LESSON OVERVIEW/SCHEDULE

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1 TEACHER BIBLE STUDY At last! God s people returned to Jerusalem, the home of their ancestors. God had given them another opportunity to live as His special people. They had gotten to work right away, completing the foundation of the Lord s temple. Many of God s people had been born in Babylon and life in exile was the only reality they knew. But they had likely heard the stories of their parents and grandparents, stories of a life in Judah in the land God had given to them. They probably heard of their families mistakes: ignoring God, worshiping idols, and mistreating the poor. But the Lord had been gracious! He kept His promise to bring His people back to Judah. Life in Judah wasn t exactly what they had imagined. It was difficult. Their national wealth was gone. The work of rebuilding the temple and the city of Jerusalem was hard. The land was desolate, and crops failed. Their neighbors opposed their efforts. (See Ezra 4:6,11-16.) God s people were disappointed and discouraged. Their enemies forced them to stop building and, rather than fight them, God s people gave up. The temple of the Lord sat unfinished for 16 years. The people made excuses. Maybe it s not time to rebuild the temple, they reasoned. If that was what God wanted, wouldn t He make it easier for them? (See Haggai 1:2.) Meanwhile, God s people moved on to building their own homes. The prophet Haggai stepped onto the scene and rebuked the people for their misplaced priorities. (Haggai 1:4) He brought words from the Lord, commanding them to finish the work they started. God promised to fill the temple with His glory, and comforted His weary people with this promise: I will provide peace in this place (Haggai 2:7,9). God promised to be with His people and bless them and not only them, but the whole world through them, keeping the promise He made to Abraham long ago. (See Genesis 12:3.) Through God s servant Zerubbabel, God would send His Son, Jesus the greater Servant who is God with us. LESSON OVERVIEW/SCHEDULE Session Title: Haggai, Prophet to Judah Bible Passage: Haggai 1 2 Big Picture Question: How can we honor God? We can put God first in our lives. Key Passage: Zechariah 9:9 Unit Christ Connection: God saved His people who were in physical captivity as He would one day send Jesus to save and restore His people who are in spiritual captivity. Transition Time Welcome time 1

2 Activity sheet/table Centers Session starter (10 minutes) Lesson Countdown Introduce the session (1 minute) Timeline Map (2 minutes) Big picture question (1 minute) Sing (4 minutes) Key passage (4 minutes) Tell the Bible story (10 minutes) Discussion starter video (3 minutes) The Gospel: God s Plan for Me (optional) Prayer (5 minutes) Table Time Timeline map (1 minute) Bible story review (10 minutes) Large Group Review / Activities Key passage activity (5 minutes) Activity choice (10 minutes) Prayer (5 minutes) THE BIBLE STORY/OVERVIEW Haggai, Prophet to Judah Haggai 1 2 After living in Babylon for 70 years, God s people were home! A group had returned to Jerusalem to rebuild God s temple. They had started the work, but their neighbors didn t want them to rebuild the temple, so they stopped building. The people made excuses. Maybe it isn t the right time to rebuild the temple, they said. They thought that because the task was difficult, maybe God didn t want them to do it. Instead, the people worked on their own houses. They built nice houses for themselves, but God s temple sat unfinished. This made God angry. God wants His people to put Him first. God sent a message to His people through the prophet Haggai (HAG igh). Haggai went to Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua the high priest to tell them God s message. You live in beautiful houses, said the Lord, while My house lies in ruins. Was it right for God s people to put themselves first? No, their actions did not honor God. God told them to think about what was happening. You plant seeds, but you gather only a few crops. You have food to eat, but you are still hungry. You have clothes to wear, but you are still cold. 2

