A Kinsman Redeemer-Ruth: the book of Ruth
After Joshua’s generation, Israel turned away from God. “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25) A cycle began in which God brought judgment on His disobedient people, the nation repented, and God sent them a deliverer. After enjoying peace for a short time, Israel would once again turn away from God. This cycle continued for more than 300 years. In this dark period, Scripture records a bright spot – the story of Ruth. This Moabite woman was attracted to the God of Israel. Ruth gave up her home country and her gods to follow a despairing Naomi back to her country. God displayed His faithfulness in this Gentile woman’s life through Boaz, an Israelite man who continued to serve God when others turned away. The promise to Abraham for a blessing for all peoples was passed to Ruth, who would be the great, great grandmother of King David.
Bible: Read the story of Ruth with your family.
Teaching Time: 15 minutes
Materials: 2 identical candles, 1 candle of a different color, matches/lighter
Setting Up: Before you begin, place one of the identical candles (unlit) on the ground in a safe place.
After dark, invite the family to join you for a game of follow the leader outside. Take the two remaining candles and matches/lighter with you. Have a parent light the other identical candle. Ruth was faced with a choice. She could go back to her country, her relatives, and her gods or go with Naomi to an unfamiliar country. Ruth chose to follow Naomi into the dark unknown. Ruth didn’t know the way, but she trusted Naomi and Naomi’s God. Like Naomi, lead the way into the darkness. The children, like Ruth, must follow by watching the parent’s light. Wind your way towards the candle on the ground. Stop when you reach it and pick it up. When Naomi and Ruth arrived in Israel, they met Boaz. Unlike most of the people who had turned away from God, Boaz trusted and followed God. His obedient life was like a light in a dark time of evil. Light the identical candle representing Boaz. Ruth was a Gentile. Hold up the different-colored candle. She was not part of the people of Israel. Ruth had grown up with different customs, including worshipping idols. Now she left her old life behind and chose to worship the true God. Light the different-looking candle that represents Ruth. Ruth was a light, too. She became part of God’s family, even though she was from another people.
- Ruth abandoned her former way of life. What kinds of things might Ruth have seen in the lives of Naomi and Boaz that attracted her so strongly to their God?
- Read Matthew 5:14-16. How does Jesus describe believers? Is there anything about the light of God in our family that would attract other people to follow Jesus?
Ask God to show your family how to shine forth the light of God to people you encounter in your daily lives.