On Sunday, October 23, 2022, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Ruth Chapter 1” from our sermon series “God Behind the Seen”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.
1. The book of Ruth occurs during the era of the Judges in Israel’s history. Judges 21:25 describes that era with nine words: “everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” As we observe our culture today, what are some current examples of people ordering their lives by those same nine words. Share.
2. There is an intriguing verb used in 1:6 where it says, “the Lord had visited His people in giving them food.” The idea seems to be that the Lord met them in their crisis and came to their aid. Interestingly, James communicates a similar idea in James 1:27. He states, Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress. Orphans and widows were the most vulnerable ones in the culture.
Shift to today. Who would be among the most vulnerable in our culture? Since we are the hands and feet of Jesus, what are some ways we might be able to meet them in their crisis and come to their aid?
3. Bruce shared this definition of Providence: God’s purposeful acts in governing the world in accordance with His eternal plan and for His ultimate honor and glory.
Is God’s Providence always active? Elaborate.
How does embracing God’s Providence assist us when we face difficult adversity in our life?
4. Bruce quoted the axiom, ‘the decisions you make, make you.’ What factors can lead us to make poor decisions? What factors can aid us in making wise decisions?
5. Like we can tend to do, Naomi became spiritually nearsighted. She was so focused on the circumstances and her pain that she became bewildered and bitter. What are the dangers of bitterness? How can we avoid falling into bitterness when we are face-to-face with painful adversity?
6. What was Naomi overlooking as chapter one comes to an end?
7. Bruce said that when we stare hardship in the face, we should do three things:
* Remember who He is
* Recount what He has done
* Review His promises
Take some time in prayer to do those three.