September 10, 2023 – Ruth 2

Lesson Date: September 10, 2023

Focal Scripture Passage: Ruth 2:1-23

AIM: To lead students to discover examples of God’s grace in Ruth’s life, and to thank Him for His grace in our lives.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Ruth 2 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Write the word “Grace” on the board.  Get enough copies of the Lesson Outline handout for your anticipated attendance.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the word “Grace” written on the board.  Ask: “What is grace?”  After allowing time for some responses, explain that grace is something good that we do not deserve and cannot earn.

Recite the following words from the hymn, “Amazing Grace.”

Amazing grace how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now I’m found

Was blind but now I see.

Tell the class that we have all sung that familiar old hymn many times.  Explain that it was written by a man named John Newton, who was a vile and wicked slave trader before God saved him and transformed his life.  After God saved him, John Newton became a preacher of the Gospel.

Read those words to “Amazing Grace” once again.  Ask: “How did John Newton describe his life before he experienced God’s grace?” (he said he was a wretch, he was lost, and he was blind).  Ask: “How did he describe God’s grace?” (he said it was amazing).  Ask: “What did God do for John Newton that he found amazing?” (saved him, found him, and gave him sight).

Ask: “Don’t answer out loud, but has God done that for you?  Has He transformed you from a lost, blind, wretch into a redeemed child of God?  If He has, do you find that to be amazing?”

