Posts Tagged ‘jerusalem’

The Ark of God

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God is Holy  

“‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”
Revelation 4:8b

(Open the bible and read to your child 2 Samuel 6) In this portion of scripture Saul has passed away and David is now King. David was moving the ark of God to Jerusalem, but took the holiness of God for granted. They forgot how to transport the ark properly which resulted in Uzzah reaching out to touch the ark. Since God is holy and we were separated from Him because of sin, the touching of the ark resulted in death. Afterwards, David and the Israelites looked at the Law of Moses and learned how to transport the ark properly. God is a holy loving God and created the law in order for us to be saved from death. Eventually, God would send his own son to pay the price of death and fulfill the law, in order for us to be saved.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Exodus 25:16–22.
David celebrated the return of the ark because it represented the presence of the Lord. In fact, the cover of the ark is called the atonement cover (Exodus 25:17 NIV).This pointed forward to Jesus who died to atone or pay for our sins. Now that Jesus
has come, he has made the final atonement for the sins of men. Now there is a new dwelling place for God—in the hearts of men. In a sense, every Christian is a living ark. The presence of God is in us!


The Fall of Jerusalem

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God judgment comes when his people do not repent

Key Verse:
“He saved us, not because or the righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy”
Titus 3:5a

(Open the bible and read to your child 2 Chronicles) God sends many prophets to the kingdom of Judah telling them to stop worshipping false gods. However the people along with the kings never follow God for long. Jeremiah warns to follow the true God or they will lose their land. But neither the kings nor the people of Judah listen, so as a result, Jeremiah’s prophecy comes true, and the people of Judah get taken into captivity for seventy years.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Jeremiah 23:5–6.
God sent his prophet Jeremiah to warn the kings of Judah. The kings did not listen to Jeremiah, and in the end, there was no remedy—God allowed Jerusalem to be ransacked and the people carried into captivity (2 Chronicles 36:16). God, however, was not finished speaking through Jeremiah. Jeremiah said that God would give his people another king from the line of David. This king would be a “righteous Branch” and he would be called “The Lord is our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:5–6). Jesus is that King!

Nehemiah Rebuilds the Wall

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God helps us face challenges

Key Verse:
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” 
Colossians 3:23

(Open the bible and read to your child Nehemiah 2:11-6:19) Nehemiah had a difficult task ahead of him. Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem would not be easy. He inspected the walls in secret because he knew he would be facing opposition. After this inspection he gathered the Jewish officials told them his plan, and with God’s blessing along with the king’s help, they were ready to start building. Everyone worked with all their heart which made the project work. Half the men worked and the other half stood guard so their enemies would stay away. All attempts to trick or deceive Nehemiah failed as the wall was completed in only 52 days! This shows that with God’s help we can overcome the challenges we face.  

With your family, discuss the biggest challenges each person faces in the coming week. Then talk about ways each person can invite God into the challenge (such as talking to God about uncertainties and asking for help in discovering the solutions). Then pray together about those challenges.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
As a family, accept a challenge that would be good for your family to accomplish, such as spending some time together without electronic devices, taking a walk or bicycle ride in your neighborhood to get some exercise, or working together to make a home-cooked meal. Before you begin your challenge, ask God to help you and to be with you. After you meet your challenge, give each other high fives and thank God in 


Nehemiah Seeks God

Our hope is for our kids to know that: We seek God

Key Verse:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land”
2 Chronicles 7:14 

(Open the bible and read to your child Nehemiah 1:1 – 2:9) Nehemiah was upset to learn that after twelve years the walls of Jerusalem were still not rebuilt. This upset him so much that he wanted to do something about it, so he prayed for four months about it. Afterwards he went to the king for help. Nehemiah wanted to take time off and materials to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall. When Nehemiah prayed and humbled himself before God, God answered!

Tell about a time you needed to seek God in your life. Encourage family members to talk about times they’ve sought after God. Then talk about how God wants a relationship with us and how it is important that we seek Him, because He is always there.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
As a family, seek God’s guidance for everything. To tie in to Nehemiah planning to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, make a giant “wall” to record your prayers. Tape several pieces of paper up to resemble the stones in a wall. Then, inside each stone, write something you need to seek God’s for.


Key Verse: “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies’”
(John 11:25)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus gives us hope

(Open the bible and read to your child John 11:1-45) Lazarus was a close friend of Jesus. So when we hear that Jesus didn’t rush to see Lazarus we may wonder why. The disciples knew that the religious leaders in Jerusalem were out to get Jesus, so maybe that’s why Jesus hesitated. However, we read that the real reason Jesus hesitated was because he wanted to show everyone he was more than just a teacher and healer, he was the giver of life who has power over death! Jesus went to see Lazarus and wept with his friends. This shows the kind of compassion Jesus has for us. When the stone was removed from the tomb, the crowd witnessed the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Because of this, many who witnessed it put their faith in Christ.

(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk with your children about something you were really hoping for as a child that didn’t turn out the way you wanted.Maybe you hoped you would get a new bike at Christmas. Or perhaps you hoped your mom or dad would show up at your basketball game. Share how you felt when things didn’t work out, and talk about how disappointing it can be to have your hopes denied. Then talk about how Jesus gives us hope of eternal life. Remind your kids that our hope in Jesus will never end in disappointment, because Jesus showed he has power over life and death when he raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus promises to give us eternal life if we believe in him. And Jesus keeps his promises!

Activity/Challenge for Families:
As a family, take a walk around a local park, hiking trail, or even your own back yard. Record as many signs as possible of the new life you see in nature. You may even want to take pictures of this new life as you walk. You might see trees budding, baby animals, flowers starting to bloom. As you walk along, talk about how this renewal you see during springtime reminds you of the renewal we find in Jesus, both in this life and the next.