Ruth bible study week 3

Free Ruth Bible Study Week 3: How to Let Go of Fear

In Ruth Bible Study Week 2, we learned how to make godly choices. In Ruth Bible Study week 3, we will learn how to let go of fear and resentment and further our faith.

Have you ever been so caught up in negativity that you fail to notice the blessings you’ve received? Do you think you are at a disadvantage when you have all you need? Are you complaining more than you are showing gratitude toward God?

If that sounds like you, you can relate to Naomi. She returned home with her daughter-in-law, and the town was buzzing. She was possibly so caught up in the gossip and so buried in her negative thoughts that she failed to see how God was acting in her life.

This week, we will look at what happened when these two ladies went to Bethlehem, Naomi’s home. We will see how Naomi reacts to having “empty hands” – such a disadvantage in her mind. We’ll also see how being different due to your faith is a good thing. 

The Lord bestows His best to those who live their best godly life.

Think about the ways that God has blessed you over the years and either write a prayer of thanksgiving or say one out loud to our Father.

If you did that exercise, has your attitude changed?

Ruth Bible Study Week 3

Day 11 – People Were Talking

As we journey through more of this short story in Ruth, we discover how the ladies made it to Bethlehem. Read Ruth 1:19. What do you think their journey was like?

Traveling from Moab to Bethlehem would not have been an easy or short journey, even though it wouldn’t take that long today. Most scholars agree it would have taken them about 7 to 10 days on foot. 

On more than one occasion, I would have asked, “Are we there yet?” That was a long time to be in transition, especially if things were not going well financially and you did not know what to expect at your destination. Excitement surely fueled Naomi and Ruth.

It is fascinating and rather exciting to see what happened upon their arrival. People were talking! With the rise of social media and gossip becoming more prevalent now than ever before, “people talking” (good or bad) is commonplace. We almost expect it.

We assume they were buzzing about because of their excitement over Naomi’s return, but they were likely more curious than anything else. 

Why was Naomi returning home after being gone for at least ten years? Where was her family? Why did she bring a Moabite with her? What would they do next?

We might know the answers to some of these questions, but the town of Bethlehem did not. Review your previous lessons for these answers and write them out in your notes as a way to review.

If you heard that “the whole town was stirred (ESV)” because of your arrival, in what way would you take this? Would it be considered gossip that took place behind your back, or would you believe that you’d soon have many friends due to the excitement of your return?

Related: How to Deal with Gossip

Ruth Bible Study Week 3

Day 12 – The Truth About Naomi’s Reaction

Oh, Naomi! How I wish I could jump across the page and give you a big hug! While we can easily understand why she wasn’t content during this trying time, she did have a few things to be grateful for. She had someone who was willing to drop everything to help support her!

The bond these two women shared was quite unique. Naomi must have been one fantastic mother-in-law to have someone give up everything to be with her. Look at her reaction in Ruth 1:20-21, noting the word “empty” (verse 21).

She said she went away with full hands but was returning with empty ones, but what is curious is that, according to the Bible, she left Bethlehem lacking much. 

Remember the famine? She didn’t move with her family because she had everything in the world. Her family moved out of the need for food (See Ruth 1:1). So, why did she say she returned with empty hands? List the reasons for this response in your notes.

Can you relate to “empty” hands? 

Say a prayer of gratitude for all of the things that you are thankful for right now.

While it might seem like Naomi was not acting like Ruth was a full blessing, she could have been just reflecting on her many losses up to that point in her life. Do you ever focus too much on the negative and forget how it might be a blessing in disguise?

We can often rejoice during trials. They shape us into the people we have become today. 

Remember that God has a purpose for everything. Allow Him to mold you as you continue reading Ruth.

How can you let trials shape you into something even more beautiful than you already are?

Related: How to Persevere in Hard Times

Ruth Bible Study Week 3

Day 13 – Letting Go of That Bitterness

As we discussed yesterday, Naomi did have a hard time. She felt “empty” even though we know that she had the love of Ruth. We looked at how she should have been more grateful (and probably more of an example to both Ruth and the women from her homeland).

Read Ruth 1:20-21 again.

We know she had pain and disappointment in losing the family members that she did, but she decided to rest so long in that state that she felt she needed a name change. If this is your first time through Ruth, I’ll just say that it works out well for Naomi. She didn’t go by “Mara” long!

Have things ever not gone as planned for you? Have you ever felt that you were losing control of things and becoming disappointed with your circumstances?

The Bible does not say that she quit believing in God. Many characters in the Old Testament felt like all hope was lost from time to time. Job is an excellent example!

