WEEK 2: LEVELS OF DEVOTION
Read: Chapter 2:1-9
1. Ruth was a foreigner in Judah, a young woman alone, and consequently very vulnerable. What does she do, and why (verses 1-3)?
2. Under marriage law (Deut 25:5-10), if Ruth were an Israelite, her ex-husband’s nearest male relative would normally have been expected to marry her. Ruth quickly worked out that the field she was working in belonged to Boaz, from the clan of Elimelech. How do you think she would have felt when Boaz noticed her, and how do you think she felt when he started asking questions about her (verses 4-7)?
3. Boaz’s response to Ruth was to approach her, and give her some advice. What did he tell her to do (verses 8-9), and what was the reason behind the advice?
4. Think of a time that you have felt alone and vulnerable, and received advice from someone on how to proceed. Did you do what was suggested?
Read: Chapter 2:10-13
5. Boaz let Ruth know that he was aware of her circumstances (verses 10-12). What does Boaz wish Ruth, and what does he identify as the reason for her devotion to Naomi?
6. Despite Boaz’s glowing report, Ruth’s response was one of humility (verse 13). When people praise us, or they give us a list of our achievements, do we respond with humility too? Just how hard do we find it to remain humble?
Read: Chapter 2:14-18
7. Boaz follows up his glowing report, by going beyond what was required by Israelite law to care for the poor (verses 14-16). Why do you think that he did that? What was his motivation?
8. The amount of barley gathered by Ruth was unusually high. Indeed enough for both Ruth and Naomi’s needs (verses 17-18). After the disasters that they had faced (in Chapter 1), how do you think Naomi would have felt when she saw the amount of grain? And more importantly (in contrast to Chapter 1 verse 20) how would she then have felt about her relationship with God?
9. Think of a time, after a bad patch, when things started to go right for you. How did you feel? And what difference did it make to your relationship with God?
Read: Chapter 2:19-23
10. Naomi got Ruth to detail everything that had happened, and it didn’t take long for Naomi to work out that Boaz could well become Ruth’s second husband (verses 19-22). What attributes did Naomi give to Boaz? And what advice did Naomi give to Ruth?
11. How did Ruth respond to Naomi’s advice (verse 23)? And what does this say about her continuing devotion to Naomi, and her continuing devotion to God?
12. Is there someone, or a group of people, to whom we are devoted? To what lengths are we prepared to go in our dedication? Is this a reflection of our attitude towards God?
Posted: 28th January 2016
© 2016, Brian A Curtis