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The People Of God Are Happy. AG Sunday School Teachers



BIBLE TEXT: Nehemiah 8:1-18; 9:1-10; 10:39; 12:27-43

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).



To help the child know what made the people of Judah happy and the things that can give him/her joy of the Lord that becomes his/her strength.


During and after the lesson, each child will show that he/she understands the lesson by:
1. Repeating the memory verse correctly to one another.
2. Mentioning things God has done for him/her and ways to show thanks to God.
3. Praying and confessing his/her sins and thanking God for forgiveness.


1. The People Read from the Word of God – Nehemiah 8:1-18.
2. The People Confess Their Sins – Nehemiah 9:1-10; 10:39.
3. The People Dedicate the Walls – Nehemiah 12: 27-43.

The people of Judah have gone back to their cities because the rebuilding of the wall and gates of Jerusalem had been completed and the people are happy. Their enemies can no longer attack them. Today we shall see how they dedicated the walls of Jerusalem, which they built. Their joy knew no bounds.
Now what about you? What do you do when you are happy, sing, shout, smile, scream, laugh, and jump up and down? When the people of Judah were happy that day they might have done all this, but in addition, they listened to the Word being read to them. They were sorry for their sins and confessed them. The joy of the Lord was indeed their strength.


1. The People Read from the Word of God – Nehemiah 8:1-18
Sometime after the completion of the wall, the people of Judah gathered together in the open square were men and women of all ages, that is, all who were old enough to understand the Word of God. They told Ezra to bring the book of the law and read to them. Ezra brought the book. All sat down on the ground. Ezra, himself, climbed a very high wooden platform where the people could see and hear him. Everyone was quiet. They were waiting to hear God’s Word.
Carefully, Ezra unrolled the Bible scroll. When he opened it, all the people stood up, Ezra thanked God for His Words. All the people bowed their heads and worshipped God with Ezra. Then Ezra read from the scroll. The people listened. Ezra read from morning till noon. Ezra’s helpers went among the people and helped them understand what was being read. Many of the people were sorry that they had disobeyed God in many ways. So they began to cry. Ezra and Nehemiah told the people not to cry. Rather they should eat and rejoice for the day was a special day to God.
The people stopped crying. They went back to their houses to eat and drink. They shared food and drink with others who didn’t have any. Everybody was happy. The next day the people came together and celebrated a great feast known as the Feast of Tabernacles. Over and again Ezra read God’s Word to the people.

2. The People Confess Their Sins – Nehemiah 9:1-10; 10:39
On the eight day of the feast, the people again showed their sorrow. According to the customs of that day, they wore clothes made of hair, put dirt on their heads and did not eat any food.


The people listened as the Word of God was read. All of them, including the priest and the Levites confessed their sins. They remembered God’s goodness and thanked Him for leading their ancestors out of slavery in Egypt. They thanked Him for protecting them.


The Levites continued to list the blessings that God gave to His people.
As the people of Israel in Jerusalem heard all these things that day, they became really sorry for their sins.


And to show God that they were truly sorry, they made several promises. Among other promises, they promised to obey all God’s commands, to give the best of their crops and fruits to the Lord.



3. The People Dedicate the Walls – Nehemiah 12:27-43.

The wall has been rebuilt. It is now celebration day. The people of Judah are excited and ready to dedicate the wall to God.


They made special plans for this. On the celebration day, people from villages all around Jerusalem came. Nehemiah quietened the people as they were noisy and told them to line up for a big parade.
The Levites came to the front to lead the parade because they were good singers. The priest followed and more Levites with musical instruments got into line.

A large crowd of people was part of the parade. These were divided into two groups. Ezra took one group and started marching to the left around the wall. It was a very big procession. As the groups passed each of the great gates, they gave thanks to God. They dedicated the wall to God.


At last, the two met each other again at one of the gates., Nehemiah and Ezra led the people into the Temple yard to offer sacrifices to God. There was great rejoicing among everybody men, women, and children.




There is a song we sing in the words of the Memory Verse:

The joy of the Lord is my strength
The joy of the Lord is my strength
The joy of the Lord is my strength
The joy of the Lord is my strength


Indeed, the joy of the Lord gives us strength just as it gave Nehemiah and the people of Judah. The following are some of the things we learn from the lesson that gives us joy:

1. Reading and listening to the Word of God and obeying it.
2. Praising and thanking God often for who He is and what He does for us.
3. Dedicating ourselves to God.
4. Confessing our sins and joining in worshipping God.
5. Showing respect for God and His Word.



1. Where did the people of Judah gather after the completion of the wall? They gathered at the:

(A) National stadium
(B) Temple
(C) Mountain
(D) In the open square of the city.

2. Why did the people begin to cry when the Word of God was being read?

(A) The priest punished all the people.
(B) They were in great suffering.
(c) They were sorry that they had disobeyed God in many ways.
(D) They disobeyed the king greatly in the past.


3. How did the people show their sorrow according to the customs of that day?

(A) They tore their clothes made of hair.
(B) They put on clothes made of hair, put dirt on their heads, and did not eat any food.
(C) They walked on bare foot and cut their hair.
(D) All of the above.


4. What did the groups do as they passed each of the great gates while they were matching round?

(A) They gave thanks to God.
(B) They gave thanks to the king.
(C) The gave thanks to Nehemiah and Ezra.
(D) None of the above.





Action Point

PS: I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you could drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.

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