3 This was happening because the people put themselves first. God did not bless their work because they did not put Him first. God told them to get wood from the hills and finish rebuilding the temple of God. Zerubbabel, Joshua, and all the people listened to Haggai s message from God. They chose to obey God and honor Him. The Lord says, I am with you, Haggai said. All of the people were excited and encouraged. They began the work on the temple again. A little time passed, and then God spoke to Haggai again. He told Haggai what to say to the people of God. This is what the Lord said: Do you remember what the first temple looked like? What do you think? Was the first temple more beautiful? God said, Zerubbabel, don t be discouraged! Joshua, don t be discouraged! All you people, don t be discouraged! Keep working hard. I am with you. Then God said that something big was going to happen. He said that other nations were going to give gifts for the temple silver and gold! God said, This temple will be greater than the first. My glory will be here, and I will bring peace to this place. God promised to bless the people because they chose to obey Him. Finally, God gave Haggai another message. This message was for Zerubbabel. I m going to make some changes, God said. I m going to overthrow kings and kingdoms. Armies that used to get along will fight each other. And you, Zerubbabel, will be My servant. I ve chosen you to show that I am powerful and in control. This is what the Lord said. Christ Connection: God s people struggled to do what God wanted them to do. God chose Zerubbabel to help the people finish the temple. Many years later, God sent His Son, Jesus, to do God s will. Jesus died and rose again to free us from sin so that we can do His will. TRANSITION TIME Session Title: Haggai, Prophet to Judah Bible Passage: Haggai 1 2 Big Picture Question: How can we honor God? We can put God first in our lives. Key Passage: Zechariah 9:9 Unit Christ Connection: God saved His people who were in physical captivity as He would one day send Jesus to save and restore His people who are in spiritual captivity. Welcome time Tip: As kids arrive this is a great time to collect the offering, fill out attendance sheets, and help new kids connect to your group. 3

4 Arriving Activity: Hard Games fish bowl or other container table tennis ball checkerboard coins Set up two games that are easy to play but difficult to win. For instance, place a fish bowl or other bowl near a wall. From a few feet away, allow the kids to try to toss a table tennis ball into the bowl. Also, place a checkerboard on a table or the floor. See if the kids can toss a coin that lands completely in one of the squares. Say Were these games difficult? Is it easy to give up when something is hard to do? God gave His chosen people back their land, but things were a lot harder than before they were forced to leave. We will see how they dealt with difficult times. Activities/Table Centers (5 minutes) Table centers (Miscellaneous Activities) Most Important activity sheet / Bible Story Coloring Sheet, 1 per kid pencils, markers or crayons Guide boys and girls to complete the activity page. Say It s great to know what is important to us, but do you ever think about what is important to God? We will talk about something important to God that should be most important to us. If time remains, allow kids to complete the coloring page provided with this session. Session Starter (10 minutes) Option 1: Start and Stop Invite the kids to stand with their hands to their sides. This is the start position. Give the kids a command like run in place. They must start and continue the action until you give them a stop command. Then the kids must go back to the start position with hands to the side. You may change commands and then say start, or you may just say start, and the kids must again start the last command received. Kids who do not go back to the start position or who do the wrong command must sit out a round. Play as time allows. Say God gave the Israelites a task. They started and then stopped. We ll find out what that task was and why they stopped in today s Bible story. Option 2: Heart Drawing large piece of paper markers dry erase board and markers (optional) Draw a big heart on a large piece of paper and hang it on the wall. You may also use a dry erase board if available. Choose volunteers to either say or come up and write something in the heart that is important to them. They may not write the same thing in the heart twice. If no one writes God, ask the kids if God should be in the heart. If someone does put God, ask the kids what should be first of all the things written in the heart. 4

5 Say God wants to be first in everything. What we love is what we make time for. If we love God, He will be an important part of our lives. In today s Bible story, we will see if the Israelites learned that after returning to their homes. Transition to large group LESSON Session Title: Haggai, Prophet to Judah Bible Passage: Haggai 1 2 Big Picture Question: How can we honor God? We can put God first in our lives. Key Passage: Zechariah 9:9 Unit Christ Connection: God saved His people who were in physical captivity as He would one day send Jesus to save and restore His people who are in spiritual captivity. Countdown countdown video (on provided DVD with lesson videos and worship) Show the countdown video as you clean-up table centers, set up classroom chairs for the lesson and set it to end as large group time begins. Introduce the session (1 minute) building plans [Large group leader enters with building plans or a set of blueprints.] Leader It s great to have my construction crew back today. I have a question for you. If I want to build something, what do I need to do first? The first thing I need is a plan. I need what builders call blueprints. They re plans for what I m building. Once I have my plans, I know what to do first, second, third, and so on. It s never a good idea to build something without a plan first. That reminds me of our Bible story today. Timeline Map (2 minutes) Timeline Map (small group visual pack copies provided for Table Time Review) Leader After 70 years of being in exile in a strange place, God s people were back home, but things were not like they expected. Before we go any further, let s look back at what we ve learned the last few weeks. The prophet Obadiah told the people of Edom that God was going to punish them for not standing up for God s people. Even though the Edomites were distantly related to the people of Judah, they thought they were better than God and His people. This is called pride, and pride is a sin. Why did God judge Edom s pride? Pride steals God s glory. Obadiah promised that Edom would be destroyed, but God would lead the people of Judah back to their land. That s exactly what happened. God used a Persian king named Cyrus to 5

