Discussion Guide

 

Blessing for Naomi and for the World

What do you know about your family tree? How far back can you trace your ancestry? When you think about your ancestors, what do you feel proud about? What do you not feel so good about?

Before you begin the final section of the book, retell the story of Ruth as a group. After the group retelling, look back over the text of Ruth 1:1-4:12. Did you leave anything out, or add anything? Does this feel like the conclusion of the story? There's a final act remaining.

Read Ruth 4:13-22 aloud.

Which of the characters in this story is the focus of Ruth 4:14-17? Why do you think she is the focus here?

Ruth has been called "the Moabite," a "foreigner,"  and called herself "your servant" in the first three chapters of the book. Now she has a new status: wife of Boaz. Where do you see God's hand in the story? How does God's providence meet human responsibility in Ruth's story?

How has God used Boaz in this story? Where do you see God's hand in his life, and where do you see Boaz taking action?

Why does the writer go back to the family of Perez in the genealogy? Review Genesis 38. Who was Perez's father? Why is this significant? Why would the writer of Ruth include a genealogy that ends with David? What would people reading this book during the time of the exile when Israel had no king on the throne have thought when they read verse 22?

Read  Matthew 1:1-6, and 1:16 aloud.

Who are the women mentioned in Matthew 1:1-6? What do they have in common? Why do you think these women were mentioned while only the father's were mentioned on the rest of the families? Why is it significant that Jesus was born from the family of Judah, the family of David? (Review 2 Samuel 7.)

What have you learned from your study of the book of Ruth? What could you teach someone else from this book?