NBC Sunday School Manual For June 4, 2023 :Topic – Preview For June
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme of the Month:
THE PROPHETS PROCLAIM GOD’S POWER.
DATE: SUNDAY, 4TH JUNE, 2023.
PREVIEW FOR JUNE
Our theme for this month is “The Prophets Proclaim God’s Power.” The Bible texts shall be taken from the books of Isaiah, Ezekiel and Zephaniah. The lessons focus on God’s reign and how He exercises His power over the inhabitants of the earth. The lessons also emphasise the following:
● God’s powerful and peaceful reign.
● The concept of God’s Servant-King, the Promised Messiah.
● The concept of God’s appointed King.
Experience has shown that there are times of chaos and uncertainty, just like the case of the people of Israel when they were in exile. Nonetheless, Isaiah declared that “God reigns.” He described God’s new creation, which He promised to establish as having perfect peace in the whole world. He also spoke through Ezekiel about the restoration of relationships under a renewed covenant when God said, “I will be their God and they will be my people.” We, therefore, implore Sunday school teachers to prepare to teach these wonderful lessons with results.
BELOW ARE THE SUGGESTED TEACHING METHODS to prepare and teach the lessons. They can be used during the general opening or in the class.
June 4 – Monologue: Let a class member talk about God’s reign and how He exercises His power over the inhabitants of the earth, as he walks about in the class.
June 11 – Music: Sing the hymn “Jerusalem, the Golden” BH 477.
June 18 – Group Discussion: Let two or three volunteers discuss the sub-topics and give room for contributions, questions and answers. They should prepare ahead.
June 25 – Recitation: A class member should recite the Golden Text, as he walks around the class.
YOUR GOD REIGNS.
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7.
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● List the promises of God to His people who were in bondage;
● Explain the commands the people were expected to obey before they would leave Babylon and why;
● Resolve in their hearts to proclaim the good news of salvation to all.
An elderly widower was travelling to a city far from his hometown in his car. He drove gently because travelling has become one of the few things that gave him joy since he lost his wife and could not find his only son, who had strayed from home for over a decade. As he approached his destination, a young boy threw a stone across the road, which shattered the windscreen of his car. In anger, the old man stepped out of his car and grabbed the youngster who had thrown the stone. “What is this that you have done? Why have you decided to cause me additional pain? Why did you do this for God’s sake?” He queried. The youngster stood motionless for some time before saying, “Please sir, I didn’t know what else to do. I threw the stone because no vehicle would stop.” With tears rolling down his face, the boy pointed at a ditch off the road. “It’s my friend,” he said, “he skidded off the road on the bicycle with which we escaped from some kidnappers. I can’t leave him alone. Sir, could you please join me to help him?” The boy said as he sobbed. Even though the man was angry, he hurriedly went down the ditch to rescue the injured boy who had lost so much blood. To his utmost amazement, the boy he rescued was his lost child. He burst into praises and dancing, shouting, “This is too good to be true, God has given me hope to live again”.
Usually, different reactions trail different news and events. King Solomon said, “Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.” (Proverbs 25:25) The news of deliverance and freedom to someone in bondage is normally received with joy and excitement. This is true because life in bondage cannot be compared with freedom. Today’s lesson focuses on chapter 52 of the book of Isaiah. It is a song about the day of Zion’s triumph (the Israelites), who, like the old man in the story, found hope in the midst of despair. Having been battered in Babylonian captivity for several years, the Jewish people suddenly received a message of hope, deliverance, comfort and peace from Prophet Isaiah. The good tiding heralds peace, restoration, reconciliation and salvation through Christ to the world, especially to all crises-laden and weary lives. The good news is that God gives beauty for ashes.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. MESSAGE OF GOOD TIDINGS:
Chapters 49 to 55 of the book of Isaiah form the second major part of the “Book of the Consolation of Israel.” They contain God’s promise to restore Jerusalem, after their experience in Babylonian captivity, during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar. In chapter 52, Isaiah prophesied God’s plan to rescue the Jews from Babylon. He declared that even though their captors boast and constantly show contempt for God, the Israelites will soon acknowledge that He is God and He had foretold it (v. 6). God’s intention was to bring comfort, peace and restoration to the people of Israel by returning them to their own land in Jerusalem, the holy city, which is referred to as Zion (vv. 7-8). Ultimately, those who would bring the good tidings of comfort, peace, salvation and hope of restoration to the Jews would be most welcomed because of the contents of the message. Therefore, he said, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.” (v.7) Apostle Paul alluded to this when he referred to the preaching of the Gospel as good tidings (Romans 10:15). Consequently, the watchmen who looked forward to the return of the exiles will shout for joy because they will witness the return of the Lord to Zion and the people will break forth into joy. According to verse 10, “The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.” This implies that when God executes His redemption and salvation, all humankind will witness it.
