This week in The Gospel Project for Kids our journey is taking us for a look at stories that hint of a coming Savior, Jesus Christ. Today’s story is about Ruth and Boaz. Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi, a woman from Bethlehem who had moved with her husband and sons to escape a famine in their town. After the husbands of both Naomi and Ruth died, the two women moved back to Bethlehem to Naomi’s family’s land.
Ruth went to gather grain in the fields of a man named Boaz, who turned out to be a family redeemer. The role of the redeemer was to take care of close family members when they were in trouble. Since Ruth and Naomi were both women, they would not be able to inherit the land previously owned by Naomi’s husband. As family redeemer, Boaz had the right to marry Ruth and claim the property and responsibility for himself. Boaz did just that and took care of Ruth and Naomi.
Ruth and Boaz soon had a son whom they named Obed. Obed was the grandfather of King David. Through David’s line, God sent the perfect Redeemer in the person of Jesus Christ. We need help because we sin; Jesus bought our salvation for us by taking our punishment when He died on the cross.
This week’s Bible story is about Samson. Once again, the Israelites had turned away from worshiping God, so God gave them over to the Philistines. The beginning of Judges 13 states that not all Israelites worshiped false gods, though. Manoah and his wife worshiped the LORD.
The Angel of the LORD came to Manoah and his wife to tell them that the barren couple would have a son. The baby boy would be a Nazirite from birth. He could not eat raisins, grapes, or drink wine; he could not cut his hair. (See Num. 6:1-6.) God gave Samson incredible strength to deliver His people from the Philistines.
Special calling, check. Special strength, check. Samson appeared to have all the makings of an impressive leader. Samson had terrible taste in women, though, and he took his special calling for granted. Though Samson disobeyed God, God used Samson to accomplish His purpose of delivering the Israelites from the Philistines. Jesus came as the last Deliverer, saving through His life and His death those who would trust in him.
This week’s Bible story, “Gideon,” starts out the same way the previous stories have started: The Israelites once again turned away from God. This time, God handed the Israelites over to the Midianites. The Bible says the Midianites would swarm the Israelites like locusts, devouring all of their livestock and crops. The Israelites hid in caves and were reduced to poverty.
The Angel of the LORD personally delivered a message to Gideon as he was threshing grain in a wine vat to hide it from the Midianites. God called Gideon to deliver His people from the Midianites. Gideon told the Angel that he was the youngest son of the weakest house in the tribe of Manasseh. God had a solution, though: “I will be with you,” He said. (Judg. 6:16)
Not only did God choose an unlikely hero for today’s Bible story, but God also reduced Gideon’s army to only 300 soldiers. People would know God defeated the Midianites, not the might of the Israelite army. In battle, God turned the Midianites’ swords against each other. Gideon and his army pursued the enemy troops. Gideon alone could not defeat the Midianites. In the same way, we aren’t able to save ourselves from sin. Jesus came to save us from our sin because He is enough. Only God, through Jesus Christ, can save us.
Thank you for continuing through the chronological study of the Bible through the Gospel Project for Kids®. Today, your kids learned about “Joshua’s Final Encouragement.” Joshua was an old man—120 years old!—but his life was a testament of God’s faithfulness to His people.
God had promised when the Israelites began the conquest of Canaan that God would be with Joshua wherever he went. (Joshua 1:9) Joshua reminded the Israelites about the history of their nation, from the covenant first made to Abraham to the banks of the Jordan River when the Israelites crossed over on dry ground. Joshua also reminded the Israelites that God fought all of their battles. Not one of God’s promises to His people failed. Isn’t that a pretty awesome encouragement? We serve a God who keeps His promises!
Joshua reminded the Israelites that they still lived among people who worshiped false gods, false gods that could lead the people away from following the one true God. Joshua made it clear: the Israelites could not sit on the fence. They could not worship Yahweh one day and the Baals the next. Joshua drew the line in the sand and told them to choose. Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” The Israelites made a covenant to serve Yahweh. Joshua read the book of the Law, and made an altar to seal their commitment to God.
How can we show our commitment to God? We can serve, worship, and obey God. As you talk about Joshua’s legacy of faith with your kids, point to an even greater legacy of faith. After Christ’s resurrection, He sent His disciples out to tell the nations about Him. Jesus calls all people who trust in Him to tell others about Him.
The Gospel Project for Kids