VERSES: Zephaniah 1:1-3:20
MEMORY VERSE: Zephaniah 1:7 "Hold thy peace in the presence of the LORD GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Jude. Write "Jude" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class.
PRAYER: May we always love the LORD and show are love to Him by doing His commandments.
SPECIAL SONG: The Books Of The Old Testament and The Books Of The New Testament (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class on this blog. Click on orange circles for tune.)
VISUAL AID: Large Activity (see below) written on the whiteboard or chalkboard, explaining that the people did not want to serve God, but they wanted to worship the sun, moon, and stars, some wanted to worship God AND Idols, and some wanted to only do what they wanted to do.
- Zephaniah, too, was a minor prophet, writing only 3 chapters to make his book. While we do not know a lot about Zephaniah, we do know that he was related to good King Hezekiah. He was King Hezekiah's great-great-grandson. Zephaniah was preaching at the same time as Jeremiah in the days of Josiah, a few years before Nineveh fell. Zephaniah means "Jehovah hides."
- God spoke to Zephaniah many things concerning Judah, telling them the many terrible things that would happen if they continued to worship false gods. We have heard this before, haven't we? The people did not listen to God's prophets and they suffered the consequences of being disobedient. God was a jealous God and He wanted His people to serve Him only, but they continued to look to their surrounding neighboring nations and copied them. The other nations served idols; Judah served idols.
- Judah made idols with their own hands and then worshiped their own stone or wood carvings. Zephaniah said that God was going to stretch out His hand upon Judah because they did not listen to the words He gave to Zephaniah. The LORD God is not a God that is made with man's hands; God is a living God, all-powerful, all-knowing, and every-present. God is the one who made everything, even man.
- Because Judah was worshiping the sun, moon, and stars, and the fact that some of the Jews worshiped both God AND an idol named Malchan, and the fact that some of the people had turned their backs away from the LORD and did what they wanted to do, it meant that God was going to utterly and completely destroy the land. God would allow the people to go into Babylonian Captivity. Zephaniah said there would still be a remnant or a few people who would worship God with their whole hearts and God would listen to them and take care of them. God would save the remnant and would be with them. The remnant was the good people who served God.
- There are a few times the phrase "the day of the LORD" is written in this book. There are two meanings to this phrase. It sometimes refers to the Day the LORD will judge his people in the last day, but sometimes it only refers to a day that the nations will be judged and a consequence given.
Materials needed: 9" x 12" blue construction paper, scraps of orange, yellow, white, and red paper, glue, scissors, markers, crayons.
- Hand out blue paper.
- Write "ZEPHANIAH said that God was going to stretch out His hand upon Judah for making idols." and "Zephaniah 1:4-7" at the top of the paper.
- Divide the the bottom of the paper into thirds (see picture above).
- Write "The host of heaven" at the top of the first box.
- Write "Some people worshiped..." at the top of the second box.
- Write "Some would turn away from God and..." at the top of the third box.
- From scraps, draw and cut out sun, moon, and stars.
- Glue sun, moon, and stars in first box.
- From white scrap, cut out rectangle and write GOD.
- From red scrap, cut out rectangle and write IDOLS.
- Glue "God" and "IDOLS" rectangles in second box.
- Write "and" between white and red rectangles. (see picture)
- From yellow scrap, cut out yellow rectangle.
- Write "Do what they wanted to do." on yellow paper.
- Glue yellow rectangle in third box.