Into the Lesson
Begin the lesson by reminding the class that using someone or something precious to you is a very traumatic moment. Then ask class members to form small groups of four or five and share at me they lost someone or something dear to Him. They may also share how God helped them get through this difficult time. Keep this portion of the lesson brief.
After this time of sharing, expand the discus-. by saying, “Times of loss are traumatic to individuals … and to nations.” Ask about trauma that is specific to your country (examples: Pearl
Harbor, December 7, 1941; terrorist attacks, Sep- 11, 2001). Make a transition to Bible study
.271- saving, “Our feelings about these events help13 understand the emotional impact on God’s simple when they lost their beloved Jerusalem.”
Into the Word
Form five or more groups to do the following ask and report conclusions to the class as a whole. Give each group written instructions, a marker, poster board, and the materials men-wised. Before the groups begin their work, read. printed text to the class and include a brief explanation of the background for this text. Group #1. Read the printed text and answer the following questions: Why did Jerusalem fall? Who were the major players in this drama, and what were their roles? Who ultimately was responsible for Jerusalem’s destruction? You will Sod it helpful also to read 2 Chronicles 36:1-14and Jeremiah 27:5-7; 32:28; 34:2.
Group #2. (Provide for this group a photocopy.7,1′ the lesson commentary for 2 Chronicles 36:17and a Bible dictionary.) Tell the class about the Chaldeans, also called Babylonians. Use the
Bible dictionary and lesson commentary to pre-pare your summary about this powerful nation. Group #3. (Give this group a photocopy of the lesson commentary for 2 Chronicles 36:20 and a Bible dictionary that includes an article on “the remnant.”) Do research and tell the class about the group known as “the remnant.” What was the experience and significance of this group in Israel’s history?
Group #4. (Give this group a Bible dictionary and a copy of the lesson commentary for 2 Chronicles 36:21. Mark the article or section of the article that talks about the land having a Sabbath rest.) Focus on the comments about the Sabbath in 2 Chronicles 36:21. Read about Sabbaths rests in the Bible dictionary and lessons commentary. Describe this topic for the class and tell why you think this was specifically mentioned in today’s text.
Group #5. (Give this group a copy of the lesson commentary on Psalm 137:1-6.) Read Psalm137:1-6 and explain the significance of this pas-sage that speaks of singing about Zion. If time permits, you can also explain a few of the colorful word pictures used in this psalm.
Allow time for group presentations. With five groups, you will need to keep things moving along briskly.
Activity #1: Keeping in the groups established earlier, have each group discuss and address the following: God’s chosen people brought this sorrow and captivity upon themselves. Apply the lessons learned to today’s church. What actions or inaction of today’s believers have brought negative consequences to the church in general? Activity #2: Give each person a piece of paper and ask students to write a personal psalm that ex-presses a need, sorrow, or regret. Encourage students to use the colorful language of Psalm 137:1-6m a model. The psalm should include a need or regret in his or her personal life, the life of the church, or the nation (v. 1); a place to express the sorrow or need (vv. 1. 2); a creative expression of the need or sorrow (vv. 3, 4); a statement of commitment or determination (vv. 5, 6).
Allow each person to share