It is obvious that the good tidings, as used in the passage, refers to the promised deliverance of the Jews from captivity in Babylon. Of course, it typifies the good tidings, which Christ brings to all humankind. It is the news of peace, restoration, reconciliation and salvation from sin, sickness and oppression of the Devil. As people who have been commissioned by Christ to go to all the nations of the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20), Christians are to share the good news of peace, salvation and the reign of God. In fact, the deliverance would be sudden and all parts of Jerusalem, which had been desolated and left in ruins, shall share in the joy of its restoration and salvation. However, it should be noted that Isaiah did not attribute the redemptive work to the effort of anyone but God alone, who “will lay bare his holy arms in the sight of all the nations,….” (v. 10)
To every weary soul in the bondage of sin, sickness and oppression, the good news of Christ’s redemptive work is most appreciated than any other thing in life. It is great to know that Christ has the ability to restore lives, beyond human understanding. This knowledge is enough to make believers happy and break forth into joy.
1. In what ways can the good news of Christ bring peace, hope and salvation to the physically troubled and spiritually oppressed? Share with practical examples.
2. What specific rewards await those who share the good news of salvation through Christ, and how does it affect our zeal for evangelism?
B. ADMONITION TO BE HOLY:
One of the things that distinguish humankind from God is the ability to keep promises made. God had spoken through Prophet Isaiah that He would deliver the Jews from their captivity in Babylon, where they had been in captivity. As a result, Jerusalem would receive this good tidings of comfort, peace, salvation and restoration with great joy and gladness because of God’s determination to fulfil the prophecy. However, when the good tiding was received, God told the people to leave Babylon by obeying the following instructions:
● They should not touch any (unclean) thing associated with the Babylonians (v. 11). The instruction became important because when the Israelites left Egypt in the days of Moses, they took with them some abominable things (Ezekiel 20:5-8). Their rebellion led to their ruin.
● They were to purify themselves before they leave (holiness).
● They were to leave but not in haste because God would go ahead and protect them (v. 12). He would use King Cyrus, his anointed (Isaiah 45:1) to ensure their safe return to their homeland, Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-4).
The call to be holy is repeated in the passage. God wants His people to be holy because He is holy. Even though God promised to rescue His people from captivity, the issue of holy living was a condition. So, the call for God’s people to leave Babylon is similar to their departure from Egypt (Exodus 13:21-22), though not in haste. Both exits were initiated and led by God Himself. Isaiah’s prophecy about God’s plan to rescue Jerusalem is a reminder to those who are in the bondage of sin, sickness as well as the captivity of Satan to believe the good tidings, which Christ has proclaimed (John 8: 36). Therefore, recipients of God’s mercies should not get polluted any form of impurity because it can lead to ruin, like the case of the people of Israel.
1. Why is the subject of holiness important in the attainment of Christ’s comfort, peace, salvation and protection?
2. Discuss some things Christians need to get rid of in order to become beneficiaries of God’s promises.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Identify three messengers of good tidings from the Scriptures. Which content of their messages typifies the good news, which Christ brings?
Take Home: State at least three main lessons you are taking home, based on today’s lesson:
● Make a commitment to always acknowledge God who reigns, and promises to rescue those in captivity.
Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!