Welcome to the fifth week of reading The Gospel of Ruth by Carolyn Custis James. Next week will be our last week of study as we finish reading this book. Carolyn reminds us that “God is still the main hero in this bible story as the story of Ruth reveals Him and his transformation on human hearts.” Once Naomi recognizes hessed in her life, the story takes another bend in the road as she finds courage and takes action. Her concern is no longer for herself as Naomi looks to the welfare of her daughter-in-law. Ruth has provided for Naomi and now Naomi wants to return the love. She sees an opportunity and does not hesitate to implement an action plan for Ruth. Carolyn writes “This is a stunning moment in the biblical record- one with seismic ramifications for women. It is yet another instance in scripture where we see that gospel living goes against the grain of human culture. Boaz foreshadows how Jesus would one day reach out to women who were rejected by their communities, to commission and empower them to serve him.”
Our next chapter looks at submission as presented in the story of Ruth. We see all three characters demonstrate submission and in different ways. Naomi submits when she gives up her only remaining family member, Ruth, in order to secure Ruth’s future in a foreign land. Ruth submits when she exposes herself to a possible refusal from Boaz, and also another attempt at childbirth. She loves Naomi and her God, and Ruth submits to demonstrate her love. “Ruth, out of her poverty, is giving away all that she has,” writes Carolyn. Boaz submits by redeeming this family. All three are showing us to” Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
Please visit our Prayer Wall and post a prayer request or praise report. Take time this week to lift others up with your prayers.
Carolyn Custis James Quotes
- The bible clearly teaches submission.
- Submission is not an occasional event, it’s a lifestyle.
- Submission isn’t an act of mindless compliance, but an act of wisdom, strength and determination.
- We were created to be like Jesus and we can’t be like him if we leave out submission.
- Submission means those with power give it up.
For Next Week
- Read Chapters Nine and Ten in the book
- Register for Loving Well by Beth Moore 4-week video based bible study
Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like
- What changes do you observe in Naomi? How to you explain her new courage?
- Why is submission a lifestyle rather than an occasional event?
- How does Jesus change our understanding of submission?
- Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.