Tell the students the title of today’s lesson is Amazing Grace.  Tell them as we study Ruth 2, we will discover many examples of God’s grace in Ruth’s life, and thank God for the amazing grace He has extended to us.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Be sure everyone has a copy of the new Sunday School Member Quarterly for the Fall 2023 quarter.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (Crisis and Commitment; we learned that a crisis can drive us to God or lead us away from Him).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verses (Ruth 1:16-17).
    • Remind the class that at the end of last week’s lesson, the widowed Naomi and her widowed daughter-in-law Ruth returned to Naomi’s hometown of Bethlehem (locate on the Map).
  2. Grace Provides the Redeemer.
    • Read Ruth 2:1.
    • Ask: “What does this verse tell us about Boaz?” (he was a relative of Naomi’s dead husband, and he was powerful and wealthy).
    • Explain the following:
      • In ancient times, widows were among the most pitiful and needy members of society, because there were no insurance policies and most women couldn’t work.
      • To survive, poor widows often sold their property or even sold themselves into slavery.
      • God established a plan whereby a close relative could redeem the destitute widows, by buying back their land and providing for their needs.
      • If there was no redeemer, poor widows could literally starve to death.
    • Tell the students the fact that there was a wealthy relative who could possibly redeem Naomi and Ruth was a blessing of God’s grace.
    • Stress the fact that since they didn’t deserve and couldn’t earn redemption, it was grace that there was a redeemer.
    • Give everyone a copy of the Lesson Outline handout, and ask a volunteer to read John 3:16 from the handout.
    • Ask: “What did God’s love motivate Him to do?” (send His son Jesus to save us).
    • Ask: “Did we deserve that or could we earn it?” (no, it was grace).
    • Summarize: God’s grace provided a redeemer for Naomi and Ruth, just as His grace provided a Redeemer (Jesus) for us.
  3. Grace Draws Us To the Redeemer.
    • Read Ruth 2:2-3.
    • Ask: “What did Ruth ask Naomi in verse 2?” (for permission to go glean in the fields).
    • Explain the following:
      • To glean means to pick up the leftovers.
      • Gleaning was God’s “welfare system” for the poor among the Israelites (Lev. 19:9-10; 23:22; Deut. 24:19-21; Jer. 49:9).
      • Israelite farmers were required to leave a small portion of their grain in the fields so poor people could gather it.
      • This might be all the food that would be available for the poor, widows, and disabled.
    • Tell the class that Ruth, who had never lived in Bethlehem before, went out to glean in the fields; there were undoubtedly scores of different fields around Bethlehem.
    • Ask: “According to verse 3, in whose field did she happen to glean?” (a field belonging to Boaz).
    • Tell the class what appeared to be a chance or coincidence was actually God’s grace drawing Ruth to her future redeemer.
    • Ask: “Did Ruth deserve to glean in the field of Boaz or could she earn that right?” (no, it was grace).
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 6:44 from the Lesson Outline handout.
    • Ask: “Why do people come to Jesus for salvation?” (because God draws them).
    • Ask: “Do we deserve to have God draw us to Jesus, or could we earn it?” (no, it is grace).
    • Summarize: God’s grace drew Ruth to her redeemer, just as His grace drew us to our Redeemer, Jesus.
  4. Grace Understands Our Need.
    • Read Ruth 2:4-7.
    • Ask: “What does verse 4 reveal about Boaz?” (he was a godly man).
    • Ask: “According to verses 6 and 7, what three things did Boaz learn about Ruth?” The students should name the following:
      • She was a foreigner (“the Moabitish damsel”).
      • She was a widow (“came back with Naomi out of Moab”).
      • She was poor (“she said, I pray you, let me glean”).
    • Stress the fact that Boaz understood Ruth’s need was so great that she ignored her fear of rejection, ridicule, and physical harm to come out among the Israelites and do grueling physical labor to sustain herself and her mother-in-law.
    • Ask: “Did Ruth deserve or could she earn Boaz’s understanding of her need?” (no, it was grace).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Ephesians 2:4-5 from the Lesson Outline handout.
    • Ask: “What does God understand about our need?” (we were dead in our sins).
    • Ask: “Do we deserve or could we earn God’s understanding of our spiritual need?” (no, it was grace).
    • Summarize: God’s grace enabled Boaz to understand Ruth’s serious need, just as through grace God understood our need for a Savior.
  5. Grace Provides What We Need.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Ruth 2:8-9.
    • Ask: “What did Boaz do for Ruth?” The students should name the following:
      • He provided her a place to glean (“go not to glean in another field”).
      • He provided protection for her (he “charged the young men that they shall not touch thee”).
      • He provided water for her while she worked (“go unto the vessels, and drink”).
    • Stress the fact that these things encompassed Ruth’s most pressing need.
    • Ask: “Did Ruth deserve this provision, or could she earn it?” (no, it was grace).
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 3:18 from the Lesson Outline handout.
    • Ask: “What did Jesus provide for us?” (He paid for our sins to bring us to God).
    • Ask: “Did we deserve that provision, or could we earn it?” (no, it was grace).
    • Summarize: God’s grace through Boaz provided what Ruth needed, just as His grace through Jesus paid for our sins so we can have fellowship with the Father.
  6. Grace is Overwhelming.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Ruth 2:10.
    • Ask: “How did Ruth respond to Boaz’s gracious provision?” (she was overwhelmed).
    • Ask: “What did she ask Boaz?” (“Why have I found grace in thine eyes …?”).
    • Read Ruth 2:11-13.
    • Ask: “According to verse 11, what did Boaz know about Ruth?” (that she had left her homeland and family to stay with and care for Naomi).
    • Ask: “According to verse 12, what else did he know about Ruth?” (that she had placed her faith and trust in the Lord God of Israel).
    • Tell the class that in verse 13, Ruth continued to express more amazement at Boaz’s grace toward her, especially since she was different from his other handmaidens.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Corinthians 2:9 from the Lesson Outline handout.
    • Ask: “What has God, through His grace, prepared for us?” (more than we can comprehend).
    • Ask the following rhetorical question: “We sing the hymn ‘Amazing Grace,’ but when was the last time you were truly amazed or overwhelmed by God’s grace?”
    • Summarize: Ruth was overwhelmed by God’s grace extended to her through Boaz, just as we should be overwhelmed by the grace God extends to us.
  7. Grace Provides Abundantly.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Ruth 2:14-16.
    • Ask: “What did Boaz do for Ruth in verse 14?” (invited her to eat with his reapers at mealtime; this was above and beyond what the Bible required.).
    • Ask: “What did he do for her in verses 15-16?” (told his reapers to intentionally drop some grain for Ruth to glean; in other words, providing her more than she would naturally glean).
    • Ask: “Did Ruth deserve this abundant blessing, or did she earn it?” (no, it was grace).
    • Read Ruth 2:17-20.
    • Explain that Naomi’s surprise (v. 19) shows that Ruth gleaned an abundant amount.
    • Tell the students that until Naomi revealed it to her, Ruth did not know that Boaz was their near kinsman.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Ephesians 3:20 from the Lesson Outline handout.
    • Ask: “What grace does God show His children?” (He can do “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think”).
    • Ask: “Do we deserve that, or could we earn it?” (no, it is grace).
    • Summarize: God’s grace through Boaz provided abundantly for Ruth and Naomi, just as God’s grace through Jesus does more for us than we could ever ask or think.
  8. Grace Provides Continually.
    • Read Ruth 2:21-23.
    • Ask: “According to verses 21, what had Boaz told Ruth?” (to continue gleaning in his fields through the end of the harvest).
    • Ask: “How long did Ruth continue gleaning in Boaz’s fields?” (through the end of the barley harvest and the end of the wheat harvest).
    • Ask: “Did Ruth deserve or earn that blessing?” (no, it was grace).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Romans 8:38-39 from the Lesson Outline handout.
    • Ask: “What can ever separate a believer from the love of God in Christ Jesus?” (nothing).
    • Ask: “Do we deserve that continual blessing, or did we earn it?” (no, it is grace).
    • Summarize: God’s grace through Boaz provided for Ruth and Naomi continually, just as God’s grace through Jesus will never let us go.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the class that the title of today’s lesson is Amazing Grace.  Tell them that through this study of Ruth 2, we have seen several ways God showed grace to Ruth through Boaz.  Stress the fact that Ruth, the destitute foreigner in a strange land, was so overwhelmed by Boaz’s kindness and generosity that she bowed down to the ground before him and asked, “Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?”

Tell the students the following:

  • We could legitimately ask God the same question.
  • Like Ruth, we were once strangers (foreigners, aliens).
  • We deserved death, and were in fact dead in our sins.
  • There was nothing we could do to earn salvation and we didn’t deserve
  • In spite of this, God saved us by His grace.

Ask: “How should we respond to God’s amazing grace?” (we should humbly thank Him and faithfully serve Him).

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes.  Say: “If you have never repented of your sins and placed your faith in Jesus for salvation, that amazing saving grace hasn’t been applied to your life, but it can be.  If you sense God drawing you to salvation right now, turn away from your sins and turn to Jesus by faith.  If you already know Jesus, thank His for His amazing grace.”  After a moment of silence, voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Ruth 2:10.  Tell everyone to keep the Lesson Outline handout in their Bible, so they can remember the wonderful grace God has extended to them.

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