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Open: Spend a moment just clearing your mind and asking God to show you something from his Word.

Starting Point:

  1. Are there days when you doubt God is working because you just don’t see any good in what is happening in your life?
  2. Is there anything in your life right now that you have a hard time entrusting to God?

Read: Ruth 1:1-5 (Who is Ruth and why do we care?)

Some things to consider:

  • The story starts off with “In the days when the Judges ruled Israel.” Judges were regional religious leaders who kept order for people in their area by knowing the Law of God and helping to judge certain situations that arose within their town or area.
  • Some judges were knowledgeable about the Law of God and some were not – they were put in that position by wealthy friends who needed someone in “high places” to make sure they could get away with whatever they wanted to get away with.
  • Even though people knew better, the whole system was corrupt and everyone did what was right in their own mind.
  • Things were hard in Israel – there was a crop famine (possibly a drought led to lower yields of produce and some people lost revenue and didn’t have enough to eat). This forced those dependent on agriculture to move to where there is enough water and good crops to earn a living.
  • Naomi and her family moved to Moab – one of the reasons that Israelites hated Moab was because Moabites worshiped the god Molech. One of the ways to please Molech was to sacrifice your child to him in a small coffin that was burned. Infant sacrifice made devout Jews hate this Moabite practice.
  • So basically chapter one starts out with everything being pretty horrible – husbands are dead, there is no food, and great uncertainty about the future. This book is meant for anyone who is in a tough spot.

What is it saying?

· In this passage, what is one thing that sticks out to you that God seems to be saying?

What should I do?

· If God is saying something in this passage, what do you feel he is leading you to do today?