Ruth

We picked up our journey through the Bible in the book of Ruth. Ruth is a really short book, only 4 chapters but there is a lot to it.

Starting off in Chapter 1 Naomi and her husband Elimelech choose to leave their homeland (Bethlehem) and go to Moab due to famine. They had two sons who married Ruth and Orpah, both were Moabites. All three of these men died in Moab leaving Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah widowed.

On Top of them being widowed woman in these times, would have many social struggles. Woman needed me to care for them, and support them. Naomi decided to return to her homeland and told that Ruth and Orpah had no responsibility to her and could say in Moab. Orpah stayed in Moab, which was home to her, and had better chances to finding a husband.

Ruth and Naomi journeyed to Bethlehem where Naomi was from.  This was during the barley harvest, so they went to take some grain left behind from the pickers in Boaz’s field. Boaz was a distant relative to Elimelech.  They ended up at this field by coincidence. It may seem odd to go to a field to pick it over for grain, but it was a practice to leave some behind as they harvested for those who needed it.

Ruth and Boaz ended up getting married after Naomi told her to go lay at his feet one night. Boaz was a very caring individual who took great care of Ruth and Naomi. Ruth and Boaz had a son, whom they gave to Naomi. This allowed Naomi’s family name to live on. Oped was part of Jesus’ Lineage.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Does the story of Naomi and Elimelech leaving their homeland sound familiar to current day?
  • How would you feel having to leave your homeland?
  • Do you align more with Orpah or Ruth in their decision to stay or go? Why?
  • How do we include outsiders well?

Prayer Night

Last night we had our first worship night and focused on prayer. After we played some games and checked in with each other through highs and lows we spent some time in prayer.

We rotated freely through five stations to interact with God in different ways. The stations were:

1.)    Word: highlighting or marking Scripture that has impacted us.

2.)    Wipe Your Sins Away: asking God for forgiveness of our sins, and reflecting on where God is calling us through His grace.

3.)    Rest: time to dwell in the Bible, journal, pray, or just be.

4.)    Praise and Thanksgiving Wall: writing down what we are thankful for.  (The whiteboard was covered)

5.)    Pray for the World: posting sticky notes on a map of the world, as we prayed for different countries. 

We ended our night with some worship, and a closing prayer.

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Exodus

Last night we continued our journey through the Bible, in the book of Exodus to be specific. Exodus is an action packed story of escape and God’s provision for His people.

We picked up the story of Moses after he killed an Egyptian who was beating an Israelite slave. Moses was in Midian tending a flock of sheep. Moses lead his flock towards Horeb where God appeared to Moses through a burning bush! God was speaking to Moses and telling Moses that he needed to go back to Egypt and lead the Israelites to the promise land. Moses said that he didn’t feel equipped for this and God assured him that He would be with Moses.

Moses went to Pharaoh, and said to let the israelites go. Pharaoh said, “no.” which lead to the 10 plagues (water to blood, frogs, gnats, flies, diseased cattle, boils, hail, locusts, darkness for 3 days, and death of first born). After each of the plagues Pharaoh still said no until his first born son had died. He then let Moses and the Israelites go.

Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he changed his mind to pursue the Israleites. Moses parted the Red Sea and the Israelites walked to safety while the sea closed in on the Egyptian army, killing them. Moses and the Israelites then wandered the dessert for 40 years until they reached the promise land.

This is a really quick overview of Exodus. During this year we are giving the high lights of the stories and focusing on what they mean to us.

Moses was called to do something HUGE, something that he didn’t feel able to do. Sound familiar? God asks us to do the same, maybe not lead a whole group of people out of slavery, but tasks we feel unable to do. What does God call you to do?

Parents: Share a time with your child when God called you to do something you didn’t feel ready to do. How did you respond? How did it turn out?

Another part of this story was Moses’ desire to see God. When God first appeared to Moses through the burning bush, Moses hid his face. Later when God appeared to him again, Moses wanted to see God. God let him see his backside. There are times where we follow God and want to see Him to see if He is actually there. Where have you seen God in your life?

Then when they were in the dessert wandering, the Israelites lost sight if God and created an idol (golden calf) to worship. What do we worship, that isn’t God? (think: technology, money, status, friends, approval, etc.)

Each week I will be giving out cards to students giving them further optional readings to catch other parts of the book we are going through. Here they are below in case the sheet didn’t make it home:

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Genesis

Last night was a great night of CREW! We played some box Frisbee outside in this beautiful fall like weather before large group started. We are going to have a great year together!

Genesis:

We started out talking about how religion and science can work together and not be at odds. Genesis is a common book of the Bible that is called scientifically inaccurate.  There are questions that the Bible answers and science answers another set of questions, though they can support one another.

We looked at the big picture of Genesis; which is how we are created in God’s image, and we make mistakes but yet God still loves us. As you read through Genesis, one can think, “how are these people in the Bible?” but we see how God still loves and provides for them. We know that God loves and provides for us still to this day, and will continue to.

We also talked about how God gave us dominion over creation, and how can be good stewards of creation.

To Ponder…

  • How are we made in God’s image? What qualities does God have that we do?
  • How can we take better care of God’s creation?
  • All families have stories that are passed on or told frequently at family gatherings. What are some of those in your family? What is the origin of them? What does it say about your family?

How was the Bible Made?

Last night was our first night of our Bible year! We talked about does the Bible still matter and how it was created. The Bible as we know it was created through a process called canonization.

How do we know the Bible has the right books and still matters?

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

We know from 2 Timothy 3:14-17 that all scripture is inspired by God. We also know that scripture equips us.

Questions:

How are you equipped for good works?

How has scripture equipped you?

How has God spoken to you through scripture?

In Small groups students talked about the Bible as a whole and the questions that it creates when knowing how it was made. Scripture is inspired by God and written by humans. How do we know the humans didn’t make mistakes or include the wrong books? Since scripture is inspired by God, we know that what needed to be included is included.

Questions:

What about the Bible’s history surprised you the most?

What book of the Bible do you find the strangest? Why?

In what ways do you think the Bible questions us?

Is the Bible trustworthy?

Why would we talk about how the Bible was made and the questions this can pose? As part of real faith for real life, we hear comments about how scripture contradicts itself or how it is inaccurate, but we need to know and believe that scripture is God’s written word to us. Also, it is ok to ask questions about what we believe, that is how we learn.

I look forward to our discussions as we dive into God’s word more this year and Genesis next week.