[blank paper, colors and pencils] Take a moment read aloud Isaiah 36 & 37 and have the kids make a list of all the points from the field commander then all the points from Gods answer through Isaiah. The goal is to see when everything around you says to do one thing but our knowledge about Godly behavior says another. Through Prayer God steps in and saves his people.
Sometimes a pros and cons list is where we place our faith and trust. In today’s story we are given an example of when a dependency of God outweighs human confidences. The story of King Hezekiah begins with the restoration and re-dedication of the temple back to God. He encouraged the people to redirect their faith to the true living God (2 Chronicles 28:22 - 30). Our story focuses on a situation when Sennacherib, the King of Assyria who had been successful in taking over various societies, had his army approach Jerusalem. King Hezekiah is challenged, he counsels with the prophet Isaiah and through prayer confidence is found. Take a few moments and read Isaiah 36 & 37 and see how Hezekiah’s confidence in God rescues the people of Jerusalem. Consider breaking up the chapter with others in the room and reading the chapter aloud.
Go around the room and discuss your first thoughts about the story.
[Children] Who were the key characters in this story?
[Children] What are some of the difficult things to understand about this story? Does it match with the Jesus story?
[Children - Adults] Discuss a moment when all the variables were in front of you yet you knew the direction was flawed. What was the outcome of that situation? (cheating on a test, wanting to buy something, hanging out with friends)
[Children - Adults] In chapter 36 vs 4, the field commander used language that would mock the faith foundation of King Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem. Have you every experienced a similar situation at school, work, or at home?
[Children] A prophet is someone who speaks on God’s behalf, in the Old Testament times several prophets are used to speak God’s Word. What is the name of the prophet found in this story? (37:2)
[Teens - Adults] In the Old Testament we hear of people tearing clothing and putting on sackcloth. This was a way of showing humility in the presence of a leader or before God in prayer. In what ways do we show humility when we go before God in prayer?
[Teens - Adults] In vs 10 of chapter 37, Sennacherib sends word to Hezekiah in response to the word received from Isaiah. In three words can you summarize what was said?
[Teens] Sometimes we struggle with the concept of a living God because our prayers can feel one-way. Starting in vs 14, Hezekiah pleads to save them from the situation. In God’s response, at what point do you believe Hezekiah gained confidence to stay the course? (vs 21 - 35)
[Children - Adults] In an answer to Hezekiah’s prayer an Angel of the Lord did what to the Sennacherib’s Army?
Take a moment and pray that we can know when to stay and when to make a move. Pray that we can have the confidence to trust in God when everything around us tells us otherwise.