Hey BridgeKids Families!
City walls and gates were very important in Bible times. Walls were built to be several feet thick. They protected a city from its enemies and provided a sense of safety and security. Gates were the center of city life, the meeting place for commercial and social transactions. Without these structures, the surviving remnant of God’s people struggled and was vulnerable to attack.
Open your Bibles to Nehemiah 3:1-6:16. If you have younger kids you can use a story Bible to read it with them. Here you will read about how Nehemiah traveled from Persia to Jerusalem to lead the effort in rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls. Nehemiah’s leadership was effective. Nehemiah 3 describes all the people working together to rebuild the gates and walls.
But it wasn’t long before Nehemiah met opposition from local governors who planned to attack God’s people. God’s people armed themselves and kept working. They completed the wall in just 52 days.
Note how their enemies reacted: “All the surrounding nations were intimidated and lost their confidence, for they realized that this task had been accomplished by our God” (Neh. 6:16). Now God’s people were protected from their enemies.
Nehemiah led the people to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem to protect them from their enemies. Jesus came to protect us from our enemies. He died on the cross and rose from the dead to rescue people from sin and death.
Help your kids see that God provided the way for us to be protected from our enemies, sin and death. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. When we repent and trust in Jesus, He frees us from sin and death. We still sin, but we are no longer slaves to sin. (See Rom. 6:17-18.) We may die a physical death as a result of sin, but we have eternal life. (See John 11:25-26; Rom. 6:23.)
Ask the questions:
- What did Nehemiah hope to do in Jerusalem? (rebuild the walls, Neh. 2:17)
- Name at least two of the gates that were rebuilt. (Fish Gate, Sheep Gate, Valley Gate, Old Gate, Horse Gate, Fountain Gate, Water Gate, Dung Gate; Neh. 3:3-32)
- Who opposed the rebuilding? (Sanballat and Tobiah; Neh. 2:19; 4:7)
- How did Nehemiah and the builders respond to their enemies? (They assigned guards, prayed, and continued working; Neh. 4:15-23)
- How long did it take the people to finish the wall? (52 days, Neh. 6:15)
- Who helped the people rebuild? (God, Neh. 6:16)
- Does God keep His promises? Yes, God is always faithful, even when we are not.
- Penny Wars!: Every week in BridgeKids we take an offering to teach the kids how to give back to God. Right now we are raising money for Lakeshore Lifeworks Ministry. They provide transitional housing and loving relationships for vulnerable youth ages 18-21. They believe that having a personal relationship with Jesus is the solid foundation on which to build up our youth along with many important life skills. They utilize and combine the resources of the CHURCH, STATE and COMMUNITY to reach vulnerable youth and show them the love of Christ so they can reach their full potential. This helps the youth through the hard transition into adulthood. They currently work with mostly boys, but are starting a girls house as well.
For our Summer Nights on June 26 we are going to the Circus! The CircusSaurus is coming to the Michigan Flywheelers with 2 shows at 4:30 and 7:30. A generous donor has given BridgeKids kids tickets for this event. If you would like tickets for your kids and friends, see Mr. David on Sunday. You can check out more here: carsonbarnescircus.com