This week at 28 Kids
Unit 17: The People Return
Key Passage: Jeremiah 17:7
Big Picture Question:
Can God be trusted? Yes, God cannot lie or ever be wrong, so we can trust whatever He has said.
God’s time of disciplining His people had been completed, and true
to His word, He returned them to the land of promise. Once there, they began to rebuild the temple—the important reminder that God was with them, that He is faithful, and that He can always be trusted.
Session 1: God Delivered His People
Bible Passage: Ezra 1
God always keeps His promises. God chose to use King Cyrus in His plan to graciously deliver His people from exile. King Cyrus’ action to free the people reminds us of Jesus, whom God chose to rescue sinners and bring us to our true home in His kingdom of grace.
God delivered His people
God’s people had been living in Babylon for decades. King Nebuchadnezzar had completely destroyed Jerusalem. Many of God’s people had died. Others lived in Babylon. Some of their children and grandchildren were born in Babylon and grew up there. But Babylon was not their home.
Before God’s people were taken away from Judah, God promised through the prophet Jeremiah that the exile would last 70 years; then God would bring His people back to the land. At last, the time had come for God’s people to go home.
Cyrus, king of Persia, had taken over Babylon. God gave Cyrus an idea. Cyrus made an announcement: “God wants me to build Him a temple in Jerusalem, so let all of God’s people go back to Jerusalem so they can rebuild the Lord’s temple. Anyone who stays behind should give the travelers anything they need—gold and silver, animals, and gifts for God’s temple.”
The exile was over! God’s people were free to go back to their homes. God’s promise was coming true. So the people got ready to go to Judah. All their neighbors helped them by giving them gifts: gold and silver, animals, and other expensive things.
King Cyrus even brought out the dishes that King Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem before he destroyed it. The king’s treasurer counted them: 30 gold basins; 1,000 silver basins; 29 silver knives; 30 gold bowls; 410 silver bowls; and 1,000 other pieces. In all, there were 5,400 pieces of gold and silver.
The leader of God’s people—a man named Sheshbazzar (shesh BAZ uhr)— brought all these things along when the captives returned from Babylon to Jerusalem.
Christ Connection: God always keeps His promises. God chose to use King Cyrus in His plan to graciously deliver His people from exile. King Cyrus’ action to free the people reminds us of Jesus, whom God chose to rescue sinners and bring us to our true home in His kingdom of grace.
- Why is it important to trust God's Word and not our feelings? (Lead kids to consider instances in which our feelings can change. Remind kids that our feelings do not always tell us what is true and good. Invite kids to share a time they may have felt one thing, but knew God’s Word said another. Remind kids that God’s Word is always true and can always be trusted. Explain that God’s Word is always right, good, and leads us to Jesus.)
- What can we do to remember God's Word no matter what? (Encourage kids to name practical ways they can remember God’s Word. Review different ways kids can memorize Scripture such as through song or hand motions or prayers. Invite kids to share a time when they remembered God’s Word. Lead kids to understand that the more time we spend reading God’s Word, the more we come to remember it.)
- When do we need to remember God's promises? (Remind kids that we need to remember God’s promises every day. Help kids understand that God’s promises are not just for the future, but are given so that we can trust Him daily. Lead kids to understand that God’s promise to save us from our sin through Jesus is something we need to remember all of the time so we do not forget that we cannot save ourselves.)
- What does this story teach me about God or about the gospel?
- What does this story teach me about myself?
- Who can I tell about this story?