What’s the biggest gamble that you’ve taken in your life? What were the stakes & what was the outcome?
This Sunday, we continued working through The Book of Ruth as Pastor Scott took us through an overview of chapters 2 & 3.
Begin by reading Ruth 2:1-16. Here, we’re introduced to a new character named Boaz who becomes a source of hope for Naomi & Ruth in this story.
What’s revealed about Boaz’s character? In particular, how is Boaz similar & different from the character traits that we’ve seen exemplified in Ruth & Naomi so far?
How does Boaz model the daily acts of justice that God’s People are called to? How does this feed into that concept of hesed that we’ve explored time & time again in Ruth?
Next, Ruth 3:1-18. After experiencing Boaz’s generosity, Ruth & Naomi form a plan to convince Boaz to step in as their family redeemer (an Old Testament cultural practice that was meant to be a safety net for widows & orphans following the loss of a family’s patriarch).
What stands out to you about this scene? What does it reveal about Boaz, Ruth, & Naomi?
Central to this middle section of Ruth is this interplay between unseen/everyday acts of kindness (done without an eye on future rewards); intentional planning & effort to improve one’s life; & providence (divine direction, luck, or fate). What’s particularly fascinating in Ruth is that where each of these begins & ends is left intentionally unclear. This, in turn, leaves it up to us to reflect upon.
Consider how you understand each of these ideas & the role they play in your own life.
What do you perceive to be the relationship between random/everyday acts of kindness, intentional planning, & providence or chance?
Many of us tend to invest more meaning into one of these ideas more than the others when it comes to processing the events of our lives (good or bad). Which do you naturally lean into the most & least when it comes to reflecting on your own experiences? Why do you think that is?
What might an ideal balance of these three concepts look like in daily practice & how might pursuing this balance produce more health in your own life? NOTE: Consider things like being more present; focusing on daily the processes of your life rather than uncontrollable results, etc.
Getting Out of the Hole
Take time to reflect on the Sunday sermon & how this week’s section of Ruth might speak into your daily life.
- Where do you currently find it easy to commit yourself to random/small acts of kindness for their own sake? Where do you find the worries/struggles of life keeping you from living into this part of your calling?
- Where do you find yourself leaning into a belief in luck/chance (good or bad)?
- Where do you find it easy to believe that God is working in your life? Where do you find it hard?
- Where do you need a healthy perspective that balances all three of these aspects of faith in this season?
Journal, reflect, & pray on how God might be speaking to you through each week’s teaching. Share your experience with your growth group next week!
World Biblical Commentary: Ruth & Esther by Frederic Bush
The Hebrew Bible: The Writings by Robert Alter
The Bible for Everyone: Ruth by NT Wright
Coming Up This Week:*
Saturday, May 21st: Join us next Sunday for week 5 of our series on The Book of Ruth!
* Please see mye3.org for details.