There was a famine in the land. So, a man named Elimelek and his wife Naomi together with their two sons left Bethlehem and moved to Moab. Elimelek died and the sons married Moabite women. When they had been in the land about 10 years, both the sons also died.
Naomi heard that the Lord was providing food for his people back in Bethlehem so decided to go back. She told her two daughters-in-law to go home to their families and remarry. Orpah, kissed Naomi goodbye and returned to her family but Ruth refused. She said “Don’t try to make me leave you and go back. Where you go I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.” When Naomi realised the Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped telling her to go home.
They arrived at the time of the barley harvest so Ruth went out into the fields to pick up the left over grain. (God’s love for his people had him create this law that any grain left behind in harvesting was to be left for the poor and the widows so that no-one need go hungry.) Ruth worked hard collecting grain to feed Naomi and herself. When the owner of the field came and was told that Ruth was a foreigner (a Moabite) who was with Naomi, he gave instructions to his workers to make sure there was enough grain left behind for her. He also told Ruth to only gather from his fields and he would make sure that she was well looked after. She asked him why he was doing this for her. He told her he had heard all about what she had done for Naomi; leaving her homeland and coming to live in a foreign land. He said “May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel.”
When she arrived home with all the grain Naomi was amazed at the amount she had collected. When Ruth told her she had been in the fields of Boaz, Naomi told her that he was a close relative.
Ruth continued to gather in Boaz’s fields for both the barley and the wheat harvests and looked after Naomi.
Then Naomi explained how God had put another law in place to look after the widows. If there was a relative of a man who died, he should marry that man’s widow to keep her in the family. And as Boaz was a relative, he could marry her. Boaz agreed and married Ruth. They had a son named Obed. The town women said to Naomi, “Blessed be God! He didn’t leave you without family to carry on your life. May this baby grow up to be famous in Israel! He’ll make you young again! He’ll take care of you in old age. And this daughter-in-law who has brought him into the world and loves you so much, why, she’s worth more to you than seven sons!”
This story shows God’s love for his people and how he made sure that all were looked after. It also shows us that God’s people were not just the people of Israel. Ruth who was from the land of Moab, yet because she chose to follow God, so was blessed and included in the history of God’s people. God loved her and looked after her.
It also shows Ruth’s love for Naomi. How she stayed with her, went with her to a foreign land with foreign people. Went out to work to feed and look after them both. Listened to and obeyed Naomi.
Show your Mum some love today. Look after her and be a blessing to her. Pray for her. Listen to and obey her.
Today’s activity is about making something for your Mum. I have suggested salt dough keepsakes but you could choose to make biscuit dough instead, cut out hearts or stars, bake them and ice them for her. Make a card telling her something special that you love about her – her smile, her hugs, her encouragement etc.
Explorers & Adventurers
Your God will be my God. Ruth 1:16 NIRV
Ruth replied, “Don’t try to make me leave you and go back. Where you go I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16 NIRV
In keeping with our story on Ruth and as it is Mother’s Day today, we have combined the two using flour, which is made from ground wheat (think Ruth in the field gathering the grain to take home and grind to make flour) and making something for your Mum. There are a couple of pictured options but really it is up to your children.
Salt Dough is a wonderful product that is used to create crafts, sculptures and ornaments. It is a simple recipe and can be easily made at home using 3 basic ingredients and then placed in the oven to dry out.
You will need:
1/2 cup salt
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of water
In a large bowl mix salt and flour together.
Gradually stir in water. Mix well until it forms a doughy consistency.
Turn the dough onto the bench and knead with your hands until smooth and combined.
Make your creations using the salt dough. You can use biscuit/cookie cutters or freehand with a knife.
Place the salt dough creations onto a baking paper lined tray into the oven at 180˚C for at least 15 minutes. The amount of time needed to bake depends on the size and thickness of the salt dough creations. Turn over halfway through to prevent air rising in top surface and overcooked base. (I baked in them in my bench top oven for 10 minutes at 160˚).
Tried painting with food colouring before baking – good colours after baking and think the colours are slightly more intense than painting afterwards. Also, you don’t have to wait for them to cool before you can paint! I also tried painting, after baking, with nail polish and this also worked really well so if you don’t have paints or food colouring but do have a stash of nail polish… (I would not recommend painting with nail polish before baking as I think you will find it make smoke and be very fumey!) In the photo it shows 3 ‘poppies’, top left is painted with food colouring before baking, top right painted with food colouring after baking and bottom is painted with nail polish after baking. For the food colouring I used a cotton bud to paint with and the “black” centre is actually blue food colouring just painted on fairly thickly.
Tips & Ideas: · Store your salt dough in an airtight container as it keeps well for a few days. · You can paint your creations with acrylic paints and seal with varnish or polyurethane spray. · Salt dough can also be aired dried and is an alternative to oven drying.
Painting salt dough is very easy. Apparently of all these painting mediums; acrylic paint, tempera paint, and water colours; all worked! But the winner for best paint for salt dough? Water colours – by far!
Painting salt dough with water colours is really a great activity for little kids and big kids. It is very forgiving, and the paint easily spreads on the salt dough with added water. This is another reason why water colours are the best paint for salt dough – it soaks into the dough drying quickly, allowing for second coats very quickly. Ideal for preschoolers!
You could also choose to make a handprint. The following instructions are for this option. Roll the dough out into a circle. Make sure it’s large enough for your child’s hand.
Then help your child press their hand in the dough. You may to press down on their hand to make sure it makes a print. Then you can decorate it or leave it plain. We added some hearts. (Unsure what these hearts are made of as you would have to be careful about them melting in the oven.) At this stage you could etch child’s name and date into the dough or maybe add it to the back once cooked.
Next bake the dough in the oven at 180˚C. You’ll want to line the baking sheet with baking paper, so it doesn’t stick. Bake for 30 minutes and then flip them over.
Bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until it looks baked. If it is still not hard, you can let it air dry. After it cools down, paint the handprint with a colour of choice.