Bible Lessons from Ruth

Lesson 1: God’s chosen servant

Ruth 1

Lesson Aim: To teach children that God chooses the foolish, the outcast, and the weak and uses them for His glory. To show them that no matter who they are, God can use them for His glory.

Bible Memory: 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. 17 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. (Ruth 1:16-17).”


Last week we finished our study of Judges, and the book ended quite sadly. The final verse of Judges states, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit (Judges 21:25).” What a sad state.

Ask: What are some of the things you see in the news today? (murder, rape, hurricanes, violence etc.)

It’s kind of reminds me of the day in which we live now. If we look around and watch the news, we see people living as they see fit. We live in a world today that focuses upon “self” rather than God. A world that has no problem with sin, and really no sense of right and wrong. This is the type of world the people in the book of Judges lived.

Today we will begin our journey through Ruth. Now, Ruth is a short book, only 4 chapters, but all throughout this book, we see the fingerprints of God.

Bible Lesson:

Turn in your Bibles to Ruth 1, and allow kids to take turns reading chapter one.

Explain that Ruth 1 begins with Naomi and her family leaving Bethlehem to go to the land of Moab because of a famine. Should they have gone? People have differing opinions on this, and the Bible doesn’t make it clear. However, even if they should not have gone, we see in chapter 1 how God can take a bad, hopeless situation and bring good out of it.

In the first five verses what happens?

Yes, so much heartache. Naomi’s husband and both her sons die. Now, this was not immediate, it happened over a period of years, because both boys had married wives from Moab, but regardless of how many years this was spaced out over, it was still a difficult time for Naomi.

In verse 6 what happens?

Naomi hears of God’s mercy and how He is providing for the people of Israel, and she decides it is time to go home. At first, her plan is to take her daughter in laws with her, but then she probably realizes that they’d be better off in Moab.

This is fine for Orpah, but Ruth refuses.

Have someone read Ruth 1:16-17. Ask, what was Ruth’s response?

Why do you think Ruth’s response was different from Orpah’s?

I believe the difference is that God had chosen Ruth to be His servant and had a special plan for her life. But, let’s think about this.

Where did Ruth come from?


Who were the Moabites?

Enemies of God.

But God, still chose Ruth.

Turn to Matthew 1:5, whose name is included in the genealogy of Christ? Yes! Ruth!!

God had a purpose and a plan far greater than Ruth could imagine, for from her and Boaz, would come Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David… all the way down to Jesus!

Despite the fact that Ruth was a Moabite, despite that she was a gentile, God chose her to be in the line of our Savior, Jesus.

Well, when Naomi sees that Ruth is determined to go, they leave for Bethlehem. When the people see Naomi they whisper, is that Naomi? How does Naomi respond?

Have someone read Ruth 1:20-21

Why does she respond like this?

That’s right, Naomi came back full of bitterness at God. She blamed God for taking her husband and her sons, and she missed out on what He had provided her with. A daughter in law who was devoted to her.

Someone read Ruth 1:22. I love this verse. Can anyone guess why?

I love this verse because it shows the kindness and goodness of God. At what time of the year did they arrive back?

That’s right. At the beginning of barley season.

Why is this important?

Real quick turn to Leviticus 19:9-10

God made provisions for the poor and the foreigner, for the widow and the orphan. This provision instructed the people to not glean the fields completely but to leave some of the grain or the grapes or whatever they were harvesting, for the poor.

God was getting ready to provide for Naomi and Ruth in ways far beyond their imagination.

God was getting ready to show Naomi that she could trust Him, and how He could and would provide for her.

God was going to change Naomi’s bitterness into joy. And He was going to do this through His chosen servant, Ruth.

Close in prayer.

Bible memory:

Practice with class saying the verse over and over. Say it loud, whisper it, say it however you want to advise. Then break the class up into groups and advise them to come up with actions to go with the verse. Allow each group to come up and act out the verse.

