In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel made a tabernacle according to God’s specifications. It was the dwelling place of God, and it was to be treated with the utmost respect and care. Only the priests were allowed in the most holy place within the tabernacle, the Holy of Holies, and that was allowed only one time each year. This was where the presence of the Lord dwelt, and the people had access through the High Priest.
When Jesus came, things changed. The veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple was torn in half. No longer is a priest necessary to have access to God. Jesus is our High Priest, and we are able to come to Him at any time. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we have the most holy God dwelling within us. We are now His temple
REVIEW: Last week we learned about the exile of Judah. The last four kings of Judah ignored Go and the numerous warnings He gave them to repent. Instead, they chose to do things their own way and continue in their life of rebellion against God. As a result, they were attacked and defeated by Babylon. Most of the people were taken into captivity and transported to Babylon to be slaves.
Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 10
Memory Verse: Ezekiel 37:27: “My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
- Ezekiel’s vision contains a man in a linen tunic and cherubim (chapter 10). What does the Lord tell the man in the linen tunic to do? Fill his hands with burning coals and scatter them across the city. This is the second of a two-fold judgment against those remaining in Jerusalem. The first was that of the sword, and the second is by fire.
- The next event that takes place in Ezekiel’s vision is the most devastating of all the judgments against Israel and Judah. Read verses 3–5 and 18–19. What do each of these verses say about the glory of the Lord? The glory of the Lord arose from the cherubim, left the Holy of Holies, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then, it moved to the east gate of the temple. The east gate was the main entrance into the temple. The wings of the cherubim were so loud they could be heard throughout the temple courts. This was a visual of the cherubim beginning to ascend and carry the glory of the Lord out of the temple. Why do you think this would have been so devastating to Judah?
- Read Exodus 40:34–38. What event is taking place? The glory of the Lord is filling the Tabernacle. While the Israelites were in the wilderness, God gave them very specific instructions on how to build His Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was a tent that could be taken down and moved as Israel was traveling across the wilderness. When the work on the Tabernacle was complete, the glory of the Lord came and filled it. This was God’s physical representation that He was dwelling among His people filled the temple. Just as before, God was showing that He was dwelling among His people. What was the reaction of the people? Worshiped, gave thanks, and offered sacrifices to the Lord.
It is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives that changes our hearts and makes us new.
- Ask God to help you remember that you are the temple of God, and to keep your heart pure.
- Thank God for wanting to dwell among you
Give each family member a cut-out heart and have each one write his or her name on it. Then each person should tape their heart to the middle of his or her back.
Tell everyone that the name of the game is Guard Your Heart. Explain that the object of this game is to guard your own heart, while trying to capture others.
The room itself will provide boundaries for the game. A player can stand at the edge of the room to protect their back, but DON’T suggest this, or they all will. Let them figure that out for themselves.
To start, spread out evenly throughout the game area, at least arm’s length apart from each other.
Explain that on “GO!” they are to Guard Their Hearts, while trying to collect as many of the other players’ hearts as possible.
Explain that when time is up (two minutes) you will say “STOP” and count how many hearts each person has collected. Explain that they cannot grab, turn, push, or even touch the other players, or they are immediately out and lose. They can only grab the hearts of other players.
Notice: You do NOT say that those who have collected the most hearts will win, only that you will see how many each person has collected. Most will assume that the object of the game is to collect the most hearts, even though the name of the game is Guard Your Heart. When the game is over, announce that the winners are those who still have their heart, regardless of how many hearts they have collected.
Read Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Your heart is the part of you that loves and enjoys life. A lot of people and things in this world are after your heart. There are also a lot of things we chase after. When chasing after the wrong ones, we lose our own heart to those wrong things. Explain that God’s plan was for Jesus to live in our hearts. It’s up to us whether or not we open the door and let Jesus in to help us live a right life in God’s eyes.
Lesson July 12th