Children to -:
●Know what righteousness is.
●Hunger and thirst for righteousness
●To turn away from their sins and follow God.
Bible Story Reference:
2 Kings 18 – 20
Memory Verse: Matthew 5:6 NIV
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Print the word righteousness on paper or spell it on the chalkboard. See how many other words the children can form by rearranging the letters or spelling smaller words contained within these thirteen letters. Set a time limit and offer a small reward to the one who can discover the most words hidden within the longer word. Discuss the meaning of righteousness as “right thinking” in line with God’s ways. Explain that Jesus promised the greatest reward of blessedness to those who wanted this word more than even food and water.
Ask the children, What does hunger mean? Ask them if they have ever been hungry or thirsty? How did they feel? And what made them feel full/satisfied again? Tell them, to hunger is to have a strong desire for something. Like they answered, when one is hungry, their bodies need food and they therefore have a strong desire for food, and when they are thirsty, they have a strong desire to quench their thirst by drinking water.
For Christians, children of God, the Holy Spirit puts a deep hunger and thirst for God and the things that God loves.
Righteousness is holiness, doing what is right before God.
When we hunger and thirst for righteousness, it means that we want to do the right things and to love God with all that we are. We crave being right with God, and God fills us up with his righteousness when we choose to follow him.
In today’s story we shall learn about a man who was hungry and thirsty for God’s righteousness. Ask the children to make a guess of the person.
Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign as king when he was twenty-five years old. He reigned in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years.
His mother’s name was Abijah, daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. (Tell the children that King David was an ancestor of King Hezekiah). Of all the kings of Judah, Hezekiah was the most obedient to God. He found such favour in the Lord’s eyes that God answered his prayer and added 15 years to his life.
Hezekiah, means God has strengthened.
His father, Ahaz, had been one of the worst kings in Israel’s history, leading the people astray with idolatry. Hezekiah zealously began to set things right.
● First, he reopened the temple in Jerusalem.
● Then he sanctified the temple vessels that had been desecrated.
● He reinstated the Levitical priesthood,
● Restored proper worship, and
● Brought back Passover as a national holiday.
But he didn’t stop there. King Hezekiah made sure idols were smashed throughout the land, along with any remains of pagan worship. Over the years, the people had been worshipping the bronze serpent Moses made in the desert. Hezekiah destroyed it.
Later, Hezekiah became seriously ill. Isaiah warned him to get his affairs in order because he was going to die. Hezekiah reminded God of his obedience then wept bitterly. So, God healed him, adding 15 years to his life.
Hezekiah made one major mistake, which is recorded in 2 Kings 20. Ambassadors came from Babylon, and Hezekiah showed them all the gold in his treasury, armaments, and the riches of Jerusalem. Afterward, the prophet Isaiah scolded him for his pride, foretelling that everything would be taken away, including the king’s descendants.
Later the Assyrians returned, mocking God and threatening Jerusalem again. Hezekiah went to the temple to pray for deliverance. The prophet Isaiah said God had heard him. That same night, the angel of the Lord killed 185,000 warriors in the Assyrian camp. Hezekiah was young, yet he pursued God with all he had. He depended on the wisdom of God and viciously dealt with ungodly things. He dedicated himself to the service of God, he was prayerful, and yet he was still human and faltered. But because he loved God, he went back to him and asked for God’s mercy.
We should look to him as a role model, and pursue God like he did, more importantly, we should ask God to help us to do so.