There wasn't enough food in the land of Judah. So a man went to live in the country of Moab for a while. He was from Bethlehem in Judah. His wife and two sons went with him.
The man's name was Elimelech. His wife's name was Naomi. The names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. (Ruth 1:1-2)
Elimelech died and Naomi was left with her two sons. Mahlon and Kilion married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. After about 10 years, Mahlon and Kilion also died. Naomi was left without her husband or her sons.
With the famine now over, Naomi made plans to return to her homeland. Orpah returned to her family, but Ruth insisted on going with Naomi.
But Ruth replied, "Don't try to make me leave you and go back. Where you go I'll go. Where you stay I'll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God. 17 Where you die I'll die. And there my body will be buried. I won't let anything except death separate you from me. If I do, may the Lord punish me greatly." Ruth 1:16
As they had no money and no men to take care of them, when they got to Bethlehem, Ruth went into the fields to gather whatever grain she could. This process was called gleaning. (at this point in the story, show an example of barley)
Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as an early form of a welfare system.- from Wikipedia
She went to Boaz's field. He was a relative on Naomi's husband's side. Boaz, noticed Ruth and asked his workers to be kind to her and leave plenty of grain for her and her mother-in-law.
After a while, at Naomi's insistence, Ruth went to Boaz at the threshing floor and asked him to become the kinsman-redeemer for them. Before Boaz could accept the care of these two women he had to negotiate with another kinsman for the privilege. This other man was closer to Elimelech and therefore had the responsibility to care for the ladies. This man chose not to accept them into his care which left Boaz with the opportunity to buy Naomi's land and take Ruth as his wife. During this time, there was a practice that made transfer of land final. One person would take his sandal off and give it to the other. That was how people in Israel showed that a business matter had been settled.
A threshing floor is a specially flattened surface, usually circular and paved, where a farmer would thresh the grain harvest and then winnow it. The threshing floor was either owned by the entire village or by a single family. It was usually located outside the village in a place exposed to the wind. -from Wikipedia
Winnowing, in its simplest form involves throwing the barley into the air so that the wind blows away the lighter chaff, while the heavier grains fall back down to be collected.
So Boaz took Ruth as his wife and she had a son, Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David.
Ask the children: what is your favorite movie?
Today, we are going to talk about a story in the Bible that could easily be made into a movie.
Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.
For older children, read story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself.
Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud Ruth 1:1-17, 2:1-12, 4:9-10, 4:21-22
First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?