Lesson 2: God’s Favor

Ruth 2

Bible Aim:

To teach children that despite who we are, He loves us. Despite how often we fail, He forgives us. To help them understand that He has chosen us as His own because of His grace.

Bible Memory:

At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner? (Ruth 2:10)


Play 7-up

Choose two helpers.

Have kids all close their eyes and hold up their thumb. Tell them there will be no peeking, then while eyes are closed, you and two helpers go and fold down the thumb of one person. Say head’s up, seven ups. The child whose thumb was bent down has to guess who picked him/her. If they guess right, they get to come join the helpers and the previous helper sits down. Play a few rounds as time allows.

Have everyone sit down, ask. Why were the ones in the game chosen? Allow for answers…

Those who were picked were probably being quiet, they weren’t peeking, and they were playing by the rules yea.

In today’s lesson, we will see how Ruth is chosen out of all the gleaners because of her good reputation.

Bible Lesson:

Turn in your Bibles to Ruth 2.

Allow students to take turns to read Ruth 2:1-13

Explain in verse one we are told that Naomi had a family member from Elimelech’s side who had great wealth. In verse 2, the Bible explains that Ruth requested that she go glean in the field for the leftover grain. But notice verse 3, it says she happened to come to the portion of the field that belonged to Boaz.

Teach: Nothing happens by chance. Ruth did not just happen to end up in the field of Boaz. God put her in the right place at the right time. He does the same with you and me. Nothing in our life is by accident or by chance, because our days have been ordained by the Lord. He knows the number of days we will have, He knows our dwelling place, and He determines what we will do with our lives. God has a special plan and purpose for you, just as He had for Ruth.

In verses 4-6; Boaz enters the picture. What kind of person does he appear to be from these verses? How did the people greet him? Do you think he was well liked and respected?

Yes, me too! I think he was a kind owner who treated his workers well, and they respected him because of it.

Boaz ask about the foreign woman working in his fields, and when he learns it is Ruth, he approaches her.

He tells her in vs 7-9 to remain in his fields, to glean there, and to eat his food and drink his water, and tells her that he will instruct the others to watch out for her.

What is Ruth’s response (vs. 10)? She is overwhelmed right; she doesn’t understand why he is being so kind or what she has done to deserve this special treatment.

Boaz goes on to explain his kindness in verses 11-13; telling her that he has heard how she came back with Naomi and all she has done to take care of her mother-in-law, how she left her family to come back to Bethlehem. And he is praying the Lord will bless and reward her for these things.

Ruth’s reputation proceeded her, and Boaz chose to bless her and to notice her because of all the great things he had heard about her.

She found favor in his sight due to the goodness she had done.

Ask: Does our reputation with others matter? Does how we live, what we say and do matter? Are people watching to see how we live?

The answer to all of these questions is yes. It does matter how we live; it does matter especially when we call ourselves Christians, others are watching to see if our lives match our words.

But do you want to know something wonderful.

You and I have found favor in God’s eyes not because of anything we have done, not because of our reputation, but simply because of His grace!

Though most in Nepal do not know Jesus and have never heard the Bible preaching/teaching. You have. Why? Is it because of anything you have done? No! It is because of His amazing grace. It is because He has chosen you as His own!

And you and I have favor before God because of what Jesus has done on our behalf. We are not made righteous because of what we do, we are made righteous because of what Christ has done!

May we never forget or take for granted the marvelous grace of our God.

You are special, you are important to Him. He has chosen you!

Close in prayer.

Bible memory:

Play erase a word. Write the verse on the board and allow kids to erase a word each round until the verse is gone. As each word is erased, have kids say the verse filling in the missing word.

As time allows play 7-up.

Lesson 3: God’s Provision

Ruth 2:14-3

Bible Aim:

To teach children that they can trust that the Lord will take care of and provide for all of their needs. To help them understand that sometimes we must obey even when it doesn’t make sense and even when we don’t like it.

Bible Memory:

Then Ruth told her all that Boaz had done for her. And she said, “He gave me these six measures of barley, for he said, ‘Do not go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed (Ruth 3:16-17).”


