NBC Sunday School Manual For February 4, 2024 :Topic – PREVIEW FOR FEBRUARY
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme for the Month: “THE RIGHTEOUS LIVE BY FAITH.”
PREVIEW FOR FEBRUARY
Our theme for this month is “The Righteous Live by Faith.” The texts shall be taken from the books of Isaiah, Daniel, and Habakkuk with different topics for each Sunday. The lessons shall highlight how the righteous live by faith. Precisely, we shall be discussing the following:
● How the righteous can see the power of God in nature, by faith. to protect them while in the fiery furnace.
● The faith of the three Hebrew men who trusted God.
● How Daniel trusted God to protect him while in the lion’s den.
● God’s message to Habakkuk to wait because the righteous shall live by faith.
Human beings are naturally prone to discouragement when faced with However, God’s message through Habakkuk encourages us to wait in faith and trust God’s timing because better days lie ahead. We, therefore, implore teachers to make their classes more participatory so that the class members will be blessed.
Suggested Teaching Methods: These suggested teaching methods can be used during the general opening or in the classes.
February 4 – Observation: Let the class members observe their environment and identify some things they can see in nature that reveal the power of God.
February 11 – Soliloquy:
A class member should walk about, in front of the class, and soliloquise repeatedly the words of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3:28.
February 18 – Drama:
Let a class member walk in front of the class saying the words of Habakkuk in chapter 2 verse 1. Someone else should say God’s response to Habakkuk’s complaint in verse 2.
February 25 – Panel Discussion:
Assign the sub-topics to the discussants ahead of time so as to enable them prepare well. Welcome contributions from other class members.
DATE: SUNDAY, 4TH FEBRUARY, 2024.
➡📍TOPIC: FAITH IN THE POWER OF GOD.
Isaiah 40:12-13, 25-31.
📌 GOLDEN TEXT:
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:29
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Explain how God’s power is displayed in nature, according to the passage;
● Discuss why God is incomparable;
● Resolve to always put their faith in God, especially in difficult situations.
The nation of Israel was founded on an everlasting covenant relationship with God, even though it was not a perfect nation. Unfortunately, the Israelites did not maintain a steady relationship with God, despite the numerous blessings they enjoyed from Him. They turned away from Him and His words, and because of their rebellion, the Israelites experienced a period of spiritual, social and moral despair, and the dark period of Babylonian captivity in which they spent about seventy years in bondage. But the question is: Will God abandon His ‘eternal’ throne of David, which He had promised? How could He watch in silence as His chosen nation and temple were ripped to shreds by pagan armies? As a result of the nation’s troubles (her futility and moral breakdown), and imminent captivity by the Babylonians, Prophet Isaiah proclaimed God’s comfort to the people who were already in exile. His message was about the power of God in nature, His incomparable nature and the good) news of the coming Messiah who will facilitate) their freedom.
Today’s lesson focuses on faith in the power of God, His incomparable nature, the promise of hope and comfort to the people of Israel while they were in exile, in Babylon. This, no doubt, stresses two important things: God’s deep concern for the people of Israel to experience comfort, despite their troubles and the urgency of comfort because of their defencelessness. Interestingly, the kind of comfort God promised the people of Israel was not to make them feel better or remove their pains, rather it was comfort through which the people would acknowledge the power of God and His majesty and then receive strength, encouragement and hope in exile. The first section gives assurance that the period of exile is almost over.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
✍️ THE LESSON EXPLAINED…✍️
A.🎈 GOD’S INFINITE POWER AND WISDOM ANALYSED:
Chapter 40 of the book of Isaiah is titled ‘Words of Hope’ (Consolation) for the Judean exiles in Babylon, close to the time of their freedom. God said to them through Prophet Isaiah in verse 11 that “He will take care of his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs together and carry them in his arms; he will gently lead their mothers.” Isaiah further proved in verses 12 and 13 that God alone can create, and asked some rhetorical questions that describe His infinite power and wisdom. They include:
● Who can measure the waters in the hollow of his hand or mark off the heavens with the breath of his hand?
● Who can hold the dust of the earth in a basket or weigh the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
● Who can fathom or comprehend the Spirit of God or be His counsellor?
