This is the second lesson in a series from the Book of Nehemiah. The students discover from reading about Nehemiah repairing Jerusalem’s walls that every believer has work to do. The lesson was prepared for older students, but can easily be modified for any ministry context. We welcome your suggestions and ideas in the comment box below.
Bible Passage: Nehemiah 3-4
Bible Story Title: Repairing the Wall
Target Age Group: Ages 9-11 (3rd-5th Grade U.S.A.)
Target Time Frame: 60 Minutes
Original Teaching Context: Sunday School
Print Friendly: [print_link] this lesson plan
Credits: Image courtesy of Sweet Publishing and Distant Shores Media
Supply List: Bibles, pencils/pens, copies of Nehemiah’s wall activity page
Learning Goal: Students will learn that God has given every believer (a person who has put their faith in Jesus) a work to do.
Learning Activity #1: Nehemiah’s Wall Activity page (from another website)
Memory Verse: 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Bible Lesson: Repairing the Wall (Nehemiah 3-4)
The last time we met we began our study in the book of Nehemiah. Who remembers why Nehemiah was burdened by the news about Jerusalem? (The walls were broken) What did Nehemiah do when he heard this news? (Mourned, prayed and fasted) How did God help Nehemiah? (The king gave him permission to return to rebuild, provided for him and protected him)
Last time we also learned that Nehemiah was concerned about God’s reputation. Jerusalem was God’s city where His people lived (Nehemiah 1:9). It was in ruins and Nehemiah wanted to do something about it so God’s name would be honored and exalted in the land. When Nehemiah told the leaders why he was in Jerusalem they agreed to begin the great work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 2:18)
We are going to begin our study in Nehemiah 3. The hard work of rebuilding the walls has begun. We are going to discover who worked and how they worked.
Let’s look at these verses:
Who worked? (Assign students a verse and have them look for who repaired and what the verse says about them.)
Neh. 3:1: Who worked on this section of the wall? (High priests and his fellow priests) What section of the wall did they repair? (Sheep Gate)
Neh. 3:8: Who worked on this section of the wall? (Goldsmiths and perfume makers)
Neh. 3:12: Who worked on this section? (Shallum with the help of his daughters)
Neh. 3:14: What was Malkijah’s job? (Ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem)
Neh. 3:17, 22: Who were in this group that rebuilt a section of the wall? (Levites & priests)
Who didn’t work?
Neh. 3:5: Who wouldn’t work? (Nobles of Tekoa)
How was the work done?
Orderly (Laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place-3, 6, etc)
Zealously Neh. 3:20
Sometimes we want to skip over chapters like Nehemiah 3. If we did we would miss the truth that God recorded those who worked in rebuilding the wall. Several different groups did their part in rebuilding the ruined walls of Jerusalem. Even those who didn’t want to help were recorded.
Some people may skip over Nehemiah because they don’t see how studying the details of rebuilding the wall are meaningful to our lives today. What you and I are going to do in our lesson today is discover how every believer has a work to do. We will ask some questions and look up verses to show that the Bible teaches us about the work of believers.
- Whose work?
- God’s Work in and through believers
1 Peter 2:4-5 “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
1 Corinthians 3:5-7 “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”
- What work?
- Building up your faith
Believers daily walk with Jesus to fulfill God’s purpose. Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.
Believers build their faith when they pray. Jude 1:20 “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
Believers strengthen their faith when they hear God’s Word and obey:
Matthew 8:24-25 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Believers reveal genuine faith by their works. James 2:17 (NASB) “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.”
- Building up believers
When each group worked together building their section of the wall it is similar to how each believer works together to help build up the Body of Christ.
The Body of Christ (Church) is made up of all believers. Using the gifts and abilities believers have been given, strengthen and build up the Church.
Ephesians 4:2 “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”
Ephesians 4:16 “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
- How to work
Baruch son of Zabbai (3:20) worked zealously on their section of the wall. How should believers do the work God has given us?
John 9:4: As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.
Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”
Ephesians 6:7 “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,”
Deuteronomy 10:12 (Amplified Bible) “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you but [reverently] to fear the Lord your God, [that is] to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being,
Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:11 “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anyone.”
When you look at your life and compare it to what God says about His work in your life what do you see?
Are you consistently building and strengthening your faith by spending time daily reading God’s Word, praying and obeying what His Word says?
Are you using the gifts and abilities God has given you to help build up/encourage and strengthen other believers? Are you sharing the Gospel?
As we close in prayer take a few moments to respond in prayer to the Lord and talk to Him about what you discovered about God’s work and areas where you need His power and strength to repair.
If you are not a believer you are like the broken walls. Your sin keeps you from being free to be built into all that God has created you for. You don’t have to stay in this state of disrepair. Jesus paid the price for your sins by dying on the cross. He was buried and rose from the grave on the third day fully paying the debt for your sins that keep you from God. Believe in the Lord Jesus and you can be saved today.