Ask: What is the difference between a want and a need?

Allow kids to give examples of wants and needs

Explain that in today’s lesson we will see how God provides for the needs of Ruth and Naomi through others, and discuss how God also provides for our needs, and can use us to provide for the needs of others, just as He used Boaz to provide for Ruth and Naomi.

Bible Lesson:

Ruth 3 is an interesting passage. It begins with Naomi and Ruth talking. By this point in time, Naomi realizes how special Ruth is. She loves her like the daughter she never had, and she truly wants what is best for her.

So, she decides to do a bit of match making, because she thinks Ruth and Boaz would make a great match.

Here in Nepal it is quite normal for parents to choose whom their children married. Likewise, this is the way it was during Ruth’s day. Since Ruth’s parents were back in Moab, the closest thing she has to it, was Naomi.

Therefore, when Naomi suggest Ruth go and put on her best clothes, and go to the threshing floor, where Naomi knows Boaz will be, Ruth agrees.

Yet, then the kind of strange part of the story begins. Naomi tells Ruth to notice where Boaz will be sleeping and then when he is asleep to go and lay at his feet. Sounds weird right. I mean come on why would she go and lay at his feet while he is sleeping? There must be some reason for this?

In this culture lying at his feet, showed submission. Ruth was showing herself to be Boaz servant, coming in humility.

But not only was she to lie at his feet, she was to uncover his feet, so that when he awoken, she could ask him to spread his garment over her. Again why???

Studies show that her asking for his garment to be spread over her, was her way of asking him to take responsibility for caring for her. In one sense it was her way of proposing to Boaz.

Regardless of the whys, Ruth obeyed. And Boaz recognized the meaning behind all that she did. In fact, he responds by saying he would be happy to do so and that he will. but there is one issue to be resolved.

See in this culture, it was customary for a brother or a relative, the next kin to marry the widow. In doing so, he was to provide a way to carry on the name of the deceased through a child.

Boaz let’s Ruth know that there is another who is closer kin to Ruth’s husband than he. He explains to her that he will speak with him and that this issue will be resolved today.

He sends her home, but not without grain to take to her mother in law, and with a promise to see to the matter at hand. God used Boaz to provide for the needs of Ruth and Naomi. God can also use you to provide for the needs of others. He has you where you are for a reason. Look for ways to serve Him every day.

Back to the story. Wow! Bizarre right? Yet, it all made sense in that culture, just like the customs practiced in Nepal concerning marriage make sense, maybe not to others, but to you.

Yet, what is striking is Ruth’s obedience to her mother-in -law, and her humility towards Boaz. Another amazing thing we see again and again throughout the short chapters of this book is the Lord’s provision for Ruth and her mother in law’s needs.

So, what do we learn from this strange chapter of Ruth?

1. We learn that sometimes obedience is simply obedience. We may not understand what is asked of us. We may not even like what we are asked to do, but we are to obey. Whether that is our parents, our authorities, or God.

2. And often what God ask doesn’t make sense. Sometimes in fact it seems crazy, but we are still to be obedient.

3. God can and will meet our needs. Maybe not always our wants, but certainly our needs as we look to Him to provide.

4. God can use us to meet the needs of others. We get to be His hands and His feet.

5. We also learn that we can trust the Lord for our future. Ruth had no idea when she left Moab to go with Naomi, how it would all work out, she just went. Yet, God had a plan for her, one that would be used to bless her and to use her for His glory.

Close in prayer.

Bible Memory: prior to class make and cut out 3-4 sets of puzzles, then have kids race to beat the clock to see who can get there together first.

Play Simon Says as time allows. Let kids take turns being Simon.

Lesson 4: Our Kinsmen Redeemer

Ruth 4

Bible Aim: To teach children that Jesus has come and redeemed us. Though we were unworthy, just as Ruth was. The Father sent Jesus to be our kinsman redeemer.

Bible Memory: “Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. 15 May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him (Ruth 4:14-15).”


Play Head and shoulders, knees and SHOES.

