Welcome to our study of Ruth - the 3rd in our Lineage of Grace Study. If you’re joining us for the first time, I’m so glad you’re studying alongside of us! All you need is your Bible, a notebook of of some sort and (if you want) a personal copy of Francine Rivers’ Lineage of Grace historical fiction novel. We won’t be specifically studying the novel, but it is a beautiful enhancement to each character and their story as we look at God’s Word for our lives. I recommend reading the 3rd novelette on Ruth over the course of the next 2 weeks as we examine Ruth through Biblical text.
As a quick review, let’s all read Matthew 1:1-6. Ruth is the 3rd of only 5 women mentioned in the genealogy of Christ. From this, we can draw that each of these women are special... and their stories will help us connect our own part of Christ’s family.
For our reading today, turn to Joshua 24:1-31. This is a very important recap of Israel’s history, thus setting the stage for Ruth’s story. Context is critical for a better understanding of God’s mercy and grace as you read His Word.
1. What did the Israelites initially experience upon entering the Promised Land?
2. How did this generation of people respond to all that God had done for them?
3. What was the specific warning God gave them? (vs. 14,15, & 23)
Not to skip a lot of important detail and spoil anything, but Israel failed miserably in the coming years with all of this being documented in the book of Judges. They lacked leadership and morality and refused to acknowledge God as their King, and they instead chose to coexist with the very people God had warned them about. They followed foreign gods, took foreign wives, and lived “freely” doing whatever felt right. Sound familiar?! Sin is not a political issue, it’s a people issue.
Finish by reading Judges 21:25 then turn the page and read Ruth 1:1.
4. In what condition did the Israelites now find themselves? How did this compare to the early days life in the Promised Land?
5. Who had failed in the covenant agreement that we read in Joshua 24?
Although these verses are describing the moral descent of the Israelites and the consequences of their sin, how do you see yourself in these passages?
In what main area of your life is the Lord revealing to you right now as an area where you have been disobedient and unfaithful to Him?
Have you ever experienced a personal “famine of the heart”? Perhaps you’re in one right now and need a way out. What has this looked like in your life?
I can answer this question for myself with a resounding - yes. And I learned the hard way that, as with physical famine, spiritual famine can lead to desperate behavior, irrational thinking, pain, loss, and even death. BUT, thank you Jesus, famine can also be the very means by which God allows in our lives in order to bring us back to the basic need of our life... Him.
Yep, a big start to our study!!! I know these can be tough questions to ponder, but God is faithful and gracious to show us hard truth in preparation for what He’s about to do in our lives. Famine is NOT forever when we turn back to Him, and the blessings of what is awaiting our return are mind-blowing!
I’m so grateful for each of you as you study along in your home. See you in lesson 2 as we see how famine is only the beginning of God’s rescue for Ruth and for you and me!