God’s power is displayed in these ways, particularly in the story of creation. These are evidence of His ability to do what humans cannot do or imagine. The questions can be likened to that of Job, in Job chapters 38-39. God has power over all creation, He is the Creator and He is greater than all created beings and things (Job 38:4-5, 37). He is infinite in power and wisdom (Genesis 1:6-8; Proverbs 30:4). Thus He alone possesses the power to deliver His people from captivity. God’s promise of comfort and hope to the people of Israel in their time of trouble is also applicable to contemporary Christians, notwithstanding the magnitude of their challenges. Therefore, believers in Christ should continually trust God for comfort, encouragement, peace and liberation through Christ Jesus, in their time of need.
1. How can the attributes of God, as stated in the text, strengthen the faith of believers in times of trouble?
2. In line with God’s promise of hope and comfort for the people of Israel, during their exile in Babylon, what hope do you have for Nigeria?
B.🎈 HIS BEING IS INCOMPARABL:
It is most likely that the Israelites had concluded that their situation was a hopeless one and that God was not mindful of their plight. Consequently, Prophet Isaiah reminded them of the awesomeness of God and His incomparable nature. The people needed to understand that He is the everlasting God who created the world and everything in it, without the help of any human. Therefore, Isaiah concluded that He is incomparable in nature and power. The admonition, “Lift up your eyes” was needful because they had already lost hope. The prophet pointed to the skies as a witness to the unfailing power of God, who is both the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. There is a roll call of stars, which are powerful evidence of the existence of God’s mighty power (v. 26). Unfortunately, such power could not be fathomed by the people in exile; otherwise, it would have been their source of comfort and strength in their time of trouble.
The summary of Prophet Isaiah’s message of hope and comfort to the people of Israel while in exile is that God cannot be compared with any being or power. He is unrivalled, He created the heavens and the array of stars and gave names to all of them by His great power. Interestingly, none of these things is missing. In other words, they are sustained by His ultimate power and wisdom. Truly, these verses are meant to encourage believers to behold God in His incomparable glory, majesty and saving grace, as He has manifested Himself in creation and in the Scriptures. For that reason, our complaint of God’s unconcerned attitude over our challenges in the world reveals our ignorance of God and His power to do great things.
1. God is incomparable. Discuss.
2. Discuss the implication of verse 26 to bellevers, especially those who are facing challenges of life.
C.🎈 FAITH AND HOPE IN GOD’S POWER:
One of the problems of humankind is that they easily shift blame. When the people of Israel were enslaved in Babylon, they did not remember that it was because of their disobedience to God. According to verse 27, they complained that their way had been hidden from God and their cause disregarded. Little wonder they concluded that God had abandoned them amidst their challenges. However, Prophet Isaiah reminded them of five attributes of God. He said, “The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” (v. 28b) Furthermore, he encouraged the people who were already weary and exhausted to wait on God for renewed strength. In this context, to wait or hope in God means to trust, have confidence, or expect God’s promise of freedom in the midst of adversity. The admonition to wait has two bases: (a) the ability of humans to grow weary probably after much struggle for freedom and become independent after much suffering. (b)The frailty of human strength. According to verses 29 to 31, those who wait on the Lord, according to God’s promise shall enjoy the following:
● Their strength shall be renewed: This means that they will receive divine strength in time of adversity.
● They shall mount up with wings like eagles: This is the ability to cope with the pressures of life without compromising one’s faith. They are like eagles that are known to fly higher than other birds.
● They shall run and not be weary: This is the ability to run without being discouraged, despite our troubles.
● They shall walk and not faint: This simply means the ability not to be weak or feeble because of difficulties.
We live in a world of despair, discouragement and injustice. Even though some people experience discouragement, isolation, depression, frustration, and enslavement, believers in Christ who wait upon the Lord shall have their strength renewed and so, they will not be discouraged. God expected the Israelites to know this principle and continue to trust Him, even in their most difficult times. Little wonder God queried the reason for their complaint about His unconcerned attitude towards them in their time of challenges (v. 27). The lesson is a reminder that amidst the challenges of life, faith in God’s power can bring about freedom and restoration (Proverbs 3:5-6), as it was promised to the Israelites.
1. Give personal or biblical examples of how human strength falled and the consequences.
2. Based on today’s lesson, what should be our counsel to those who are almost hopeless and weary?
📌Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Let a class member share a personal experience of God’s intervention in his/her case that has convinced him/her about God’s incomparable power.
📌 Take Home: Write down three lessons you are taking home from today’s lesson?
● Based on today’s lesson, resolve to put your faith in God, no matter what you are going through.
Happy Sunday in Advance.
🌨 Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!📍