Monthly Archives: April 2021

The Nation’s Plea

International Sunday School April 25, 2021 #8

Remember, LORD, what has happened to us; look, and see our disgrace. (2) Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners. (3) We have become fatherless, our mothers are widows. (4) We must buy the water we drink; our wood can be had only at a price. (5) Those who pursue us are at our heels; we are weary and find no rest. (6) We submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough bread. (7) Our ancestors sinned and are no more, and we bear their punishment. (8) Slaves rule over us, and there is no one to free us from their hands. (9) We get our bread at the risk of our lives because of the sword in the desert. (10) Our skin is hot as an oven, feverish from hunger. (11) Women have been violated in Zion, and virgins in the towns of Judah. (12) Princes have been hung up by their hands; elders are shown no respect. (13) Young men toil at the millstones; boys stagger under loads of wood. (14) The elders are gone from the city gate; the young men have stopped their music. (15) Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning. (16) The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned! (17) Because of this our hearts are faint, because of these things our eyes grow dim (18) for Mount Zion, which lies desolate, with jackals prowling over it. (19) You, LORD, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation. (20) Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us so long? (21) Restore us to yourself, LORD, that we may return; renew our days as of old (22) unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure.

Lamentations 5:1-22

The Restoring Builder

International Sunday School April 18, 2021 Spring #7

Nehemiah 2:11-20 (NIV)

11I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days 12I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.

13By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. 14Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through; 15so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate. 16The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.

17Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.

They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.

19But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”

20I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”

The Faith-in-Action Preacher

International Sunday School April 11, 2021 Spring #6

While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites–men, women and children–gathered around him. They too wept bitterly. (2) Then Shekaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel. (3) Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law. (4) Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.” (5) So Ezra rose up and put the leading priests and Levites and all Israel under oath to do what had been suggested. And they took the oath. (6) Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to the room of Jehohanan son of Eliashib. While he was there, he ate no food and drank no water, because he continued to mourn over the unfaithfulness of the exiles. (7) A proclamation was then issued throughout Judah and Jerusalem for all the exiles to assemble in Jerusalem. (8) Anyone who failed to appear within three days would forfeit all his property, in accordance with the decision of the officials and elders, and would himself be expelled from the assembly of the exiles. (9) Within the three days, all the men of Judah and Benjamin had gathered in Jerusalem. And on the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the people were sitting in the square before the house of God, greatly distressed by the occasion and because of the rain. (10) Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt. (11) Now honor the LORD, the God of your ancestors, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives.” (12) The whole assembly responded with a loud voice: “You are right! We must do as you say.

Ezra 10:1-12 (NIV)