Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Story of Ruth Sunday School Lesson

Use this Ruth Sunday School lesson to tell children the story of Ruth.

Needed: Lots of loose strips of paper and bags full of paper strips

Tell the story of Ruth, or have a female volunteer tell the story of Ruth, from Ruth's perspective using the script below. Dress up in a Biblical-era costume, if you can.
Script (based on Ruth 1-4): 
Hi, I’m Ruth. I lived a long time ago, when the judges ruled Israel – people like Samson and Gideon and Deborah. I didn’t always live in Israel, though. You see, I’m from the country of Moab, where most people don’t believe in the real God, the God of Israel. Most people in Moab worship the fake god, Chemosh. So did I. Until I met Naomi and her family.

Naomi was from Israel, the town of Bethlehem. She came to Moab with her family because they were having a hard time finding food in Israel. It wasn’t raining very much in that country and so all the farms weren’t growing enough food. They had to move here since we were having enough rain and our crops were doing well.
Soon after they got here, though, Naomi’s husband, Elimelek, died.

It was about that time that my friend, Orpah, and I met Naomi. She had two handsome sons named Mahlon and Kilion. I married one of them and Orpah married the other. But then, ten years later, Mahlon and Kilion both died too. So it was the three of us ladies – Naomi, Orpah, and myself – all alone, without any husbands or children.

Naomi heard then that the farms were doing well in Israel again and that there was enough for everyone. So she figured she had been in Moab long enough and wanted to go home to Israel. She told Orpah and I that we could go back home and live with our parents if we wanted to, but we didn’t want to. We wanted to stay with her. She was our family now.

Finally, Orpah did go home to own her parents’ house, but I wouldn’t do it. I told Naomi, I said, “Naomi, don’t try to tell me to leave you. I love you like you were own mother. So wherever you go, that’s where I’m going to go. Wherever you live, that’s where I’m going to live. Even though I’m from Moab, I’m going to change and become and Israelite. And even though I used to believe in the fake god, Chemosh, I’m going to believe in the real God now.”

So that’s what I told her and it was the best thing I ever did – choosing to move to Israel and believing in the real God.

But when we got to Naomi’s hometown of Bethlehem, we had one little problem to work out. Neither one of us had jobs and we didn’t have very much money to buy food. I knew I had to do something or else we would go hungry.

Luckily, God had made it a law in Israel that the farmers were supposed to help people who didn’t have any food. They were supposed to let us go to their farm and pick up as much we needed. So that’s what I did. I went out to one farm and started picking some wheat so that I could make bread with it for me and Naomi.

I was a little scared to go pick the wheat because I thought the man who owned the farm might not like me since I was from Moab and not from Israel. But I shouldn’t have worried. The farmer was really nice. He was a good man who loved God. His name was Boaz and he told me I could pick as much as he wanted and even come get a drink from his water pitchers if I got thirsty.

I asked him why he was being so nice to me and he said it was because he heard I had moved to Israel with Naomi and was helping to take care of her. He said he was being nice to me because I was being nice to Naomi and he liked that.

Then, at lunchtime, Boaz invited me to eat lunch with him and his workers. Then he even told his workers to help me pick the wheat that I was going to take home with me. I’ll tell you more, but first, I want to play a game with you to show you what that first day on the farm was like.

(Game: Scatter strips of paper on the floor for wheat. Give students a 10-second time limit and tell them to collect as many pieces as they can. After 5 seconds, yell, “Stop!” Explain that you are Boaz and that you own this wheat. But tell the students that since you know they are collecting the wheat because they are hungry and are trying to help their mother-in-law, Naomi, they can keep going. At the end, yell, “Stop!” again. It’s the end of the workday. Give each student a sack of paper strips to take home as well as what they collected already.)

When I got home, Naomi was so amazed at how much I had, that she made me tell her about Boaz and the farm. Then she said, “Ruth, Boaz is one of my relatives. Do you know what that means? That means that he’s supposed to marry you since you’re in my family, but your husband died. Now, listen, go put on your nicest clothes and spray some perfume on. Make yourself look as pretty as you can and then go visit Boaz tonight.”

I was nervous about doing what Naomi told me. I thought, what if Boaz doesn’t like me like that and doesn’t want to marry me? And I wondered if I was ready to get married again. But I knew Boaz was a good man from the way he helped me and was so nice to me on his farm. And I did kind of like him.

So I did exactly what Naomi told me. I got on my best clothes and did my hair and put perfume on, and went to see Boaz. He was having a party for all his workers and so I waited until they all went to sleep. They were sleeping right there in their farm field.

Then I went up to where Boaz was sleeping and laid down by his feet. I hoped that would tell him that I liked him. In the middle of the night, he woke up and saw me lying down at his feet. He said he did like me and wanted to marry me.

We got married and had a son and had a wonderful life together. And our great-grandson even became the best king Israel ever had – King David. And it all happened because I moved to Israel and started worshiping the real God.

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