Key Passage: Malachi 4:2 “The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves.”
Big Picture Question: How did God protect His people? God helped His people rebuild the city walls.
Christ Connection: Nehemiah helped God’s people fix the walls around their city. The walls protected the people from their enemies. Jesus protects us from our enemies. When we know and love Jesus, He keeps us safe and we will live with Him forever.
This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, our journey takes us to Jerusalem as Nehemiah led God’s people to finish rebuilding the city walls. 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.
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. Sanballat and Tobiah were local governors who strongly opposed Nehemiah’s helping the Jews. The two mocked God’s people and tried to discourage them. Sanballat and Tobiah planned a surprise attack against God’s people, but God’s people found out. They kept working—with a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other.
God’s people 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). 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.
Family Activity: Provide play dough, interlocking blocks, or other construction toys. Challenge kids to build a wall. As they build, remind them that the wall around Jerusalem helped protect God’s people from their enemies. Lead kids to list reasons they can trust God when they feel afraid. Remind kids that they can pray and ask God for help anytime.