We’ve just finished our third week of online bible study, reading chapters three and four in The Gospel of Ruth by Carolyn Custis James. This week Carolyn exposed her own infertility and identified with Ruth’s barrenness in scripture. She then presented examples of women in scripture who endured barren lives. We learned that children are miracles and no birth should be assumed as human-made. In the story of Ruth, “two childless widows become lead figures in a biblical book,” writes Carolyn. We see examples of Jesus’ love for women in the New Testament and learn that God has a different view of women than many cultures do. If you want to know what is happening around to women and Christians around the world, visit Voice of the Martyrs and read their monthly newsletter. In our study of Ruth we see God work through the challenges of widowhood, infertility, grief, depression, poverty and loss. In the story we find God is Master of our past, present and future. “Despair and hope are traveling side by side,” writes Carolyn, and in this story of two women and a redeemer, we see God’s overshadowing love.
Ruth steps up and does what needs to be done. She’s in survival mode as she depends on God to provide food for herself and Naomi. She’s in faith mode when she leaves her pagan gods behind her and seeks intimacy with Naomi’s God. Most likely she faced fear, depression and discouragement- yet she carries on. She breaks the rules of the establishment and keeps her faith and her courage. She makes a name for herself and receives a blessing from Boaz. Our story continues next week.
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Carolyn Custis James Quotes
- Suffering is a sacred meeting place between God and His child, where faith is fighting to survive and God’s goodness comes into question.
- The barren woman acknowledges God to be the Lord of the womb.
- Every child born into God’s family is a miracle.
For Next Week
- Read Chapters Five and Six in the book
- Join our Womens Bible Cafe Chat on Facebook
Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like
- What does the barren woman teach us about God and ourselves?
- Why was Ruth’s courage important to this story?
- Is there an area of your life where you need to be bolder for God’s kingdom?
- Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.