Monday, June 20, 2011

Hen House Lesson Week 4

" often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."  Matthew 23:37
Hen House Study meets again this Thursday at 7:00 p.m.  Contact me if you need a hard copy of this lesson emailed to you.  Peace out!

Week 4: Grace
Even in our Moab-ness!

Put your hair in a ponytail.

Rub on that extra coat of deodorant.

Put the old jeans on we all do laundry in.
Get your bra straps in the right place.

Grab your water bottle and your sickle for cutting wheat.

Let’s get to work in the fields!

Read Ruth 2:10-23

I am touched by Ruth 2:10.  Ruth is not in denial.  She calls herself what she is: a foreigner.  May I share with you the first time God grabbed my attention and gave me a heart for the foreigner and/or the stranger?  You’re at my house so you have to hear it whether you want to or not.  Take a right turn in your bible and find 1 Kings just a couple books away.  Go my child!

Find it?  With me?  Keep your mind from drifting about what you need at Costco and be with me in Israel.  King David was dead.  His son, Solomon, succeeded to the throne.  David left Solomon with designs for building a temple.  Read all about it.  1 Kings 8:14-19.  

After the work was completed, Solomon dedicated the temple with a prayer.  Read 1 Kings 8:41-43.  King Solomon prayed for the foreigner.  It may seem surprising that one who reflects God’s love so clearly is a Moabitess.  Yet her complete loyalty to the Israelite family into which she has been received by marriage and her total devotion to her desolate mother-in-law mark her as a true daughter of Israel and a worthy ancestress of David.  She strikingly exemplifies the truth that participation in the coming kingdom of God is decided, not by blood and birth, but by the conformity of one’s life to the will of God through the “obedience that comes from faith”: (Romans 1:5).

1.       Turn to John 1:12-13.   Read it carefully.  Focus.  Stop thinking about whether or not your underwear may or may not be on inside-out at this moment.  Maybe its just me. 

Membership in God’s family is by___________________ alone—the gift of God.  It is never a human achievement, as verse 13 emphasizes; yet the imparting of the gift is dependent on man’s reception of it. 

Find the missing word.  You may laugh at my crossword puzzle:
                                                      f h g I e m x n v b f h
                                                      f n t I p q a s d g x z
                                                      r t y u I o g c d v q a
                                                      c s d n m r w q p l k j
                                                      c v b t y I a  j k u y p i
                                                      a x d e w c f v b b n n
                                                      o r t v v l e s a z x v v

2.  Read Ruth 2:11.  What one thing remains the center of attention throughout the book of Ruth?

2.  Read verse 12.  Who is her refuge specifically?  What kind of figure is used?  Look up Matthew 23:37. 

3.  Read verse 13.  The first part reads, “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord.”  What pleases God? 
John 6:29

Psalm 147:11

Hosea 6:6

Micah 6:8

Isaiah 58:6-14

Matthew 5:13

James 2:23

4.  In the last half of verse 13, Ruth told Boaz she was comforted.  How was she comforted?  See handout.

5.  Verse 14 says, “At mealtime Boaz called to her, 'Come over here.  Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.”  

·       How did Jesus call his disciples in Matthew 4:18-21?

·       How does the Holy Spirit call us? 
o    Proverbs 9:1-6

o    Isaiah 55:1-5

o    Romans 1:18-20

I often hear people say, “I'm not quite ready to follow Jesus.” Yet Jesus never asked us to pull ourselves together, THEN follow Him. Like the uneducated fishermen Simon and Andrew, Jesus called them to follow Him THEN he would make them fishers of men. Jesus did not choose them for their intellect, for fishermen of that day were simple people. He also did not choose them for their skill, for Jesus was about to redefine what fishing meant to these experienced fishermen. What excuses do we make in not following Jesus? It is neither our skill nor lack of it that counts, but simply obeying when we hear the call. [1]

6.  Ruth 2:15-16:  “And when she got up to glean, Boaz ordered his young men, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her.  And let fall some handfuls for her on purpose and let them lie there for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.” AMPV

·       What might the workers have to complain about here?  Was this fair?

7.  It seems as though Boaz was a kind man, thoughtful, considerate, and gentle. There are not too many of them around anymore, judging from what many women are sharing with marriage counselors. Some men have the strange notion that kindness and gentleness are effeminate traits and they go out of their way to avoid them. Not at all! They are Christ-like traits.  Surveys show that kindness and gentleness rank near the top of the characteristics women are looking for in a husband. They would be good traits for Christian men to ask God to help them develop. [2] But here is where I’m putting YOU on the spot:

·       Do you allow your man to be soft hearted?  If you’re not married, do you tolerate a gentle man?
·       Do you put him down when he is gentle? 
·       Do you back up his kind acts or scoff at them?

8. Nowhere does it say that Ruth was a beautiful woman like Sarah, Rebekah, or Rachel. We do not know whether she was or not, but we do know that she had an inner beauty, a meek and quiet spirit, an unpretentious humility that made her one of the loveliest women in Scripture. She bowed low before Boaz in genuine gratitude and said, “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” (Ruth 2:10). Her humility was evident again when she said, “You have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants” (Ruth 2:13). There was nothing fake about this. It was real. This real humility, this meek and quiet spirit is one of the most valuable assets a woman can have. Peter says it is of great value in God’s sight (1 Pet. 3:4). It might be a good trait for Christian women to ask God to help them develop. 

·       Do you feel that you have a meek and quiet spirit? What can you do to help cultivate it?

9.  Read Ruth 2:17. “So Ruth continued to glean until evening. And when she beat out what she had gleaned, it was nearly a bushel of barley.”  How much is a half bushel?

10.  Ruth carried the load back to town and gave her mother her leftovers from lunch.  Ruth was a working girl, the sole provider of her household, the sole caretaker of her Mama Sita.
·       How would you describe your attitude toward your in-laws? In what ways could you give of yourself more sacrificially to improve your relationship with them?  If you’re not married, think about your parents or possibly future in-laws.

11. There is always a moral to every story and a result with each situation and let me tell ya, there’s a situation here at the end of chapter 2.  I want you to tell me what it is.  Naomi gives you the answer in verse 22.  Tell me the problem.  Do not look on another person’s paper or you’ll do dishes after class.  Compare THIS (I recommend an English Standard Version for these verses):

·       Ruth 2:8-9
·       Ruth 2:21 D
·       Did you find the problem?  Tell me what you gleaned from the Word of God here: 

12.  How is Ruth showing her Moab-ness in verse 21?

13.  What did Naomi do in her wisdom in verse 22?

14.  What was the positive outcome in verse 23?


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