Unit 17, Session 3: The Temple Was Rebuilt
At last! God’s people returned to Jerusalem, the home of their ancestors. God had given
them another opportunity to live as His special people. They got to work right away,
completing the foundation of the Lord’s temple.
Many of God’s people had been born in Babylon, but they had likely heard the stories of
their parents and grandparents, stories of a life in the land God had given them. They
probably heard of their families’ mistakes: ignoring God, worshiping idols, and
mistreating the poor. But the Lord had been gracious! He kept His promise to bring His
people back to Judah.
Life in Judah wasn’t exactly what they had imagined. It was difficult. Their national
wealth was gone. The work of rebuilding the temple and the city of Jerusalem was hard.
The land was desolate, and crops failed. Their neighbors opposed their efforts. (See
God’s people were disappointed and discouraged. Rather than fight their enemies,
God’s people gave up. The temple of the Lord sat unfinished for 16 years. The people
made excuses. “Maybe it’s not time to rebuild the temple,” they reasoned. If that was
what God wanted, wouldn’t He make it easier for them? (See Hag. 1:2.) God’s people
moved on to building their own homes.
The prophet Haggai stepped onto the scene and rebuked the people for their misplaced
priorities. (Hag. 1:4) He brought words from the Lord, commanding them to finish the
work they started. God promised to fill the temple with His glory, and comforted His
weary people with this promise: “I will provide peace in this place” (Hag. 2:7,9).
God promised to be with His people and bless them—and not only them, but the whole
world through them, keeping the promise He made to Abraham long ago. (See Gen.
12:3.) Through God’s servant, Zerubbabel, God would send His Son, Jesus—the greater
Servant who is God with us.
God's people rebuilt the temple so they would have a place to worship God. Years
later, God sent His Son, Jesus, to be with His people. Now God dwells not in the
temple, but directly with His people. Jesus provided something better than the
temple; He gives us Himself.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for
Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
! Babies and Toddlers
○ The prophets told about Jesus.
○ Jesus is with us wherever we go.
○ God helped His people rebuild the temple.
○ Haggai said God was with them.
○ Because of Jesus, we can worship God anywhere.
○ How is Jesus the perfect Prophet? God speaks to us through Jesus.
○ God’s people rebuilt the temple.
○ How is Jesus the perfect Prophet? Jesus perfectly reveals God the Father
and fulfills what the prophets spoke.
○ God’s people rebuilt the temple to glorify God.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
! Jeremiah 29:11
! “Zechariah the Prophet” (Zechariah)