Unit 18, Session 3: Nehemiah Heard News of Jerusalem

February 5, 2017 | by: Jessica Wilson | 0 Comments

Posted in: rWorld

 

Dear Parents,

     This week and the next two weeks, we are studying the story of Nehemiah and Ezra.

Nehemiah was a Jew living in Persia. He served as the king’s cupbearer, a position of

great trust; the cupbearer made sure no one poisoned the king’s drink. Sometimes the

cupbearer even tasted some of the drink himself to ensure it was safe.

     When the Persian Empire conquered the Babylonians, King Cyrus allowed God’s people

to return to Judah. Two or three million Jews had originally been deported, but only a

remnant—50,000 people—returned. They set up their homes and rebuilt God’s temple in

Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s story takes place after Ezra led a second group of exiles back to

Judah.

     Nehemiah received word about God’s people who had returned to Judah. They were in

trouble and living in shame; the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, and the city gates

were burned. They lived in fear, unprotected from their enemies. Nehemiah sat down and

wept.

     Nehemiah fasted and prayed for days. He remembered God’s promise to His people.

Their disobedience led to exile, but if they turned back to the Lord, their obedience would

lead to blessing. God promised to restore their fortunes and give His people a home. (See

Deut. 30:1-10.)

     The king noticed Nehemiah’s sadness, and Nehemiah was afraid. No one was supposed

to be sad in the presence of the king; it was an insult to his greatness. Nehemiah

explained the plight of his city. The king granted him leave and gave him letters to ensure

his safe passage. Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem. He encouraged the people to rebuild

the walls and stood confidently against opposition.

     Nehemiah trusted that God would keep His promise to protect His people and give

them a home. When we trust in Jesus, we believe God will keep His promise to give

us—His people—a home. Jesus obeyed God perfectly. He died on the cross and

rose again so we can have a home with Him forever.

     Help your kids understand that when we repent and trust in Jesus, we can trust His

promise to prepare a place for us in His Father’s house, where we will be with Him forever.

(See John 14:3.)

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Cards below as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

Babies and Toddlers

  • God keeps His promises.
  • Nehemiah prayed for God to keep His people safe.
  • God used Nehemiah to build the city walls.
  • Jesus hears us when we pray.

Preschool

  • Does God keep His promises? Yes, God is always faithful.
  • Nehemiah prayed that God would help His people.

Kids

  • Does God keep His promises? Yes, God is always faithful even when we are not.
  • Nehemiah prayed that God would help His people rebuild Jerusalem’s walls.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Lamentations 3:22-23

Elementary: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Preschool: His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:

  • Why do we sometimes forget to pray about our problems?
  • How can we know prayer really helps?
  • Who is someone you know in need? How can you help him?
  • Name a promise God has made.
  • How can our family help each other remember God’s promises?

FAMILY ACTIVITY:

  • Build a Rube Goldberg machine to do some small task. Talk to your kids about ways we make things harder instead of seeking wisdom from God.
  • Send a card to a neighbor who is going through a difficult time. Pray for your neighbor as a family.
  • Ask your church leadership if there is someone in your congregation going through a difficult time. Brainstorm how your family can help and do it.

NEXT WEEK

“Jerusalem’s Walls Were Rebuilt” (Nehemiah 3:1—6:16)

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