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There is an old saying that when times are hardest you know who your friends are. That summarizes the first chapter of the book of Ruth.
Naomi's situation was at its worst. She had lost her husband and sons, which meant that she had also lost her source of income, security, and identity. She was without hope. It is at this point that Ruth, her daughter-in-law, does an astonishing thing-she decides to stay with Naomi. Ruth demonstrates a commitment to be there.
1. Why is faithfulness an important quality in friendship?
2. Read Ruth 1. What do we learn about Naomi in verses 1-5?
3. Ruth and Orpah are introduced as Naomi's daughters-in-law (v. 4). What basis do these three women have for mutual trust (vv. 1-5)?
4. Consider a time when you shared a difficult experience with someone. How did it strengthen your friendship?
5. What do verses 6-13 reveal about Naomi's relationship to God?
6. When you have faced a painful experience, how has it affected your attitude toward God?
7. The famine is over, and Naomi prepares to return to Bethlehem with her daughters-in-law. Why does Naomi encourage Ruth and Orpah to stay in Moab (vv. 8-14)?
8. What cost does Naomi face by encouraging Ruth and Orpah to stay in Moab?
How do both Ruth and Orpah show faithfulness to Naomi by their different responses?
9. What does it cost you to be faithful to those you love?
Excerpted from Faithfulness by Jacalyn Eyre Copyright © 2001 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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