5 Important Truths from the Life of Ruth

This short Bible studies addresses 5 important elements of Ruth's life, all of which we can apply to our own lives.

As an introduction to this study, please read the 1-minute devotion The Great Challenges and Great Faith of Ruth.

It's so easy to read Bible stories and forget they record events in the lives of real people like you and me. Ruth had human feelings, questions, and challenges. But she is an excellent example of faith, humility and forbearance. 

1. Ruth stood firm in her new faith despite opposition.

When Naomi prepared to return to Judah, her daughters-in-law were both willing to accompany her. But she urged them to go back to their people and their gods!! 

To put this into perspective, this is like a Christian persuading a new believers to go back to Hindu or Muslim worship!

We don’t know if Ruth’s husband introduced her to God, but Ruth stood firm despite the fact that Naomi tried to convince her she'd be happier in her own country. 

Here are some excerpts from their conversation in Ruth 1:

Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law,'Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home.' But they both wept and said they would go with her. But Naomi said, 'Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me?'” 

When Ruth "clung to" Naomi, Naomi continued:

“'Look,' said Naomi, 'your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.' But Ruth replied, 'Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.'” 

When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her to stay.

2. Ruth overcame prejudice about her ethnic background.  

The Moabites were pagans, descendants with an incestuous beginning: Job's wicked daughters got Lot drunk, slept with him, and became pregnant (Genesis 19:30-38). Pretty disgusting start to a ethnic group. Yet God chose Ruth, a Moabite, to teach the Jews about genuine faith.

There is no doubt that Ruth faced the challenge of bigotry when she returned to Judah with Naomi.

If someone looks down on you, how do you respond?

The following verses give us insights into the impression Ruth made on those who initially would have looked down on her due to her ethnicity:

Ruth 2:11: Boaz replied, 'I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before.'”

Ruth 3:11:
All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.

Ruth 4:14-15:
The women said to Naomi ...'your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.'”

This short Bible studies addresses 5 important elements of Ruth's life, all of which we can apply to our own lives.
3. Ruth overcame Naomi's selfishness and respected her advice.

Naomi was bitter and insensitive to Ruth in a number of ways. For more on this, please read Was Naomi a Good Mom-in-law?.  

Despite Naomi's insensitivity, Ruth listened to her advice

Ruth 3:1-5: One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. [Naomi gives Ruth instructions]... 5 “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered.  

Perhaps we don't respect everything about a particular elder, but that doesn't mean God can't use them to advise us. And it doesn't mean we can't show them respect. It is humbling to admit older people know things we don't, but it's true.

How do you respond to advice from those who are older than you? 

1 Peter 5:5-6: You who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

4. Ruth was willing to take a low position.

The only type of work Ruth could get to feed her and Naomi was humble, difficult and sometimes unsafe.  

If you were out of work, would you do something "beneath" you in order to put food on the table?

Ruth 2:9,  22: [Boaz said]
Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you ... 22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.”

5. God honored Ruth's faith and humility.

Matthew 1: This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah ... 5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of King David ...

Women are usually not listed in genealogies during this time frame, but Matthew, under the direction of God's Spirit lists three women and one of them is the Moabite Ruth. 

copyright 2015, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com, edited and updated in 2020

This short Bible studies addresses 5 important elements of Ruth's life, all of which we can apply to our own lives.


  1. I have never did Bible study bedbef

  2. Typo Alert! #2 Ruth overcame prejudice... Not Job surely, wasn't that Lot??
    Love, love the story of Ruth!!! Didn't know that's where the Moabites came from!!!