Into the Lesson
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Option #1. Write “New” on the board. Ask,-What are sights, sounds, smells, or symbols that remind you of newness?” (Some ideas include new car smell, butterflies, eggs, fresh paint.)Option #2. Write “Old Car/New Car” on the board. Ask, “What are some of the steps needed to refurbish or restore an old car back to its original newness?” Interact with responses.
Make the transition to Bible study by saying that God tells us that newness, or restoration, can be brought to people’s lives, churches, or even nations. This restoration, of course, hap-pens through God’s wonderful grace. The truest restoration of people or of churches is grounded in a renewed commitment to God’s Word. We’ll discover that principle as we read of an adventure in the life of God’s chosen people.
Into the Word
Provide the following resources to three study groups: to Group #1, a photocopy of the lesson background, Bible dictionary, a marker, and poster board; to Group #2, string, letter-sized paper (punch holes in two corners of the paper),and a photocopy of the lesson commentary; to Group #3, a marker, poster board, and a Bible dictionary. Distribute the instructions below to the groups. (If you have a large class, you may create extra groups to divide up activities for #1and #3, but only one group should do #2.)Group #1: Deliver a brief background of today’s Scripture to the rest of the class. Study the lesson commentary and outline your remarks about the timing of the event, the impact of some of the kings, the spiritual condition of Judah, and a snapshot of Josiah’s influence. A Bible dictionary is available, if needed.
Group #2: Prepare a dramatization of 2 Kings22:8-11; 23:1-3, 21-23. String and paper is pro-vided for name tags to hang around the character’s necks. Feel free to insert dialogue that gives clues to why or how things may have happened. But be sure to tell the story clearly enough so the class understands what happened.
Group #3: Deliver a report about how Josiah worked to change Judah’s worship focus. You will read a portion of Scripture that is not included in today’s printed text, namely 2 Kings23:4-19. Be sure to include a brief definition of Baal and Asherah. A Bible dictionary is available as a resource.
Allow each group to share its discoveries.
Make the transition to application by writing “Re-Bible” on the board. Tell the story included in the lesson commentary of the little boy saying to his friends they were going to have a “Re-Bible” (revival) at his church. Explain the irony of his statement. The Bible is at the core of spiritual revivals, including Josiah’s. It is also the basis of personal spiritual renewal and of a church’s renewal.
Ask the groups that worked together earlier to choose one of the following two tasks. (If you are short on time, you may choose simply to do choice #1 as an entire class.)
Choice #1: Develop a worship program for your church that emphasizes renewed commitment to the Lord and His Word. What special feature would you include? What are a few appropriate songs? What would be an appropriate sermon theme or text? How would you issue a call to commitment?
Choice #2: Suppose you have a friend who has drifted away from the Lord. This friend still attends church occasionally but has not been growing spiritually. He or she seems to be focusing energies on work and family. Your task is to develop a plan to encourage this person to renew a commitment to the Lord. What are some steps you might take to help bring this about?
Conclude by reminding class members that spiritual renewal is important in each person. Ask each person to identify two or three steps to take to refresh his or her relationship with the Lord.