1. How does Ruth 4 connect with Genesis 38?
    2. Compare and contrast the book of Ruth with the story of Judah and Tamar. 
    3. How do you see God's faithfulness in the book of Ruth to "perpetuate the name" of Judah, despite Judah's immorality?

APPLICATION
How should it change us?

  1. What's one significant thing that you've learned or applied through studying the book of Ruth?
  2. Think again about Jesus' costly generosity towards sinners like us.
    1. We cannot repay Him for this, so how can we respond?
  3. How does the kindness of Boaz and the love of Ruth spur you on to show God's love and kindness to others?
    1. What are one or two practical ways that you can show loving-kindness to someone this week?
    2. How should this love and kindness shape our church?
Some questions are adapted from Christopher Ash, Teaching Ruth and Esther: From Text to Message
in Ruth

Ruth 1 - 3rd December 2021

OBSERVATION
What does it say?

  1. Read Ruth 1
  2. When do the events of Ruth take place? (HERE is a short introduction to the book to help think about the timeline)
  3. What characters are mentioned?
    1. How are they described?
  4. What locations are mentioned?
    1. Where are Elimelech and Naomi sojourning?
    2. Where have they come from?
  5. What hardships has Naomi endured?
  6. Why does Naomi return to Bethlehem? (verse 6)

INTERPRETATION
What does it mean?

  1. How does Naomi describe God?
    1. What does this reveal about what she believes about God?
    2. Is she right to feel that God is against her?
  2. Why does Naomi urge her daughters-in-law to return to their mothers' houses?
    1. Why would it be difficult for Ruth or Orpa to stay with Naomi and go to Israel?
  3. Were you surprised that Ruth "clung" to Naomi? Why/Why not?
    1. What do you think motivated Ruth to stay with Naomi?
    2. What does this say about Ruth's faith?
  4. How do you see God's providence at work in the story of Ruth so far?

APPLICATION
How should it change us?

  1. How should suffering affect someone's attitude towards God?
  2. Have you ever felt like Naomi did? (Bitter? Empty? Afflicted?)
    1. How did you respond?
    2. How did you see God work in your situation?
  3. What can you learn from Ruth's faith?
    1. How does your own testimony relate to what Ruth says in verses 16 and 17?
    2. What's something in your life that you need to leave behind in order to follow God?