- As we continue our series on Ruth entitled “Unexpected,” this week we will look at chapter 3. Whether you are on your own or in a small group, take time to read the chapter out loud.
- Verses 1-5 set the stage of the action that will happen in this chapter. Compare Naomi now with Naomi at the end of chapter 1 and beginning of chapter 2. What has happened with her? Also, take some time to notice Naomi’s original hope for her daughters-in-law (Ruth 1:8-9) with her plans here.
- How does Ruth respond to Naomi’s plan in verse 5? What do you think about her response? How does it relate to Ruth’s original commitment to Naomi in 1:16-17?
- It is important to understand the Old Testament background of the ‘guardian-redeemer’ or ‘kinsman-redeemer’. Take some time to read through Deuteronomy 25:5-10 and Leviticus 25:25-55. What would you say are the responsibilities of the ‘guardian-redeemer’?
- Notice that the activity of chapter 3 takes place in secrecy or under the cover of darkness. Why is this important?
- Ruth has a change of status that is seen in chapter 3 that can be hard to capture in the English translations. She is referred to as “The Moabite” (2:6), “your servant” (2:13; literally, ‘a female slave’), “your servant” (3:9; literally, ‘a handmaid of marriageable age), and “a woman of noble character” (3:11; a term used only in Proverbs 12:4 and 31:10). What does this say about who Ruth is and how people see her? How does this compare with Boaz (see Ruth 2:1)?
- Perhaps the most interesting thing in this chapter is the way in which humans seize opportunities available as apparent answers to prayer. Compare Naomi in 1:8-9 with 3:1-5. Compare Ruth in 1:16-17 with 3:9. Compare Boaz in 2:12 with 3:10-13. What does this speak to you?
- Name one specific way that you can respond to God from the message and study this week. Write it down, reflect on it, and put it into practice this week. If you are in a small group, discuss this with one another.
Next week we will look at Ruth 4:1-12. Let God speak to you during this next week by reading these verses ahead of time.