November 6: Nehemiah Heard News of Jerusalem
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids; we have certainly come a long way together! From creation and the fall all the way through the Babylonian exile, God’s promises stand firm. This unit, kids will continue with the story of the returning exiles, now known as Jews—people from the kingdom of Judah. Two or three million Jews had originally been deported, but only a remnant—50,000 people—returned after King Cyrus gave them permission to go home. Nehemiah’s story takes place after Ezra led a second group of exiles back to Judah. Nehemiah was a Jew living in Persia. He served as the king’s cupbearer, a position of great trust.
Nehemiah received word about God’s people who had returned to Judah. They were in trouble and living in shame; the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, and the city gates were burned. They lived in fear, unprotected from their enemies. Nehemiah sat down and wept. Nehemiah fasted and prayed for days. He remembered God’s promise to His people. Their disobedience led to exile, but if they turned back to the Lord, God promised to restore their fortunes and give His people a home. (See Deut. 30:1-10.)
The king noticed Nehemiah’s sadness, and Nehemiah was afraid. After saying a quick prayer, Nehemiah explained the plight of his city. The king granted him permission to return to Jerusalem. When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, he encouraged the people to rebuild the walls and stood confidently against opposition. Nehemiah trusted that God would keep His promise to protect His people and give them a home. When we trust in Jesus, we have a home in heaven with God. Jesus obeyed God perfectly. He died on the cross and rose again so we can have a home with Him forever in heaven.
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