Ruth: From Bitterness to Blessed – Part 4

Ruth 4:1-21

Ruth: From Bitterness to Blessed – Part 4

The Multiple Levels of the Story

I. UNDERSTANDING the small STORY. (v.1-21)
A. Boaz NAVIGATES the DETAILS beautifully. (v.1-8)
B. All is done DECENTLY and in ORDER. (v.9-12)
C. A CHILD is BORN. (v.13-17)

We’ve moved slowly over the last four weeks through the story of Ruth. Today it comes to its conclusion, and it’s important that we see how God has been guiding Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz all throughout the twist and turns of the text. It’s a story of redemption on many levels.

1. Kid’s Question: What is your favourite story or movie? Why do you like it so much?
2. What stands out to you about the resolution of the story in Ruth chapter 4? Why?

II. The LINKS to the LARGER story. (v.11-12, 18-21)
A. A REFERENCE to all of ISRAEL. (v.11)
B. REDEEMING the situation of TAMAR. (v.12; Gen. 38)
C. Establishing the FUTURE house of DAVID. (v.18-22)
D. Being FAMOUS in BETHLEHEM. (v.11)

While the book of Ruth is a great story, we can’t miss the point that it fits within and links to the larger story being told by the Scripture. This is the story of God about the world…its purpose and His plan for bringing that all about. There are several nods in chapter 4 to this larger story and it is important that we don’t miss them.

3. If you had to describe God’s story for all of creation what would you say? What does this story reveal about God?
4. How does the mention of Tamar, and the difference between this story and her story, teach you about God’s working to redeem His people?

III. Bringing THREE stories TOGETHER. (Rom. 15:4)
A. The painful PATHWAY to REDEMPTION. (Ruth 1; Gal. 3:13; Jn 16:33)
B. We live by FAITH and not by SIGHT. (Ruth 2; 2 Cor. 5:7; Jn. 11:25-26)
C. FAITHFULNESS to God is our SAFETY NET. (Ruth 3; Mt. 14:31; I Pet. 5:7)
D. Let God FINISH His STORY. (Ruth 4; Eph. 1:9-10; Rev. 21:3-5)

So we see Ruth’s story and the Biblical story, but we also need to see that this speaks into our story as well. In fact, only as we see through all three stories can we hear what the Spirit might be saying to us today.

5. What are the painful aspects of your pathway that you have seen God use? What are the painful parts you are still carrying?
6. Where is God calling you to live by faith when you can’t see the way forward? How will you respond?
7. Where do you need God to reaffirm that He will be your safety net? Have you asked Him about that specifically?
8. Where are you trying to finish the story instead of letting God do His slow work?