Nehemiah Heard News of Jerusalem
Life Kids This Week
Week of July 2, 2017
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.)
Family Talking Points
- 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
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
– Lamentations 3:22-23
“Jerusalem’s Walls Were Rebuilt (Nehemiah 3:1—6:16)
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