Responding to God

Study 4: Waiting for God

Like many car drivers I am something of an expert in waiting.

waiting
I also have the full complement of McDonald's stars when it comes to not getting what I want, when I want it. One of the hardest things to experience in life is when we have to wait for something that we really want to get our hands on and we know deep down that it will happen, sometime.

Boaz waited simply because it was the right thing to do. He had to offer Naomi's land and her possessions (one of which was Ruth, her son's husband) to her closest relative, as was the law and custom. To be hasty in his actions would have caused problems from a personal and legal point of view.

Listening and sharing together
  1.  Reflect on our study last week. What did you learn?
  2. What would you like to share that might encourage other people tempted to run ahead of God?
  3. What questions has last week’s study prompted?

It's important to remember than even when we are in a rush, we need to do the things in the right way. Even though Boaz wanted Ruth as his wife, he knew he was duty bound to offer her to another and he was prepared to risk all he desired, to do what was right before God.

Patience or persistence?

1. Do you find it easy to wait? (Be honest!) Why is that?
2. Have you been tempted to rush in when you knew you should wait?
3. What moved you to act in that way?What or who keeps you going while you are waiting?

Reading together - Ruth 3:13 - 4:12

Studying together
  1. How would you tell this story in today's terms? (Think about how a newspaper or Newsnight might portray it: what questions would it prompt on Question Time). How would you explain what is going on to others?
  2. What strikes you about Boaz's character?
  3. What have you learned from Boaz about waiting?
  4. How responsible might you feel for a) your family and b) fellow Christians in light of this passage? What sort of things do you have to consider?
  5. How will you cope with waiting on God as a result of what you have read and learned and shared this evening?
  6. What are you prepared to risk for God?
Praying together

Let's use what we have been studying and learning together to prompt our prayers. Whatever our desires might be or whatever our plans and dreams are, to remain in God's will it is sometimes necessary to wait until he puts everything in place.

Waiting can be hard but it will always be profitable if we wait for God to speak and then respond to his direction. We can hang to the fact that he knows our hearts and our limitations and will help us to cope with the times when we'd rather get going and get in the thick of it, than standing back and waiting.

God is not capricious; often His plans and our desires come together - he doesn't delight in refusing us something just because we've asked for it, otherwise the Amazon jungle would be full of those who have said: "Dear Lord send me to share the gospel, anywhere but the Amazon jungle."

Let's ask him to help us to wait, to discern his will and then to act accordingly.

For Personal Study ...

Reread Ruth 1 - 4:12 on your own and consider what lessons you have learned up to now.
Be ready to share them with the group next week, if you feel able.