As kids arrive have them take off their shoes and place them in a pile in the middle of the room. If they don’t know the normal Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes, explain that you will be singing slowly at first and then faster, Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes. Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes. Eyes and ears, and mouth and nose, Head and shoulders knees and toes. Allow kids to do this a few times. Then tell them next time you will change the words a bit. Instead of toes, it will be Head and shoulders, knees and Shoes. When they hear the word shoes, they have to race to get their shoes and put them on. Play about 10 minutes, then have kids take a rest.

Bible Lesson:

Today we will finish the story of Ruth. Now you may be wondering what Head and shoulders, knees and shoes has to do with today’s lesson, but as we read you will notice there is an interesting practice that takes place concerning shoes.

Let’s take a look.

Have kids take turns reading Ruth 4:1-15

In verse 1 we find Boaz going to the gate. This was a prominent place in the city where official business took place. With him he took 10 elders and had them sit down at the city gate. Then he spoke with the closest relative and in the presence of the others let him know about the land that is available to the nearest kin. Like he suspected, the closest relative was very interested in the purchase of the property. that is until Boaz told him the rest of the story. For he went on to tell him, that on the day that he purchases the land, he will also obtain the widow of the deceased widow and must raise up a child in the deceased’s name.

Well when he found out that the land included Ruth, he was no longer interested. Which I believe Boaz had guessed. Yet, Boaz had to have this meeting in an official place in front of witnesses. At this point, the exchange of shoes took place. The relative who refused to do his duty, was to take off his shoe and give it to the one who would fulfill the duty. After this was accomplished, Boaz turned to the elders and said, you are my witnesses.

Boaz was a wise man, who did things according to the law. Could he have taken Ruth as his wife prior to meeting with the other relative? Sure, but all would have known he went about it the wrong way.

Truth: If you belong to the Lord, then His Holy Spirit dwells within you, and He gives you wisdom to make the right choices. He will give you wisdom to know what is best to do, just as He did with Boaz. Remember Solomon, Solomon could have asked for anything, but he asked for wisdom. Ask the Lord for His wisdom that you may live each day for His glory.

Well, after this public meeting, Boaz went and took Ruth as his bride. Sometime later, Ruth was with child. God blessed the marriage of Boaz and Ruth with a son, Obed. And the women came to Naomi who had once said to call her Mara which means bitter. To Naomi who had blamed God for taking her husband and sons, and they told her how blessed she was. For God had given her Ruth, who was better to her than 7 sons, and now has given her a grandson.

Truth: We are all tempted to be like Naomi when things go wrong and to blame God. To question His ways, and to believe the lies of the enemy that He does not care. Naomi had turned away from the Lord, but God was still faithful to her. He still provided for her and cared for her needs through Ruth and Boaz. And in His love and kindness He led her back to Himself. And though the enemy would want us to question God and to blame Him like Naomi did, God wants you and me to trust that even in the midst of the really hard days, that He loves us and that He can turn the worst things into good things for His glory.

Have someone read Ruth 4:16-22

What do all of these verses have to do with anything?

Well they are extremely important, for they go on to tell us that the son of Ruth and Boaz would go on to be the father of Jesse, who was the father of King David.

Does anyone know who also came from the line of David?? Yes, Jesus.

So, God chose Ruth, who was a Moabite, and allowed her to be in the lineage of Christ. So, we can see from even the Old Testament that God had a plan to bring salvation not only to the Jews, but to the Gentiles, for He used a Gentile in the family tree of our Savior, Jesus.

Though Ruth was a Moabite, who were known enemies of God, God chose her and used her greatly for His glory.

And God can use you for His glory as well.

Have children bow their heads and pray asking God to take the lives of the boys and girls in the classroom and to use them for His glory and honor.

Bible Memory:

Play hot potato. Using a ball, have kids make a circle. Have children toss the ball from person to person, each person to catch the ball must say the verse. Pass and say the verse over and over again until all can say from memory.

As time allows, play Head and Shoulders, Knees and Shoes.