Have you ever known someone who just seems to have the worst luck? They stumble from one mess to another without catching a break. Goodness, maybe it’s you! I know my husband and I have had frustrating seasons where we just need Jesus to intervene and stop the madness before we go crazy! Between kids, dogs, work, bills, family, friends, ministry, extracurricular commitments, etc... it doesn’t take much to tip our whirling lives off balance and send the spinning plates flying!
Not to minimize each of our personal struggles, but today we will study a serious example of broken life and lost love as we are introduced to Ruth. Let’s read Ruth 1:1-5. These 5 verses are packed with trial and tragedy.
1. Why did this family leave Bethlehem for a while?
2. Use your Bible’s notes at the bottom of the page for this question... what do the names Elimelech, Naomi, Mahlon, and Chilion mean? There is both irony and foreshadowing in these names for sure.
3. What happened to each family member?
Now read Genesis 19:30-38 and Judges 11:12-18.
4. What was the origin of Moab? What was the relationship like between the children of Israel and the Moabites?
5. Why do you think it’s significant that Ruth was a Moabitess? How do you think that the Israelites perceived someone like her?
Francine Rivers writes a wonderful historical-fiction account of these events that has helped me see through the lens of these women’s broken hearts. Grab her book Lineage of Grace and read the beginning of the 3rd section as soon as you can!
Life long hopes and dreams were crushed for these women in 5 short verses as a result of Elimelech’s decision to run from the adversity of famine and not trust the Lord to provide. They were alone and destined for lives of physical and emotional poverty as victims of others who refused to obey God. Things had definitely gone from bad to worse for each of them.
CONNECT: Recall a time in your life when you have felt hopeless and alone as a result of tragedy? What is your honest and natural instinct in the face of the pain?
Let’s finish by reading 1 Peter 1:3-6.
What does the Bible say about our trials and suffering?
You’ve heard this before, but there really is purpose in the pain. The tragedy really isn’t the end. I know it’s hard to believe at times. I’ve been there on the closet floor certain that I couldn’t go on - BUT there is a Living Hope that overcomes all forms of death, and His name is Jesus! He is working through the worst imaginable situations to produce faith in us that glorifies the Father in unimaginable ways!
Just hold on another day. There’s so much to come!