6 release the Israelites so they could return to Jerusalem, the capital of Judah. As always, God kept His promise. How did God keep His promise to the Israelites? God changed King Cyrus s heart so the Israelites could go home. The Israelites immediately started rebuilding the temple, the place where they worshiped God. They completed part of the building and celebrated. Let s see what happened after that in today s Bible story about a prophet named Haggai. Big picture question (1 minute) Big Picture Question: How can we honor God? - 11x17 poster provided Leader I hope you have your Bible today. The Bible tells us how the Israelites struggled to obey God since Israel was first formed. Their sin led to a division and eventually led to Israel and Judah both being attacked. This happened all because they did not honor God. That brings us to our big picture question, How can we honor God? Sing (4 minutes) Worship Song: Broken Hallelujah (on provided DVD) Leader The Israelites had every reason to honor God. They had seen miracles and even heard the voice of God, but they still sinned. We also have every reason to honor God. We have His plan, the Bible. We know how God s story unfolds. We know Jesus defeated sin and saves those who repent and trust in Him. That means that we can always praise Him in good or bad times. Let s praise Him right now. Sing together Broken Hallelujah. Key passage (4 minutes) Key Passage Poster: Zechariah 9:9 (provided) Worship Song: Look (on provided DVD) Leader Zechariah, a prophet to Judah, didn t have God s complete plan written in the Bible for everyone to see, but he still recognized that a Savior was coming. God shared His plan to one day send a King. His people would praise and celebrate this King. Let s look at what else Zechariah said. Show the slide or poster of the unit s key passage, Zechariah 9:9. Lead the boys and girls to read the verse together. Sing together Look. Tell the Bible Story (10 minutes) Haggai, Prophet to Judah video (on provided DVD) Bibles, 1 per kid Bible Story Picture Slide or Poster Leader Now the Israelites had another chance to honor God. They were back home and building the temple. Let s see if they honored God or went back to their old ways of disobeying. Show the Haggai, Prophet to Judah video, or choose to tell the Bible story in your own words using the script provided. For a shorter version of the story, read only the bolded text. Leader The people started the right way. They worked on the temple but stopped when 6

7 neighbors complained and the work became difficult. They built nice houses and forgot about the temple altogether. God was upset because the people failed to put Him first. How can we honor God? We can put God first in our lives. After Haggai delivered God s message, the people started building again. God encouraged the people. God told them not to worry about whether or not the temple looked as impressive as Solomon s temple. He said neighbors would give gifts and the new temple would be even better than Solomon s. Ask the following review questions: Whom did God use to deliver a special message to the Israelites? (Haggai, Haggai 1:1) How did the people put themselves before God? (They built their own houses but didn t finish the temple, Haggai 1:9) How did God say this temple would compare to the first temple? (It would be greater, Haggai 2:9) Who did Haggai say was chosen for a special purpose? (Zerubbabel, Haggai 2:23) How can we honor God? We can put God first in our lives. Discussion starter video (3 minutes) Unit 21, Session 3 - Discussion Starter Video (on provided DVD) Big Picture Question: How can we honor God? - 11x17 poster provided Leader Have you ever treated God like the Israelites did? Watch this! Show the Unit 21 Session 3 video. Leader Do you always put God first? Do you put other things before God? When building the temple became difficult, the Israelites thought God must not have wanted them to continue. They may not have even realized they failed to put God first. We can easily get lost in all the things we do and forget God too. We should always put God first. When we do this, God promises to take care of everything else. The most important way God takes care of us is through Jesus. Jesus died so we could be forgiven of our sins. Jesus considered us more important than His own life, so we should gladly put His wants before our own. The Gospel: God s Plan for Me (optional) Use Scripture and the guide provided with this session to explain to boys and girls how to become a Christian. Assign individuals to meet with kids who have more questions. If this is not possible, encourage boys and girls to ask their parents, small group leaders, or other Christian adults any questions they may have about becoming a Christian. Prayer (5 minutes) Big Picture Question: How can we honor God? - 11x17 poster provided Show the big picture question slide or poster. Leader Who has figured out the answer to the big picture question? How can we honor God? We can put God first in our lives. Call out things that are important to kids (soccer, TV, video games, and so forth). Invite those 7

