Today’s story is from the book of Ezra.
The Israelites had all been taken captive out of the promised land. King Cyrus of Persia had taken over Babylon and God softened his heart so he decided the Israelites could return home. They went back in three groups. The first group went back and two of the priests, Zerubabbel and Jeshua, and their helpers started to rebuild the temple (God’s house and church). The people worked hard, but their enemies who lived near them kept trying to stop them.
Sometimes when we are doing something that will make God very happy, Satan and his helpers will get people to try to stop us. But we know we should ALWAYS do what makes God happy.
The people had a big celebration and remembered when God had saved His people and led them out of Egypt a long long time ago to the promised land (called Passover). The priests started serving again and even though lots of people tried to stop the Israelites from coming back and rebuilding the temple, God made sure they could get the work done. He even had the kings return the things from the temple that were stolen when the Israelites had to leave. God took the people from the land, and GOD helped them return. He always had a plan for His people and He brought them back home.
But they started to forget some of God’s rules, and a few years later, a priest named Ezra brought some more of the people back to Jerusalem (the capital city of the Israelites). Ezra prayed to God to keep him and the people safe as they traveled. God kept them safe and when Ezra got back to the promised land he reminded the people of all of God’s laws. They had just been in exile for disobeying God and Ezra reminded them of all the words of God so this time they could obey Him. Ezra helped the people understand that a temple for God is nice…but it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t do what He says.
You can go to church every week, read your Bible and pray…but if you don’t DO what God says to do, then it doesn’t really matter. Ezra reminded all the people that God looks at our hearts and cares if we obey Him. Building a fancy church is nice, but obeying God is MORE important.
For our craft today, we made hammers to symbolize the rebuilding.
We also found this video posted by Jelly Telly that gives an overview of the book of Ezra.
Thanks for joining us today, next time we’ll learn about Nehemiah! Love to you all!