And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Key Verse Thought: Read the Key Verse. Understand that sometimes we get tired of doing what God wants us to do, but we are never to quit! God has promised to honor our work – if we do not quit. In this lesson, we will see God’s people begin the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Emphasis: Christians should never become tired of doing what God has for us – even when the adversaries try to stop us. We are to complete what God has for us to do, knowing He will honor that work.
Lesson Summary: As we begin this lesson, we remember that the people were carried captive in three definite movements. We will discover that the people were returned back to their homeland in three definite movements. We will learn of the first movement, led by Zerubbabel, today.
Cyrus was now ruler in the land of captivity (remember the Babylonians were defeated by the Medes and Persians). We will read that God stirred Cyrus’ heart to send people home (to Jerusalem) to rebuild the house of the Lord. Not only that, but he sent many treasures back to Jerusalem with the people – including the vessels that belonged in the house of the Lord. The first group to return to Jerusalem was led by Zerubbabel, a descendant of David.
Once they reached Jerusalem, Zerubbabel remained a leader. Jeshua (Joshua) was the high priest. These two men led the people first to rebuild the altar of the Lord. Then they laid the foundation of the Temple of the Lord. That was when the troubles began. Adversaries arose, and Zerubbabel understood they were not for God’s people, but against them. Zerubbabel would not allow them to help in the building of God’s house. These adversaries caused trouble for years, stopping the building of the Temple.
God then sent His prophet, Haggai, to encourage the people to build the house of the Lord. First, he scolded them for living in their nice houses while the Temple of the Lord was not completed. He reminded the people that God was to come first. “7. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 8. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD” (Haggai 1:7-8). Haggai then encouraged the leaders to complete the Temple. Zerubbabel and Joshua stepped up and began work on the Temple again – and God kept the enemy from stopping them.
If you are teaching this to children, the following is a craft idea to go with this lesson to help them remember it:
We made scenes to remind us the importance of not quitting or be content, but to finish what God has us to do – much like Haggai encouraged them to finish the House of the Lord.