This morning, the international women and I studied the Book of Ruth in the Bible. In my preparation, I decided not to make a hand out. Everyone who leads a study prepares a hand out. For a change, I decided that we should just read the Scripture and talk about it. Let the ladies have a chance to think about what we read without having to stare at a piece of paper.
I mean, how many times have I heard about the Kay Arthur studies, Beth Moore studies and so on. After awhile, it seems the focus is on the study but not on God's Word. And even I can write a pretty good study, if I don't say so myself. But it distracts sometimes from learning what the Holy Spirit is teaching to just getting through the material.
We started out with a review of the last lesson, of the main characters and the meaning of their names. I made a transitional statement from the last lesson to introduce today's lesson, to focus on Naomi and Ruth's situations as they cross cultures--as Naomi re-enters her homeland and as Ruth enters Judah for the first time. I then asked the women to introduce themselves and share a short story about any kindness they experienced when they first entered the United States.
We then looked at key passages in the story and talked about the interactions of Naomi and Ruth in the second chapter and the interactions of Boaz and Ruth at their first meeting. How Ruth responded to Naomi's depression and to Boaz's gracious hospitality. We laughed, we cried and I think God really touched hearts. A lot of these ladies never read Ruth before, and I was hoping that the story would lead them to deeper understanding of the sovereignty and supremacy of God, not only in the Bible but also in their own lives.
Salvation did not materialize out of thin air. God built a foundation through the Old Testament, through the lives of people like Ruth of Moab, as she was a great grandmother of King David and in the lineage of Christ. Christianity did not appear yesterday. Pick up the Bible and read.