Lesson for March 17, 2020
Teacher: Dave Sugano
DYNAMIC DUOS IN THE BIBLE: RUTH AND NAOMI
READ THE BOOK OF RUTH
LOOKING AT RUTH 1:1-2 AND RUTH 4:14-17
EXPLAIN WHY THIS BOOK PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE BEEN TITLED THE BOOK OF NAOMI?
God’s hand is invisible in this book, and his voice is silent. SO WHY IS THIS STORY OF TWO SIMPLE WOMEN INCLUDED IN SCRIPTURE?
READ RUTH 1:16-17 – The book of Ruth is perhaps the most beautiful short story in the Bible, and from a literary standpoint perhaps one of the finest ever written. The incredible love that is created between these two women is what God ultimately uses to fulfill his purpose in establishing the line of David.
In chapter 1, Naomi accepts Ruth lovingly into her family
At the end of chapter 1, Ruth gives up her family, culture and everything she has to go back with Naomi to a life of poverty in Israel
In chapter 2-3, Naomi teaches Ruth how to navigate their new life as widows in this foreign country and culture for Ruth
In chapter 4, Ruth blesses Naomi by redeeming her status and life with a grandson that she will raise
READ RUTH 1:3-4, 1:22, 2:6 – The book of Ruth is a story of interracial marriage
The names of each character is important to the story
Elimelech – God is King
Naomi – My Pleasant One
Mahlan – Sickly
Kilion – Failing
Ruth and Orpah – Unknown because they are Moabite names
Although marriage to a Moabite woman was not strictly forbidden, they were always considered outsiders wherever they lived in Israel
Naomi especially understood how difficult life would be for Ruth in Israel as both a widow and a Moabitess with no visible means of support
READ RUTH 4:15-22 – In Israel at that time, having 7 sons was considered a perfect family.
Do you think Naomi in the end considered Ruth better than 7 sons?
Given all that she suffered during her lifetime, do you think Naomi felt blessed because she could in the end see God’s larger purpose and plan behind all her sufferings?
POSSIBLE TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS DYNAMIC DUO
Ruth is a perfect example of how God’s invisible hand works in the lives of very simple, ordinary people. Have your children or even non-Christian friends read this story and see what they think of it.
Ruth is a perfect example of how God uses 2 lives interwoven over a lifetime to achieve larger purposes we may not understand.
Consider if God is calling you to be a Ruth or Naomi to someone else so you can create another dynamic duo?
Until 1967, interracial marriage was illegal in almost half of the states in America. Our church is blessed with many interracial marriages who may still face acceptance issues in many places outside our fellowship. Perhaps we could make this place an even more welcoming place for these Ruth/Boaz marriages and the children they produce?
In your everyday, ordinary life, look beyond the suffering and hardships you may face today to see if God’s invisible hand may be working to achieve some larger purpose.