The Book of Ruth relates one of the most down-to-earth examples of true friendship in the Bible. It is a story of choices and the consequences of those choices. Ruth unquestionably felt a deep kinship with her mother-in-law which caused her to forsake all that was familiar and journey to an unknown land where she became an ancestress of Christ.
In this day of micro-technology, we should have no difficulty in grasping the concept that small things can be significant. We may feel that we are just one among millions on this earth, but in God’s eyes we are important, and that is the point we wish to convey throughout this quarter.
God has a plan for each of us! As we begin our Christian walk, and then continue to grow in His grace, we will want to find out what that plan is and do our best to follow it. To discover God’s plan for us, we need to communicate with Him. With that thought in mind, this quarter opens with two lessons focusing on prayer. The lessons following those deal with recognizing the call of God and fitting ourselves to be usable in His service.
We look at the importance of witnessing to others, and the vital necessity of holding on through hard places. The quarter moves on to a series of lessons on choosing and keeping friends who will not hinder our spiritual growth. The concluding thrust is the importance of staying on the alert, ready at any moment for the Lord’s coming.
Proverbs 14:7; 16:19; James 4:4
- What were some of the attributes Naomi possessed which drew Ruth to her? Ruth 1:8,20-21; 3:1,6,18
- Ruth made one choice, and Orpah another. Their decisions made a great difference in the future events of their lives. What took place in Ruth’s life? What very likely happened to Orpah?
- Consider these biblical examples of friendship, and write what influence you think each of the people had on their friend.
- Moses and Aaron — Exodus 17:10-13
- Joshua and Caleb — Numbers 14:6-9
- David and Jonathan — 1 Samuel 18:3-4
- Elijah and Elisha — 2 Kings 2:2,4,6
- Paul and Silas — Acts 16:25
- What qualities should we look for in friends?
- Using Proverbs 18:24, how should we go about establishing friendships?
- An old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together,” might have had its inspiration from Proverbs 13:20. Read this verse and write how you think our associations affect what other people think of us.
- Why is it important to have godly standards and goals established in our own life while developing friendships?
- It has been said that every Christian needs a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy in their lives. Paul represents the influence of an older person—a friend who can serve as a spiritual advisor or mentor. Barnabas represents friendship with a peer—someone who holds you accountable and is not afraid to “tell it like it is.” Timothy represents a younger person or a new Christian who looks to you for spiritual nurturing or example. Why is it important for a Christian to develop friendships on all three levels?