Sunday, October 7, 2018

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 6 Lesson 37 Josiah and Ezra Read the Scriptures To People

PRIMARY 6 LESSON 37 JOSIAH AND EZRA READ THE SCRIPTURES TO THE PEOPLE



CLASSROOM PREP
Post up on the board a piece of paper that says - “Why might it be hard to read the scriptures?”



OPENING
So let’s say it’s the first day of school and your teacher has told you that you cannot take any notes or write down anything that you’re learning, okay?
And now let’s say it’s a few weeks into school and your teacher tells you that he’s going to give you a test! A test on everything he’s taught you since the first day.

How would you feel? (nervous, unprepared, scared, confused)
You might think, wait a second - we weren’t allowed to write anything down. 
How are we supposed to do well on a test when we have no notes, no information, nothing to go off of?

So why is it important to write things down? (discuss for a short while - the act of writing down helps us remember, some people can’t learn as well through hearing but need to see words written down, we can review things later, we can find patterns in information in order to group them into chunks to remember)

It’s easy to forget things that we aren’t reminded of on a regular basis.
If something’s important, we should study it and review it continually so we don’t forget it.
(hold up the New Testament) The scriptures contains Heavenly Father’s words!
We need regular study in order to remember, and to keep his commandments. 



LESSON
So today we’re going to learn about a few different spiritual leaders.

And what ties them all together is that they loved the scriptures, God’s law, and they wanted their people to know it.

First we’re going to learn about Josiah.
It says in 2 Kings 22 that Josiah was eight when he began his reign in Jerusalem!
His father was actually wicked who was killed by his servants when Josiah was 8.
He inherited the throne at that age and was a righteous king.
He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.

Let’s go to verse 3 of 2 Kings 22.
It has been 18 years now in the reign of King Josiah.
In verse 4 it says what? (he wants a high priest to get the silver and pay workers, essentially, for their work.
In verse 8, what did the high priest find when he went to get the silver? (book of law)
In verse 10 it says that the book of law is then read to King Josiah.
So this is a book of law that had been essentially lost.

Do you think the people had been reading the law and following the law if it had been deeply hidden away?
Would you know a book really well if it had been in the back of a closet in your house for 10 or more years?
Probably not, right?

So in verse 11 it says what? (King Josiah read the book of law and rent/tore his clothes to show deep sorrow!)
He was quite distressed!
Why? Let’s read vs 13 (our fathers haven’t hearkened unto the words of the book)

Let’s go to 2 Kings 23.
What would a good king do if he found this book of law? (share it with his people)
He’s upset so it sounds like his people are probably doing bad things, so it makes sense he’d want to share it.
Let’s read in vs. 2 what he did! (read all the words of the book to all the people)
They didn’t just hear it and read it, but they wanted to put their faith into action.
They wanted to make a covenant.

In vs. 3 it says that Josiah stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord.
What was the covenant? (to walk after the Lord, to keep his commandments etc.)
And the people stood to the covenant!
Furthermore, what happened to the false idols they worshipped for Baal? (vs 4)

Now we’re going to learn a little about a man named Ezra, he was a high priest and a scribe.
Nehemiah 8:1
It says the people gathered themselves together into the street
And what did Ezra bring out? (vs 1 - the book of the law of Moses)
Why did he do this? (vs 2 - so all that could hear with understanding)
It says in vs 5 that he opened the book of law and all the people stood up!
Why do you think they did this? (they were excited, they had faith, they had reverence for it)
What did they do in vs 6? (have someone read it)
And in vs 9 at the end of the verse, how did they respond to the words of the law? (all the people wept)
What did Ezra say to them at the end of vs 10? (neither be ye sorry for the joy of the Lord is your strength)
What’s so great here is that they are eager to hear the word of the Lord!
They are spiritually moved!
And at the end of vs 12 it says that they were able to be joyful because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.



POST-LESSON DISCUSSION
How do you feel when you read the scriptures?
How can we develop the excitement for the scriptures?

Let’s look at the question on the board - why might it be hard to read the scriptures?

What’s hard for you? (write their answers on a list on the board but also add the column “ways to overcome these difficulties” with an additional piece of paper that you’ve brought)

(Spend time writing their answers on the board under the columns)
(Maybe they don’t understand the words, don’t like reading, find it boring, their family doesn’t want to read, they don’t have time, too much homework)
(Possible helps could be to set aside time each day individually or as a family that’s most likely to work, try for once a week first rather than jump into daily, watch the illustrated scripture story first so it’s more easily understood, pray for understand, read less at a time, read with a sibling if parents don’t want to, make it a goal to read every day for a week and see if more understanding comes, give it enough days that it can become a habit) 



ACTIVITY OPTIONS
1/ Post up the scripture Psalms 19:8 and discuss it - the scriptures/laws/words of the Lord are right and our heart rejoices. The commandment of the Lord is pure and enlightens our eyes.
Circle “right” and “rejoicing” and “pure” and “enlightening.”
Then post up verse 10 - more desired than gold and finer than gold! Sweeter than honey!
Bring in a jar of honey and give everyone a small popsicle stick or straw (toothpick could poke them) and have them taste the honey (check for allergies first!).

2/ Charades activity from the manual is a good one!

3/ Review activity from the manual about the year so far! This is a great opportunity to review, however not all prophets are covered so you could add them in (Isaac for example)

4/ Remaining time could be spent memorizing Isaiah 40:8



TESTIMONY/TAKE HOME
One reason I love teaching the Old Testament is because of how awesome these stories are and how inspiring the prophets/leaders are that we can learn from. There have been times in my life when I haven’t read the scriptures as often, and there have been times when I’ve read them daily - not just read them but studied them.

You might think not reading the scriptures could be an opportunity to get more things done, have free time, read other books instead, etc. But I’ve found that reading the scriptures allows me to focus on what’s important, to use my time wisely, to have the Spirit with me, to feel uplifted, to be reminded of the love God has for all of us, and guess what - I still can still have time to read other books and do other things!

Take home idea:
Something related to honey (edible or bee imagery, etc) and the Psalms 19:8, 10 scripture from the lesson, or the words from Search, Ponder, and Pray, or Isaiah 40:8

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