Ask children what this is and what it is used for. Ask if they know where it comes from. While this is a grain of rice, in today’s story, we learn about two women who were able to collect grain from wheat to eat out of someone else’s field.
15 And [Naomi] said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” 18 And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.
The story of Ruth and Boaz is one of brokenness and heartache. But also a story filled with faithfulness and redemption.
Ruth showed incredible faith when she chose not to leave Naomi, her mother-in-law, after family tragedy, and all the men in their family died. Remember, in Biblical times, it was incredibly hard for women to be on their own. Naomi told Ruth and her other daughter-in-law to go home so that they may be able to remarry and be taken care of. Ruth chose, instead, to follow Naomi and go with her into a foreign land.
Ruth’s commitment to Naomi showed incredible faith in the one true God. Ruth was not a Jew, but she went to live among them. As a Moabite, she was an outsider to God’s chosen people. She was certainly an unlikely person for God to use in the lineage of Jesus, but her great faith was ultimately rewarded.
When Ruth and Naomi moved to Bethlehem, God used Boaz to take care of, bless and redeem Ruth and Naomi’s family. He showed kindness when he paid special attention to Ruth, and he sought to take care of her and Naomi by letting Ruth glean (gather remaining grain) in his fields. Later he showed faith by stepping in to be their kinsman redeemer and married Ruth. Ruth and Boaz had a son named Obed, the father of Jesse.
Ruth was an outsider. She was not from God’s chosen people. Would you expect someone like her to be in Jesus’s family? Not really. She needed a kinsmen redeemer to save her family, and we need a redeemer to save us. Jesus is coming!