Welcome back to online bible study as we discuss the The Gospel of Ruth by Carolyn Custis James. Shannon Barr is leading these studies, however she is without electrical power due to the recent storms and so I’m filling in this week. Last week we asked you to read the NIV Text of Ruth and the Introduction section of the book. The author’s focus in this study of Ruth is to examine the question “Is God Good for women?” The day before I started reading this book I actually had someone ask me this exact question! I had just started work at a new job and a man I hardly knew came into my office and said “you’re religious, right?” After telling him I believed in Jesus he said “do you think the bible is kind to women, or do women get a bad deal in the bible?” Imagine my surprise when I started reading this book and the same question was proposed by the book author! I knew there was something valuable in this message and God was speaking to me through my new coworker. Later I found out his wife had died of cancer, she was a believer, and he was seeking answers about God.
Maybe you’ve had the same question hidden in your heart, or maybe you already know the answer. We’re going to take another look at the story of Ruth and dig into the heart of Naomi, a female Job. Carolyn Custis James has proposed four guiding principles of this bible study:
- God is the true hero of the story.
- Eve’s legacy, a blueprint for women, is the key to understanding Naomi and Ruth.
- The bible is an ancient book, written in a culture foreign to us.
- The beginning, middle and end of the book are deeply interrelated.
Our six-week study begins as Naomi walks a path of despair and a feeling of rejection from the Lord she loves. One daughter-in-law walks away. One daughter-in-law stands by her side and together they walk into town as childless widows- and the story begins.
Please visit our Prayer Wall and post a prayer request or praise report. Take time this week to lift others up with your prayers.
Carolyn Custis James Quotes
- Whenever we study God’s word, our main quest is always to discover what He is telling us about Himself.
- Naomi and Ruth understand that the world revolves around God.
- In one pivotal moment, Ruth’s identity and center of gravity change forever.
For Next Week
- Read Chapters One and Two in the book
- Join our Womens Bible Cafe Chat on Facebook
Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like
- Describe a time when you or someone you know questioned God’s goodness.
- How do you feel about “a female Job” openly sharing her feelings about God and questioning His goodness?
- What potential harm might come from stifling our questions about God?
- Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.