Lesson for December 5th, 2015
The Destruction of Jerusalem
Jeremiah warned repeatedly about what would happen to Jerusalem if the people did not repent. But even in the destruction, God had promises for those who chose to follow with all their hearts.
Computer and/or tablet, Internet access, dictionary, Word, printer, copier, pads of paper, pens
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Nobody likes someone who cries “wolf.” (Think of the story of the boy shepherd.) In warning Judah and Jerusalem for so many years, God seems to be crying “wolf.” Why did God do this?
- Read Romans 8:28, where Paul says, “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord.” Does this apply to the destruction of Jerusalem? Why or why not?
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- What is the difference between being sorry and being repentant?
- Thought Questions
Read Ezekiel 8. God was upset with Judah and had decided to destroy Jerusalem. What was God upset about?
- The people were worshipping other gods.
- The people had set up altars to these gods in God’s house.
- The people were turning their backs on God in God’s own house.
- The elders of the people were worshipping gods in the secret rooms of God’s house.
- The people didn’t think God could see them.
King Zedekiah was the last king of Judah in Jerusalem before it was destroyed. Read Jeremiah 37:1-10. What was Jeremiah’s warning to the king?
- Egypt will not be able to help you.
- The Babylonians are coming.
- The Babylonians will attack the city.
- The Babylonians will capture and burn the city.
- God is angry with Judah and will allow it to be attacked.
Nebuzaradan, captain of King Nebuchadnezzar’s guard, gave a message to Jeremiah. Read Jeremiah 40:1-6. What was the message?
- God was the one who destroyed this country and city.
- God was angry with the people.
- God used you to share divine messages.
- God wants me to set you free.
- God wants you to go and live wherever you want.
Read Jeremiah 29:11-13. What is God’s amazing message to His people back then and to us today?
- God has plans for us.
- God plans for us to prosper.
- God plans to give us hope and a future.
- God will hear our prayers.
- We will find God when we seek with all our hearts.
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: Because God’s people didn’t repent of their evil ways, Jerusalem was finally destroyed. The people were sorry when times got rough, but being sorry isn’t the same as being repentant. Look up the definitions for “sorry” and “repentance.” Explain the difference and create a handout for the church entitled “The Five Steps of Repentance.”
- Option 2: God destroyed Jerusalem and allowed the people to be taken into captivity for 70 years. Then God brought them back to start over. We see the death-and-resurrection theme throughout scripture. Why does something have to die before it can come back to life? How can you relate this to your church or community?
- Option 3: Repentance comes before change. Create a social media message that your church members can share with the community about repentance. What will you say? How will you say it? When will you post it?
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Ask the Holy Spirit if there are areas in your life where you are “sorry” but not “repentant.” Be willing to allow God to help you make the changes that need to be made.
- Jerusalem was destroyed because of idolatry. Pray and ask God if there is any other “god” in your life and for the power to remove it. Ask a friend to hold you accountable.