MEMORY VERSE: Ruth 2:17 "So she gleaned in the field until even..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Revelation. Write this very last book of the New Testament on small slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end of class.
PRAYER: Thank God for taking care of His children, providing everything that they need.
SPECIAL SONG: The Books of the Old testament and The Books of the New Testament (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog).
VISUAL AID: A large Activity (see below). If you are a seamstress and have extra, inexpensive fabric, you might find making a pouch enjoyable to show the students. Those of us who are not seamstresses, paper works just fine!
- When Naomi and her daughter-in-law, Ruth, journeyed out of Moab and arrived in Bethlehem, it was at the beginning of the barley season. Naomi's husband, Elimelech, who had died had a relative who lived in Bethlehem. He was a wealthy man and his name was Boaz.
- Soon after their arrival in the city, Ruth talked to Naomi about allowing her to go out in to the fields and glean grain from the field of anyone who she would find compassion and kindness. Naomi was responsible Ruth since she was her daughter-in-law. Naomi said she could go.
- The man who owned a field would hire people to come in and gather grain. They were called reapers and they would cut the grain and give the grain to the owner, so he could sell it. Then the owner would pay the reapers for helping him. If the owner was kind, he would let poor people come in after the reapers had done their work and glean or gather up the leftover grain that had fallen on the ground. Usually, there was not a whole lot of grain leftover, but poor people could pick up what they could.This is what was happening at the beginning of the barley season.
- Now Ruth just happened to glean grain in the field of Boaz, Elimelech's relative. When Boaz came to his field, he noticed someone new and asked the reapers who she was. The reapers told him that she was the young Moabite woman who had come back with Naomi from Moab. They said she had asked to glean and gather after they had finished with the field. She had been working since the morning until now, though she had rested in a little house for a little while.
- When the kind man, Boaz, heard this, he told Ruth not to go into other fields to glean, but to come back to his field and glean after his workers. He also said that no one would hurt her there and she could drink from the water that his men had drawn. Boaz was being very kind to Ruth. When Ruth heard Boaz' words, she fell on her face and bowed down to the ground and asked him why he was being so nice to her since she was a stranger?
- Boaz told Ruth that he had heard things that Ruth had done since her husband had died, how she had left her family in her homeland of Moab and had come to live with the people in Bethlehem who she did not even know. He said that the LORD had paid her back all the work that she had done and that the LORD was taking care of her since she had come to trust Him. Ruth then said to Boaz to let her find favor in his eyes because he had comforted her and spoken friendly to her even though she was not like the other young women. Boaz told her to come up and eat beside the reapers which she did. This was an honor for a poor person and was highly unusual.
- When Ruth went back to glean again in the field, Boaz instructed the reapers to drop some of the grain on the ground on purpose, so she could find it and pick it up. He told the young men to let her glean among the best grain and not to scold her. So Ruth gleaned until the evening time and when ut was measured, it came to about an ephah of barley which was a lot!
- When she went back into the city and showed the grain that she had gleaned to Naomi, Naomi asked her where she had gleaned. She praised whoever it was that had shown kindness to Ruth. Ruth told Naomi that it was in Boaz' field that she had gleaned. Naomi was very happy that Boaz had continued his kindness to his relatives which were her and Ruth! Naomi said the Boaz was a close relative of their's. Ruth continued to tell Naomi that Boaz had told her to come and and glean only in his field. Naomi told Ruth to do as Boaz said. Ruth did as Naomi and Boaz suggested until the end of the barley season and lived with her mother-in-law, Naomi.
"Older Student" Tips:
- The LORD was taking care of Naomi and Ruth by connecting them to Boaz' field. Boaz was providing food for them and was being very generous because he was a godly man and wanted to take care of the poor which happened to be his relatives.
- Discuss how much an ephah was. In American measurement is was about 6 gallons! That's a lot of barley! Naomi, no doubt, was very happy to have Ruth bring this much barley to her.
ACTIVITY: Ruth's Gleaning Pouch
Materials needed: 12" x 18" piece of brown construction paper, 9" x 12" tan construction paper, marker or crayon, scissors, staples, and stapler.
- Hand out brown paper to students.
- Cut one 2" x 18" strip off the brown paper. Set aside. This is the shoulder strap.
- Fold the 11" x 18" paper almost in half, leaving a 2" overhang at the top. (see picture.)
- Staple both short sides of the brown paper. This is the pouch.
- Write "Ruth Gleans In Boaz' Field" and "Ruth 2" on brown paper.
- Staple small end of long strip to the 2" overhang of paper on one side.
- Staple the long strip to the other side of the 'pouch.' (see picture)
- Hand out tan paper.
- Fold tan paper in fourths.
- Leave folded and cut into little pieces (1/2" x 1/2" squares). This is the grain.
- Bible teacher choice: Either glue 'grain' on to the 2" overhang of brown paper OR you may want to let the students insert their grain into the 'pouch' instead.