Bible study: God’s provision in times of difficulty

Working through the local churchIntegral mission and theologyFood Security

The book of Ruth is set at the time of a famine in the area around Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1). Elimelech and his family left Bethlehem in search of food and went to Moab, where they lived for at least 10 years (Ruth 1:4-5). Following the deaths of her husband and sons, Naomi returned home with her daughter-in-law Ruth (Ruth 1:22).

Read Ruth 1:16-2:9

  • Why does Ruth take on the responsibility to provide for her mother-in-law?
  • As a young foreign widow Ruth would be very vulnerable. Why do you think Ruth stayed in Boaz’s fields?
  • What does Boaz learn about Ruth?
  • How does he treat her?

Boaz was a man of God and followed the law of Moses in the way he managed his fields.

Read Leviticus 19:9-10 and Deuteronomy 24:19-20

  • What are the laws?
  • Why were these laws useful for someone like Ruth?
  • What do these laws tell us about God’s desire that the poor have a secure food supply?
  • Are there similar practices in your community or country today? How can these practices be encouraged?

Read Ruth 2:10-23

  • Why does Boaz respond as he does?
  • How does Boaz show his concern for Ruth and Naomi?
  • Who does Naomi thank for the food and kindness?

Read 1 John 3:16-20

  • How has Jesus shown his love for us?
  • How should we love?
  • List practical ways we can show love like Jesus to those around us.