This week, kids at Antioch will learn that God brought His people back home. For 70 years God’s people had been living in Babylon. Some of God’s people were born in Babylon, but they knew that Israel was their home. Everyone was waiting for God to set them free and lead them home.
Finally, the time had come for God’s people to go back home.
Cyrus was the new king. The Lord did something amazing in Cyrus’s heart. God changed his heart and Cyrus declared that everyone from Israel was free to return home. The exile was over! King Cyrus even gave God’s people enough money and supplies to get home and to rebuild their city, their temple, their lives.
When they arrived in Jerusalem, they began working to rebuild the temple. Once the foundations of the temple were completed a great celebration of God’s faithfulness happened. The priests dressed in special robes and the people cheered and cried. God had given them a home.
The temple was the place where God met with His people on earth. God wanted His people to be with Him and the people wanted to be with God. This isn’t the only time God lead His people and then invited them to return to Him. He has done that for you and I, too! When Jesus came, it was God’s way of reminding the world that we are made to be with Him and was His invitation to return to Him. We are made to be with God, and He knows we ought to be with Him. Right now, He is with us in spirit. And when Jesus returns, he will restore a greater home for all of His people, and we will spend eternity with Him.
We encourage you to remind your kids about this Bible story and reinforce these key points:
- God changed the king’s heart and the king freed the people of Judah.
- God brought the Israelites back home.
- Zerubbabel led the people to build the temple.
- Jesus came to give us a new home with Him forever.