Session 6: Settling in the Land
Ruth and Samuel
The Book of Ruth was written during the time period of the judges. The book begins, “In the days when the judges judged. . .” (Ruth 1:1), and the whole book is about God’s loyal loving-kindness during this time of tumult and idolatry. In this time of the judges, after the people cycled through judge after judge and things got particularly bad, God raised up a prophet named Samuel to call His people back to the LORD as their King. But in the end, the people continued to reject God as their king, and they demanded a human king like the other nations had.
Read 1 Samuel 8
The Lord conceded to their request for a king. God anointed Saul as Israel’s first human king, and He placed His Spirit upon Saul, but King Saul turned out to be a disaster because of his lack of submission to God, so God removed His Spirit from Saul and anointed David with His Spirit, and God called David “a man after God’s own heart.” The remainder of 1 Samuel follows the struggle between Saul and David.
It is significant that both Rahab, the woman from Jericho whose story is told in Joshua, and Ruth, a Moabite woman, both appear in the genealogy of Jesus. These women remind us of God’s promise of redemption for his people, even in the midst of the cycle of sin.
It also bring up an important theme in Biblical Theology – that Israel was always to be a light to the nations drawing people to the true God. They never fully realized that. It is an important reminder to us that WE as followers of Jesus should also be a light to the people around us drawing people to Christ.
Small Group Discussion
- What are your thoughts about this section of the Old Testament (war, genocide)?
- How have your thoughts changed after going through this section?
- Is there still tension with the thought of genocide in the Old Testament?
- In what ways does acknowledging past wrongs in this country help us to live out our faith moving forward?
- How does the cycle of sin in Judges on page 62 represent sin in our own lives?
Remember to spend some time filling out the Selah page at the back of the Settling in the Land section of your handbook.