The people of Judah were unfaithful to God. They had several kings who were all evil, influencing the people to do evil things too. God punished the people of Judah, who were led into captivity in Babylon for 70 years. Even though God punished the people of Judah, He still loved them. Follow along with this devotion, which you can walk through with your family in 10-15 minutes one night this week or review it in 3-5 minutes over the course of the week.
KEY VERSE – DAY ONE:
Review the key verses and hand motions for this unit with your children.
“And I will give them one heart and a new spirit I will put in them … that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people and I will be their God.” – Ezekiel 11:19-20
BIG PICTURE QUESTION – DAY ONE:
Ask your children the Big Picture Question for this unit: Why should we obey God? We obey God because He loves us.
MAIN POINT – DAY ONE:
Share with your children that this week’s main point is God sent Judah into captivity because of their sin.
BIBLE PASSAGE – DAY TWO:
This week’s Bible story comes from 2 Chronicles 36:1-21. This story can be found on page 134 of the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook. Take some time now to read these passages with your children or you can refer to the Bible story summary below!
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
The last four kings of Judah came from King Josiah’s family. His three sons – Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, and Zedekiah – and his grandson Jehoiachin each had a turn as king of Judah.
Jehoahaz was not king for long. He did what was evil, and the king of Egypt came and made Jehoahaz a prisoner. The king stole silver and gold from Jehoahaz. Then he put Jehoahaz’s brother Jehoiakim on the throne.
While Jehoiakim was king of Judah, he too did what was evil. The king of Babylon attacked Jehoiakim, made him a prisoner, and took him to Babylon. While Jehoiakim was taken away, his son Jehoiachin became king of Judah.
Jehoiachin did what was evil. The king of Babylon sent for Jehoiachin and brought him to Babylon. The king of Babylon made Jehoiachin’s uncle Zedekiah king of Judah.
Like his brothers, Zedekiah did what was evil. He led the people of Judah to do evil things too. The prophet Jeremiah warned Zedekiah that God would punish him, but Zedekiah did not listen.
God was angry with the people of Judah. They sinned and did not obey God. But God loved His people. He wanted them to turn back to Him. God sent prophets to warn the people, but the people did not listen.
Finally, it was time to punish the people of Judah for their sin. God allowed the king of Babylon and his army to attack Judah. Many of the people died.
The king of Babylon took everything out of the Lord’s temple and carried it back to Babylon. Then the king and his army burned the temple. They tore down the wall around the city and burned the palaces. Anything they did not take with them was destroyed.
All of the people who were still alive were taken back to Babylon. The king forced them to be slaves. Everything the prophet Jeremiah had warned about happened, just like God said it would.
REVIEW QUESTIONS – DAY THREE:
After reading the Bible story or going through the summary, ask your children these review questions:
- Were Josiah’s sons or grandson good or bad kings? (bad)
- Whom did God send to tell His people to stop sinning and turn back to Him? (prophets)
- What did the king of Babylon do to the temple? (took everything out and burned it)
- What did the king of Babylon do with God’s people? (took them to Babylon and made them slaves)
- Who was the first king after Josiah? (Jehoahaz)
- Who made Jehoiakim king, and took Jehoahaz prisoner? (the king of Egypt)
- Who were the next two kings of Judah? (Jehoiachin and then Zedekiah)
- How did God’s people react to the prophets who warned them about their sin? (the people mocked the prophets, hated God’s words, and refused to listen to them)
- What did God do as a result of the people’s sin? (God sent Judah into captivity because of their sin)
- Ultimately, who took the punishment for sin? (God sent Jesus to take the punishment for sin when He died on the cross and rose again)
WORSHIP – DAY FOUR:
CHRIST CONNECTION – DAY FIVE:
It’s amazing to see how things that happened in the Old Testament are connected to the New Testament and the Gospel – the good news that Jesus came to Earth to die for our sins because of His love for us. These Christ connections show us that God has been preparing us for a relationship with Jesus since the beginning of time.
God was right to punish His people because they sinned. But God still loved them, and He was going to give His people a good king, just like He said He would. Many years later, God sent His Son, Jesus, to be our King forever. Jesus took the punishment we should get for our sin.
God was right to punish His people for their sin, but He kept His promise to provide a king through David’s family. Ultimately, God punished our sin through His Son, Jesus, and made Him our King forever.
PRAY – DAY FIVE:
Pray this prayer: Lord, You are righteous and just. You punish sin because You are holy and good. We confess that we sin against You. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Help us trust in Jesus more each day. Fill us with love for You and give us the ability to obey You joyfully. Amen.