40 The fall of Jerusalem

Start the challenge by finding and reading a Bible verse from 2 Kings 24:20.

Do you hear about people doing wrong things, in the news, in books or in TV programmes? What do you think should happen?

Do you ever do something wrong, even though you have been told not to do it? What do you think should happen?

Do you ever do something, even though you know it is not what God would want you to do? What do you think should happen?

What kind of things might lead you away from God?

 

Read more…

The story so far…

With Israel divided into Judah (the southern part where Jerusalem was) and Israel (the northern part), there were different kings in each country. Few of them wanted to live in a godly way. God sent many messengers, his “prophets”, to warn the ungodly kings, but they did not want to listen.

After many years, God could not help any more: the people had proved that they did not want his help. God allowed enemies to attack, and he did not rescue his people because they had refused to listen to him.

Now read 2 Kings 25:1–11 together.

 

What happened next…

Enemies took over Israel because of the kings’ and the people’s disobedience. The people of Judah did not take any notice of this strong warning and, 136 years later, Judah was conquered and Jerusalem destroyed (586 BC).

God’s people were in exile for many years and, at last, understood the importance of listening to and following God’s Word – and that God still loved his people. Some were allowed to return to Jerusalem. They had to rebuild the city, with a new temple (535–515 BC) and new walls (445 BC).

 

Explore the Bible

Answer the questions from Big Bible Challenge page 54 together.

 

Did you know…?

Babylon Babylon was a powerful empire and ruled over many other countries. Now they had decided to take over Jerusalem. They surrounded the city for many months. The people could not leave to get food. Then the army attacked and broke through the city walls.

Destruction The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar made sure everything of value was taken from Jerusalem. The gold and bronze items were taken from the Temple and the Temple itself was burned; the walls were broken down; palaces and houses were destroyed.

Exiles The Babylonians took the people away too because they were valuable as workers. Only the poorest people who owned nothing were left behind.

 

Try it out

This is a sad ending. For the people of God, this was as bad as it could get. They had lost everything – their homes, their jobs, their country. Many had died; others were weak after months of war and siege. Worst of all, the Temple, the symbol of God with them, had been destroyed and their friendship with God was broken. But there was still hope. There would be harsh years ahead – but they would return to Jerusalem and to their worship and trust in God.

Many people in the world today are living in sad and harsh situations. They may be hungry or homeless, due to war, poor climate conditions or natural and man-made disasters. But there is still hope!

With your Bible Coach, find out about a Christian charity or aid organisation that helps people who are trying to survive in desperate and “hopeless” situations. How are they bringing hope for the future to those people?

 

Talk to God

“Father God, you are always there in the best times and in the worst times. Help me to trust your care.”

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