While Job did wonder why his circumstances were so unfortunate, he did not doubt or stop believing in God. Read Job 42:10-17 to see what the conclusion to Job’s story was. 

If you have anger and resentment in your heart, how much room is there for God’s Will? How can you focus on pleasing Him if you are full of negativity?

Ask the Lord for restoration today for any resentment or bitterness that you have inside.

Related: Awesome Easy Prayers of Hope

Ruth Bible Study Week 3

Day 14 – How to Be Different in Bethlehem

As Ruth and Naomi travel to Naomi’s homeland, Ruth enters it as a foreigner. As you read, Ruth was pretty insistent that she accompany her mother-in-law and leave her family of origin behind in Moab (Ruth 1:16-17). 

It was not normal for Ruth to arrive in Bethlehem without a husband – a provider. Plus, she carried additional weight with a mother-in-law to care for and the status as a foreigner.

The author calls Ruth “the Moabite,” depending on which version of the Bible you use. Since that was an unpopular reputation in Bethlehem, she probably didn’t want to be known that way.

As you read the way the author refers to her in Ruth 1:22, think about how someone might describe you. Would you be the American, the Christian, the long-haired girl, and/or the neat freak? What if someone called you the strict mom or the one who got away?

As you can see, it’s easy to be quite flattered or offended, especially with the sensitivities that people have today. God cares about what is on your heart (1 Samuel 16:7), not the labels. Often, we cannot control what other people say about us. We can prove them wrong, though.

In the book of Ruth, we never hear Ruth say an unkind word. What an example! When was the last time you met someone with that much integrity? It’s so beautiful when God shines through us so much that false labels make no sense.

Remember how Naomi was bitter about her circumstances? Don’t allow yourself to be associated with the negative; instead, shine as Ruth did. People can say what they want. Only God’s opinion matters.

Related: What the Bible Says About Gossip

Ruth Bible Study Week 3

Day 15 – All About the Barley Harvest

As we wrap up Chapter 1 of Ruth, we are given the time of year the ladies arrived at their new home in Ruth 1:22. What does the text reveal?

Barley harvests usually occur in April and May. If you Google “barley harvest,” you can find everything about modern ways to harvest barley, including a how-to guide on WikiHow

So, why do you need to know how they did things long ago?

The process is a bit complicated, but it is important to understand because that is how Ruth “made a living” for her and Naomi, and it was the setting for how she met and was saved by her “kinsman redeemer.”

Let’s walk through the barley harvest. First, the grain was cut with a sickle (a farming tool with a rounded blade). Then, the workers would gather it into sheaves (bundles). The reapers (the harvest workers) would then take the sheaves to the threshing floor.

According to the Jeremiah Study Bible, at the threshing floor, the grain would be separated by flailing. Threshing would provide the means for the workers to separate the edible portion of the grain from the husk.

One interesting thing that workers did during this time was celebrate the Lord’s provision of grain. The workers and owner would then sleep there.

While these terms might not seem incredibly relevant right now, they will be in the upcoming chapters! This was the livelihood of these characters and the setting of how they interact with one another.

A key takeaway is that the Lord provided for His people here through the barley harvest. 

How has the Lord’s provision blessed your life?

Related: How to Praise God with All Your Heart

Ruth Bible Study Week 3

Ruth Bible Study Week 3: Biblework for Days 11-15

For Ruth Bible study week 3, each day’s Biblework gives the verses from that day’s study to read. Be sure to read those verses each day. The assigned additional reading in the Bible is also something that you should aim to do. 

Please note: Some questions might come from today’s verses and the additional verses.

Day 11 – Biblework

Today’s Verses: Ruth 1:19

Read the following additional verse(s): Proverbs 16:28; Matthew 21:9-11; Romans 1:29-31; Ephesians 4:29; James 1:26

Answer these questions:

  1. According to Proverbs 16, what can gossip do to a friendship?
  2. When have you participated in gossip or slander?
  3. When do you find it tempting to gossip?
  4. Why do you believe the people of Bethlehem were buzzing about Naomi’s arrival?
  5. According to Ephesians, how should we treat one another?

Day 12 – Biblework

Today’s Verses: Ruth 1:1; Ruth 1:20-21

Read the following additional verse(s): 1 Samuel 2:1-10; Job 1:21; Psalm 18:1-3; Psalm 62:1-2; Psalm 107:1-22

Answer these questions:

  1. List the things Naomi could have been grateful for.
  2. How could she have changed her attitude and been a better example for Ruth?
  3. What relationship do you have, like the bond between Ruth and Naomi? Give thanks today to God for that person (or people).
  4. How can you be a better friend to the less fortunate?
  5. When have you felt you had “empty hands?” In what ways were you actually “full?”
  6. How can you turn trials into blessings?