8 who either have or are involved in those things to say the big picture question and answer together. Before transitioning to small group, make any necessary announcements. Lead the kids in prayer. Pray that God will help the kids always put Him first. Dismiss to small groups for Table Time The Gospel: God s Plan for Me Ask kids if they have ever heard the word gospel. Clarify that the word gospel means good news. It is the message about Christ, the kingdom of God, and salvation. Use the following guide to share the gospel with kids. God rules. Explain to kids that the Bible tells us God created everything, and He is in charge of everything. Invite a volunteer to read Genesis 1:1 from the Bible. Read Revelation 4:11 or Colossians 1:16-17 aloud and explain what these verses mean. We sinned. Tell kids that since the time of Adam and Eve, everyone has chosen to disobey God. (Romans 3:23) The Bible calls this sin. Because God is holy, God cannot be around sin. Sin separates us from God and deserves God s punishment of death. (Romans 6:23) God provided. Choose a child to read John 3:16 aloud. Say that God sent His Son, Jesus, the perfect solution to our sin problem, to rescue us from the punishment we deserve. It s something we, as sinners, could never earn on our own. Jesus alone saves us. Read and explain Ephesians 2:8-9. Jesus gives. Share with kids that Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again. Because Jesus gave up His life for us, we can be welcomed into God s family for eternity. This is the best gift ever! Read Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; or 1 Peter 3:18. We respond. Tell kids that they can respond to Jesus. Read Romans 10:9-10,13. Review these aspects of our response: Believe in your heart that Jesus alone saves you through what He s already done on the cross. Repent, turning from self and sin to Jesus. Tell God and others that your faith is in Jesus. Offer to talk with any child who is interested in responding to Jesus. TABLE TIME LEADER Session Title: Haggai, Prophet to Judah Bible Passage: Haggai 1 2 Big Picture Question: How can we honor God? We can put God first in our lives. Key Passage: Zechariah 9:9 Unit Christ Connection: God saved His people who were in physical captivity as He would one day send Jesus to save and restore His people who are in spiritual captivity. 8

9 Bible story review (10 minutes) Tip: Divide children into small groups for table time. Each group should include an adult leader at the table. Bibles, 1 per kid Timeline (small group visual pack extra copies provided for Table Time Review) Big Picture Question: How can we honor God? (11x17 poster provided in classroom) plastic or paper cups Encourage the kids to find the Book of Haggai in their Bibles. Help them as needed. Say Is Haggai in the Old Testament or New Testament? (Old Testament) Since Haggai is a minor prophet, which division of the Bible is the Book of Haggai in? (Minor Prophets) Haggai is in the last few pages of the Old Testament. Only two more books follow it. Do you know what they are? (Zechariah and Malachi) God used Haggai to encourage the people to rebuild the temple after God s people returned to Judah from Babylon. Use the small group visual pack to show kids where today s Bible story is on the timeline. Review the Bible story provided using the bolded text, or summarize the story in your own words. As you tell the Bible story, build a tower using plastic or paper cups. The bigger the tower, the more the kids will pay attention. If it falls, just start again. Say Haggai s message from God for the people was clear. God wanted the people to put Him first by continuing their work on the temple. God told them the new temple would be even greater than the one Solomon built. God also had a message for one of the leaders of His people. Zerubbabel would be a special servant for God. Do you know what made Zerubbabel so special? He would be part of Jesus family. Show the big picture question slide or poster. Say The people honored God when they did as God commanded. We can honor God too. How can we honor God? We can put God first in our lives. LARGE GROUP REVIEW AND ACTIVITIES Key passage activity (5 minutes) Brick Blocks Key Passage Poster: Zechariah 9:9 (provided) dry erase board and markers bricks masking tape Make sure the key passage, Zechariah 9:9, is visible for each child, either as the printed poster or written on a dry erase board. Read the verse together. Say God didn t give up on His people no matter how much they sinned by failing to put Him first. God loved His people then, and He loves His people now. He already had a plan to deal with sin. He sent a King a King who didn t sin. The words of our key passage came true when Jesus came to Jerusalem on a donkey while the people welcomed Him as King. 9

