The book of Ruth

As a desperately poor and vulnerable foreigner, Ruth seemed a very unlikely ancestor of both king David and Jesus the Messiah. Boaz, however, took note of her loyal faithfulness to her mother-in-law Naomi. Boaz trusted God’s promises and showed Ruth gracious kindness; paying a price for her to be included in his own family. Boaz showed what it would be like when Jesus came: Jesus paid a price for us to be included in the family of God so that we can also be instruments of God’s kingdom here on earth!

Key Verse

“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ”

2 Corinthians 1.20a (NLT)


Explain to the kids that each week you’re looking at a story from the Old Testament* that points to Jesus. It’s often helpful to briefly review the previous week’s lesson.

Bible story.

Props you could use: A backpack, a back of grain/corn.

The last few months we’ve been looking at stories from the Old Testament that point to Jesus. We’ve been speaking a lot about God’s Promised Land and God’s promised people. The Old Testament tells us about how God was bringing together his chosen people so that they could show the whole world how good God is.

Today’s story happens after they got into the Promised Land. But things weren’t going very well there. Not everyone was following God, and there was a drought there. It can be difficult to follow Jesus when those around you aren’t following Jesus!

Use a children’s Bible to tell the story of Ruth. Some children’s Bibles will leave out the part of Boaz redeeming Ruth. You could choose to simply fill in the blanks as you read the story, but practice this ahead of time!

Here are a few important details to include as you tell the story:

  • Naomi left the Promised Land with her husband.
  • As a Moabite woman Ruth was not one of God’s promised people.
  • Ruth was going to Bethlehem in the Promised Land when she went with Naomi.
  • There were laws in Israel that God gave to protect poor people and people who came from other countries.
  • Very few people obeyed those laws at that time.
  • Boaz was a kind and generous man.
  • By following God’s laws he showed that he trusted God’s promises.
  • Boaz went to the leaders and paid a price so that Ruth could become part of God’s chosen people.
  • Boaz married Ruth and she had a son (Obed), who had a son (Jesse), who had a son (David), who became a great king of Israel!

Boaz showed what it would be like when Jesus came. God wants us to be part of his chosen people! We are all like Ruth though. We need someone to pay a price for us so that we can become part of God’s chosen people. That is why God sent his son Jesus. Jesus has paid that price! How do you know if you’re part of God’s chosen people? All you have to do is believe in Jesus! It’s a free gift.

The beautiful thing is that we can also show God’s kindness to those around us who are poor, or sad, or lonely. Did you know that there are also people in our city who have moved here from far away because things are going badly in their countries? We call those people refugees. [We will speak about ways that we can show God’s love to refugee families in our city].

After we pray, we’ll break into small groups and we’ll talk about some ways that we can show God’s kindness to those around us!

Prayer: Thank God for sending his Son Jesus to pay a price for us to be close to him. Thank him that we can always trust his promises. Pray for wisdom and courage for the children as they seek to follow God.

* Old Testament: The first part of the Bible that tells the story of God’s people and explains his promise.

Object Lesson (God’s kindness)

Supplies: A paper plate with water, ground pepper, a toothpick dipped in liquid soap, sugar.

Use a plate or shallow dish with water in it and sprinkle some ground pepper evenly across the surface. Tell the children that the pepper represents the people in our families, and our schools, and in our city. God wants those people to know his love for them. What happens when we’re mean to those around us? Touch the surface of the water with the toothpick. The pepper will move away from the toothpick. The Bible tells us that God’s kindness leads us back to him (Rom. 2.4). When we show God’s kindness to others, it helps them to feel his love for them and it opens their hearts to what Jesus has done for them! Pour the sugar into the middle of the plate to represent God’s kindness. It should draw the pepper back towards the middle!

Allow the children to pair off and  ‘interview’ one another with the following question: “Can you think of a time that you showed kindness to somebody else and it made a difference in their lives?”

Review Questions
  • Why did Naomi leave the Promised Land?
  • Where did Naomi and Ruth get food to eat when they went back to Bethlehem?
  • How did Boaz show Ruth and Naomi kindness?
  • What town was Jesus born? Do you remember why he was born in Bethlehem?
  • How can we show God’s kindness to others?


Glean the field

This goal of this game is to see which team can ‘glean’ the most grain to share with those in need.

Supplies: A few bags of cotton balls, masking tape, 2 buckets

How to Play: Divide the kids into 2 teams on opposite sides of the room. Wrap a piece of masking tape inside-out on each child’s hand so that the sticky side of the tape faces outward. Scatter cotton balls in the middle of the room to be the ‘grain’ that needs to be gleaned.

Tell the kids that Ruth was gleaning in the fields of Boaz. Tell them that we’re going to play a game to see which team can gather the most grain to share with those in need! When you say ‘Go!’, the kids need to try to get as many cotton balls as they can to stick to the tape on their hands. Once the time is out have the kids put all their collected cotton balls in a pile or in a bucket. The team with the most is the winner!