Key Passage: Zechariah 9:9 “Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey.”

Big Picture Question: How can we honor God? We can put God first.

Christ Connection: God’s people had been away from home for a long time. They didn’t have a place to worship God. When they went home, Haggai told them to fix the temple. God promised to be with them. When God sent His Son, Jesus, God kept His promise to be with us.

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. At last! God’s people returned to Jerusalem, the home of their ancestors. Many of God’s people had been born in Babylon, and life in exile was the only reality they knew. 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 Ezra 4:6,11-16.)

God’s people were disappointed and discouraged. Their enemies forced them to stop building and, rather than fight them, God’s people gave up. The temple of the Lord sat unfinished for 16 years. If that was what God wanted, wouldn’t He make it easier for them? (See Hag. 1:2.) The prophet Haggai stepped onto the scene and 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’s people struggled to do what God wanted them to do. God chose Zerubbabel to help the people finish the temple. Zerubbabel was the descendant of King David, and an earthly ancestor of Jesus. Many years later, God sent His Son, Jesus, to do God’s will. Jesus died and rose again to free us from sin so that we can do His will.

Family Activity: Make a list of all the activities your family is involved in. Talk about whether any of the activities are making it harder to put God first. Allow kids to circle the activities that help them put God first. Briefly review what Haggai told the Israelites by talking about the big picture question and the Christ connection.

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