10 Write the key passage on the dry erase board in your room. Several brick shapes are provided in your classroom, enough to cover several sections of the key passage. Put a small piece of masking tape on one side of each piece. Read the verse together, and then place a brick over a word or portion of the verse and read together again. Repeat as time allows or until the verse is covered. Activity Choice (10 minutes) Option 1: Which Was First? Call out two events, things, or people from the Bible with one happening before the other. Say them out of order or in order. The kids must choose whether you said them in order or not. If they believe the things were in order, they must stand with one finger in the air. If they believe the two things are out of order, they must stay seated with two fingers in the air. Here are some suggestions: Noah, Ruth (correct) Moses, Abraham (incorrect) Israelites left Egypt; Israelites left Judah. (correct) Hosea, Haggai (correct) New Testament, Old Testament (incorrect) Israel was destroyed; Judah was destroyed. (correct) Daniel, Job (incorrect) King David, King Josiah (correct) Say When we talk about God, we should always be holding up a number one. He should always be first. How can we honor God? We can put God first in our lives. Option 2: Sticky Note Covers paper, foam sheet, or construction paper sticky notes adhesive hook and loop fasteners scissors markers stickers (optional) Cut a long strip of plain paper, foam sheet, or construction paper that is the same width as your sticky notes. Provide each child with a pad of sticky notes and one of the strips. Remove the backing of the notepad. Center it in the middle of the strip and press down. Fold the longer pieces of the strip over the pad until they overlap. Place the adhesive hook and loop fasteners piece in between the overlapping pieces. It should look like a wallet. Invite kids to write God is #1 on the front cover and then decorate with markers or stickers. Say Give these sticky notes to a friend as a reminder or use them to write reminders of how you can put God first. What are some ways you can do that? How can we honor God? We can put God first in our lives. Prayer and Clean-Up (5 minutes) Encourage children to share things they have to be careful about putting first instead of God. 10

11 Say Here is one last look at the big picture question. Let s say it together. How can we honor God? We can put God first in our lives. If time remains, take prayer requests. Pray, thanking God for His love. Pray for each child by name, asking God to help each kid find ways to honor Him. Clean-Up Room 11

12 Instructions: Draw something that is very important to you. UNIT 21 Session 3 Younger Kids Activity Pages 2013 LifeWay Christian Resources LifeWay The Exiles Returned

13 Haggai, Prophet to Judah Haggai LifeWay Christian Resources.

14 Family Journal Page The Exiles Returned mily is involved in. Talk fa ur yo es ti vi ti ac e Make a list of all th er to es are making it hard ti vi ti ac e th of y an about whether es that help them ti vi ti ac e th cle cir to ids put God first. Allow k told the Israelites ai gg Ha t ha w ew vi re put God first. Briefly on and the Christ ti es qu e ur ct pi g bi e by talking about th Connection. Haggai, Prophet to Judah Haggai 1 2 Preschool Key Passage: Zechariah 9:9 Big Picture Question: How can we honor God? We can put God first. Christ Connection: God s people had been away from home for a long time. They didn t have a place to worship God. When they went home, Haggai told them to fix the temple. God promised to be with them. When God sent His Son, Jesus, God kept His promise to be with us. Kids Key Passage: Zechariah 9:9 Big Picture Question: How can we honor God? We can put God first in our lives. Christ Connection: God s people struggled to do what God wanted them to do. God chose Zerubbabel to help the people finish the temple. Many years later, God sent His Son, Jesus, to do God s will. Jesus died and rose again to free us from sin so that we can do His will. Unit 21 Session 3 OK TO PRINT

15 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9 Unit 21 Key Passage Poster (ESV) OK TO PRINT The Exiles Returned

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