I’ve started an inductive Bible study on Ruth. “Inductive” simply means that I’ll be breaking the study down into three detailed parts.
- Observation – everything you can pick out in the book that might be helpful in terms of understanding what is going on
- Interpretation – what are the important messages being discussed?
- Application – how do I apply this to my life?
So here’s some bullet point observations on Ruth 1 (it might help to read the chapter before reading down this list)
- Time: “days when Judges governed” – no king, cycle of rebelling/repenting
- Famine in the land – harder for widows to find food
- Elimelech – a man of Bethlehem in Judah (two sons and wife Naomi)
- Sons took Moabite women as wives – who were the Moabites?
- Sons died, so two wives were only tied to Naomi through marriage
- Heard that there was food in Judah (famine), so they went back there
- “May the LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” Wants them to find husbands of their own to care for them.
- Both express desire to return with her. Only one means it. Does the other feel guilty leaving her? But she does have to look out for herself.
- Orpah kissed her, but Ruth clung to her
- Gives Naomi her oath – “Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” – doesn’t give Naomi a chance to deny her.
- “call me Mara” (which means bitter)
- She laments her ordeal but continues to maintain that God is in control
- Ruth identified for the first time as “the Moabitess”
- Returned to Bethlehem at the time of the barley harvest