Life happens. Naomi anticipated a better life for her family in Moab but returned home with what she labeled as a bitter life following the deaths of her husband and two sons. Ruth married into a loving family but later finds herself trying to make ends meet as a widow and a foreigner among strangers. Boaz is just being Boaz when he’s presented with an opportunity to use his influence to be a blessing to others. Chapters 2 and 3 in the story of Ruth give us a glimpse of how, as life happens, our natural efforts to care for others are guided by the supernatural hand of God.
Naomi arrived in Bethlehem believing that God had made her life bitter at the same time that His blessing of the barley harvest was beginning. Have you ever felt like things were going wrong for you while God was blessing others? How did you respond? Who was your Ruth during your time of bitterness?
In unfavorable conditions, Ruth continued doing what came naturally to provide for Naomi while unknowingly being guided by the supernatural hand of God. Have unfavorable conditions ever discouraged you from doing the right things for others? Were you able to overcome it? Consider how you were unknowingly guided by God to the right places and the right people in order to continue caring and providing for others. How did you feel when you realized how God had guided your steps?
Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 and consider times when your purpose was to be a planter or a waterer. Did fulfilling your purpose come naturally? If not, what challenges did you experience both internally and externally?
In verse 10 of chapter 2 Ruth asked Boaz, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me – a foreigner?” Have you ever felt like a foreigner or felt unnoticed in church or another Christian setting? If so, how did it feel to finally be “noticed” and shown kindness? Consider ways you can show kindness to those who are new to our church and may feel like foreigners in a new land.
Boaz used his God-given resources and influence to encourage Ruth and to be a blessing to her and Naomi. How have you used your God-given resources and influence for the sake of others? Have you done so without expecting anything in return?
A Beautiful Thing
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Death and Taxes
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