Day 13 – Biblework

Today’s Verses: Ruth 1:20-21; Job 42:10-17

Read the following additional verse(s): Exodus 15:23; Psalm 14; Isaiah 41:10

Answer these questions:

  1. What did Naomi ask to be called? What does that name mean?
  2. What has made you bitter in the past (or present)?
  3. Do you harbor any anger or resentment in your heart?
  4. How can you forgive others and let go of anything hindering your relationship with the Lord?
  5. Like Job, have you ever felt that God was punishing you for something? Explain.

Day 14 – Biblework

Today’s Verses: Ruth 1:16-17; Ruth 1:22; 1 Samuel 16:7

Read the following additional verse(s): 2 Corinthians 6:14; John 15:18-25; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 2:19-21

Answer these questions:

  1. Have you ever mistreated someone because of their reputation?
  2. What names might someone overhear you be called?
  3. Are you pleased with your reputation? Explain.
  4. Who was 1 Samuel 16:7 speaking of? If you are not familiar with it, continue reading 1 Samuel 16 for the answer.
  5. How does your outward appearance reflect what is truly in your heart?

Day 15 – Biblework

Today’s Verses: Ruth 1:22

Read the following additional verse(s): Leviticus 23:10; 2 Samuel 21:9; Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Answer these questions: 

  1. Did those terms sound like a foreign language, or were you familiar with the harvesting process and/or the barley harvest?
  2. Why was the barley harvest significant for those who lived in Bethlehem?
  3. How do you suppose Naomi heard of the barley harvest when living in Moab?
  4. What is your favorite time of year? Explain.
  5. How has the Lord provided for you and your family?
Ruth Bible Study Week 3

Ruth Bible Study – Week 3: Digging Deeper Days 11-15

In the Digging Deeper section, you will be given a bonus activity to take a closer look at the lesson, possibly from a different angle. While it is optional, you will gain more insight and grow further by doing this section. Remember that you get out what you put into things! 

Day 11 – Digging Deeper

Being from Bethlehem, the Elimelech family was called Ephrathites. Look up these cross-reference verses to see why this name was part of their identity. Read Genesis 35:19 and 1 Chronicles 4:4. Who else was considered to be an Ephrathite (1 Samuel 17:12)?

Day 12 – Digging Deeper

In the additional verses of today, you read how Job reacted to his turmoil. Look at Paul’s attitude in Philippians 4:10-20. Why was he so content? How did he find hope when he had difficult moments? Why was he joyful for the church in Philippians?

Day 13 – Digging Deeper

Read 1 John 1:9 and Colossians 3:13. How can you forgive others? It can greatly help you to write a letter to someone you “blame,” even if that is God Himself. You do not have to send the letter, but privately writing out your thoughts and feelings is very healing and restorative!

Day 14 – Digging Deeper

1 Samuel 16:7 introduces the reader to David – a man after God’s own heart. In an effort to understand the Lord better and what He looks at when He examines our hearts (or what is on the inside), do word studies on the words look and heart. List everything you learn.

Day 15 – Digging Deeper

You have now learned a bit about the barley harvest. There was another harvest that was very important to the people. We will be introduced to it in the next chapter. Research the wheat harvest and determine which time of the year it typically came about.

Ruth Bible Study Week 3

Helpful Bible Study Resources

Use the following Bible Study Resources to grow further in your time with God. You might find it helpful to visit the Bible study category of our Spiritual Growth area. May the Lord bless your time with Him as you learn more about the Bible and your faith.

Sharing Life and Love Bible Studies

How to Build a Quiet Time with God – In this 8-week Bible study, we walk through the book of Psalms and help you build your quiet time with the Lord. 

How to Find Your Spiritual Calling – This 6-week Bible study helps you discover your spiritual calling or purpose. Bonus worksheets are included to help you grow.

Create Your Own God-Centered Goals – In this 5-day mini-Bible study, you will discover how to make your own God-focused goals.

Join the Community!

In our Facebook community, the Sharing Life and Love Sisters Bible Study Group, you can watch videos that cover many Bible studies. Our community is currently for ladies only and is called the Sharing Life and Love Sisters Bible Study Group. Find encouragement, too!

Ruth Bible Study Week 3 Conclusion

In Ruth Bible study week 3, you have learned about fear, resentment, and gossip. Hopefully, you have grown from your walk this week and will know how to avoid these unhealthy behaviors and focus on the Lord and the work He has called you to do instead.

How will you allow this week to change you? In what ways can you positively impact the negative influences in your life? What have you learned that you can apply to your daily life?

Ruth Bible Study Week 3

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