MEMORY VERSE: Ruth 1:16 "...for wither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Jude. Write "Jude" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class.
PRAYER: May we be determined to stay close to the LORD at all cost. The LORD has blessed us in many ways and all that He asks is that we serve Him with our whole heart.
SPECIAL SONG: Review 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 Biblical map of Moab and the surrounding area, showing the trip to Bethlehem. Chalkboard or whiteboard drawing of Orpah's departure and the conversation between Naomi and Ruth.
- During the times of the judges, there was a godly family who lived in the land of Judah. There came a time when the crops failed and there was a famine in the land. There was no food, so Elimelech, who was the father, Naomi, who was the mother, and Mahlon and Chilion, who were the two sons, travelled to the country of Moab to find food. The Bible does not say why, but Elimelech died and Naomi and her two sons were left in Moab to live. While they were living there, Naomi's two sons married women who were from the country of Moab. The sons' wives were named Orpah and Ruth. They lived in Moab for about ten years and then something terrible happened. Mahlon and Chilion, Naomi's only sons, both died, leaving Naomi with her two daughter-in-laws. The three women were all alone.
- When Naomi heard that the LORD had blessed his people in their old homeland of Judah, Naomi and her two daughter-in-laws decided to go back to Judah to live. On their long journey home, Naomi spoke seriously to her daughter-in-laws and told them to return to their mothers' houses. She said Orpah and Ruth had been very kind to her sons and to her, so the LORD would deal kindly with them. She told them to go and marry other men and raise families in Moab. Then Naomi kissed both of her daughter-in-laws and they all cried because they were very sad.
- Orpah and Ruth both said that would go to this new land with Naomi, but Naomi asked them why would they want to do that because she was now old and could not marry again and have more sons for them to marry. Naomi told them, even thought she was grieved and very sad, to go back to Moab and live. They cried some more and finally, Orpah kissed her mother-in-law and went back to Moab. Naomi told Ruth that Orpah had returned to her home and that she should go, too, but Ruth held on to her mother-in-law very tightly. Ruth said to her mother-in-law, "Please do not make me go back and leave you. I will go where you go. I will live where you live. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God. I will die where you die. I will be buried where you are buried. The LORD punish me if anything but death separates us." When Naomi saw that she could not persuade Ruth to return to Moab, she did not say anymore about returning and let her come with her.
- Naomi and Ruth kept walking until they came to Naomi's old home in Bethlehem which was in Judah. When Naomi and Ruth arrived in the city, everyone crowded around them and asked, "Is this Naomi?" because they had known her before her husband had died. Naomi was still very sad and said to her friends, "Don't call me Naomi or 'pleasant' because now I am bitter. Call me Mara which means 'bitter.' I went away with everything and came back with nothing."
- When Naomi and Ruth arrived in Bethlehem, it was just the beginning of the barley season.
- Take a look on the map to see how far that Naomi and Ruth had to walk to get to Bethlehem from Moab. No cars or fast transportation back then!
- Names meant something back in the Old Testament times. Naomi meant 'pleasant' and Mara meant 'bitter. Why did Naomi want to be called Mara?
ACTIVITY: Ruth and Naomi
Materials needed: 3" x 4" white paper, black pen, scraps of paper, scissors, glue, crayons.
(Please Note: Because I am out of town at the time of this blog and have absolutely no art supplies, yet still have the desire to continue blogging this evening, you might find this activity lacking color and a little sparse. This activity shows that no matter your circumstance, Bible-teacher creativity can kick in and can result in success. Materials ACTUALLY used: Hotel note paper, mascara, scraps of candy wrappers cut with nail clippers or torn, black and red pen.)
- Hand out small pieces of white paper.
- Sketch hills.
- Add two road signs, "Moab" and "Bethlehem."
- Draw Orpah leaving Naomi, walking towards Moab.
- Cut two small triangles for Naomi and Ruth's dresses.
- Complete Naomi and Ruth.
- Write "...I will go where you go..." and "Ruth 1:16."