Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 23 - People God Used

TEXT: Ruth 1:1-18


The students will be able to tell that Ruth chose to follow Naomi and relate why she was a person God could use.


Introduction: Adapt the preschool activity using four hearts as your opener for this lesson. As your students look at the pictures of a home, beautiful scenery, some people, and Jesus that you have pasted on the hearts, explain that your Bible lesson for today is about a woman who had to make a choice. Put the first three hearts in a group together, and have the heart with Jesus remain separate. Explain that she had to choose between these.

  1. A man of Israel moves his wife, Naomi, and his family from Bethlehem to Moab because of a famine.
  2. He and his sons die, and Naomi decides to return to her homeland.
  3. Naomi urges her two daughters-in-law to stay with their own people, though they both intend to go with her.

Climax: Though Orpah returns to her own people, Ruth decides to go with Naomi and serve Naomi's God.

Conclusion: Naomi's godly life influenced Ruth to want to serve the true and living God.

Response: The students should be able to explain why it is important to set a godly example as well as to recognize and follow a godly example.


During the time of the Judges, Elimelech, a man from Bethlehem, and his wife, Naomi, and their two sons, there, the two sons were married to Moabitish women, but subsequently Elimelech and his two sons died leaving Naomi and her two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah, widows. Having had these bitter experiences in this foreign land, Naomi resolved to return to Israel. Ruth was determined to accompany her despite her mother-in-law's recommendation that she stay, and answered her with those beautiful words, "lntreat me not to leave thee . . . for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God" (Ruth 1:16). Because of her faithfulness and determination, this woman of foreign birth was married to Boaz, a kinsman of Elimelech, and became the grandmother of David and honored ancestor of Jesus Christ.


  • Draw finger puppets of Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah (see Patterns). Act out the story.
  • Talk about trips. Discuss how much you want to go on one and get to your destination. Tie in the story to the halfway point on the trip. Example: "Do you want to go home?" or "Do you want to finish traveling and reach the place where you were going?"
  • As your class discusses this lesson on Ruth, have your students tell one way they can be like her. Make a list of ways that each student is already like Ruth.
  • Make copies of the landscape background and cut out figures of Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah (see Patterns). Have the children color the background and figures. Let them glue on the figures in the spaces indicated. Use a marking pen to make the path that each woman took. Tell the story of Ruth.


  1. Do you suppose that God had a special plan for Ruth's life? What was it?
  2. Who made the wisest choice, Ruth or Orpah?
  3. What do you think was so special about Naomi that Ruth wouldn't leave her?
  4. Does God still call people to live a certain way for Him? Talk about some testimonies of people who have left their families, homes, etc., to follow after God's people.
  5. How could Ruth know she was making the right choice?
  6. How can we know when we are making the right choices?


  • Take a wooden or ceramic figure (to represent an idol) and a picture of Jesus. Ask your little ones if the figure you are showing them could answer their prayers. Explain to them that Ruth chose to follow after Jesus, the true God.
  • Cut out a set of four hearts. In one paste a picture of a home, in the second a picture of scenery, in the third a picture of several people, and in the fourth a picture of Jesus. Show your little ones the first three hearts first. Ruth could have had these things in her heart—her home, her country, and her friends—and could have decided to stay in the land of Moab because of them. But instead she had Jesus in her heart, so she chose to go where she could learn more about Him. Show the heart with Jesus.
  • Cut out the picture of Ruth (see Patterns) and place it on the back of a hand mirror. "Follow" God with the mirror by moving it in front of your students to portray the Christian walk. Then ask them, "Who else can follow God?" Turn the mirror over so they can see themselves.
  • Make a set of Ruth and Naomi finger puppets for each child (see Patterns). Using these they may show how Ruth followed Naomi to Bethlehem.


Dress up as a Biblical woman, in a simple gown, belt, scarf, headband, sandals. Label each piece with the aspects of Ruth's character—faith, obedience, sacrifice, family love, constancy.

Compare the similarities of Ruth, a Moabite, living in Bethlehem, a foreign land to her, to our living in a foreign country. In the Orient or Europe the language, dress, food, religion, eating habits (use of chopsticks) may be strange to us. But Ruth loved Naomi and Naomi's God and wanted Him for her God.


  • Ruth and Naomi — Arch Book, Concordia
  • Ruth — My Bible Story Card, Concordia (Picture on the front/story on the back)