Unit 18, Session 3: Nehemiah Heard News of Jerusalem
February 5, 2017 | by: Jessica Wilson | 0 Comments
Posted in: rWorld
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
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
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
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.
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.
- Does God keep His promises? Yes, God is always faithful.
- Nehemiah prayed that God would help His people.
- 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
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?
- 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.
“Jerusalem’s Walls Were Rebuilt” (Nehemiah 3:1—6:16)