Week 6: Naomi’s Redemption and the Legacy of Ruth – Ruth Chapter 4

Week 6: Naomi’s Redemption and the Legacy of Ruth – Ruth Chapter 4


Read Ruth Chapter 4: 1-22. Take turns in your group reading through this passage. After you have done the reading, look over the discussions below and decide which ones to have in your group (you can discuss them all if you have time).


Discussion 1. The chapter opens with Boaz going up to the town gate at Bethlehem. In ancient Israel, the town gate was the place where official business was conducted; it functioned as the town hall and court where binding agreements could be made before the town elders and witnesses.

How does Boaz present Ruth’s proposal to the other potential kinsman-redeemer? Why do you think he does not mention marriage to Ruth in the initial offer?


Discussion 2. Why do you think the other redeemer backs out when he hears Boaz present Ruth’s condition on the redemption of the land? In a patriarchal society, what is the significance of Boaz presenting the offer as buying “the field from the hand of Naomi” (verse 5)?


Discussion 3. Look at verse 12 and read the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38: 1-30. Take turns in your group reading through this story. It is a scandalous tale; how does it compare and contrast with story of Ruth? How does the character of Boaz compare with the male figures in the Genesis 38 story? How is Ruth like Tamar, and how is she different?

The genealogy of King David in chapter 4: 18-22 begins with Perez. How does the story of Ruth provide redemption from the turbulent and wounded relationships leading to Perez’ birth?


Discussion 4. Look at the blessing of the women in verses 14 and 15. How does the birth of Obed signify God’s redemptive love in the life of Naomi? How does their blessing shine forth the true value of Naomi and Ruth in the sight of God? How has the women’s perspective on Naomi’s life changed from back in chapter 1, verse 19?

In reflecting on the story of Naomi from beginning to end, how does it inspire hope in God’s redemptive power in the midst of your own life circumstances? How does it show us that God always has plans of hope for us, no matter how bleak our situation or how blind we are to the possibility of hope?   


Discussion 5. Look at verse 17. Of what famous biblical figure is Obed the ancestor? Do you recall the meaning of Elimelech’s name from our Week 2 study? Read 2 Samuel 7: 12-17. Knowing that David will become king of Israel, and Jesus will become the Messiah, the King of kings in the line of David, how does God bring Elimelech’s legacy to fulfillment? 

Now, take a look forward in the New Testament to Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1: 2-6. A few familiar names appear there, including Ruth’s name. What does this say about Ruth’s importance in God’s plan of salvation?   


Discussion 6. Through fulfilling her calling by God within her family life, it does not seem like Ruth is changing the world. She is not parting the Red Sea like Moses, challenging the authority of kings like Elijah, or raising the dead like Jesus. However, by simply obeying the call of God to show his life-giving hesed to her mother-in-law, Naomi, she changes the course of life for her family, for her new people, Israel, and, ultimately, for the whole world through the coming of Jesus. Of course, she cannot see all of this at the time; she follows God in faith (Read Hebrews 11:1). How does the story of Ruth encourage you to walk by faith and not by sight in your own life?

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