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This youth Bible lesson takes a look at the Book of Lamentations helping us understand that when we are sad, we can turn to God. He is always there for us! Life can be hard, but we have a God Who wants to be our Rock and our Refuge. He is faithful; we can call on Him just as Jeremiah did.
Time/Audience: This lesson took about 40 minutes with a group of 12 students. It is easily adaptable to be used with both youth and children.
Bible Lesson Preparation: Record sounds or use a Youtube video to provide sounds for a listening test as students guess what the sound is. The last sound needs to be a baby or a child crying.
Scripture: Lamentations 1:1-3,16; 3:22-24, 55-57
Memory Verses: Lamentations 3:22-23
Key Takeaway: When we are sad, we can turn to God and talk to Him.
For this youth Bible lesson have a number of sounds recorded for students to guess. The last will need to be the sound of crying. I used a couple of Youtube clips. The number of sounds you use will depend on the amount of time you have available. I used about 6-7.
This is a youth Bible lesson I recorded during the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home order. Following is the video if it helps you to watch an example of teaching the lesson. Also...there are probably some things I said in the lesson I neglected to write and visa versa.
A fun introduction activity will capture students' attention and get them thinking in the direction you are pointing. Play the sounds one at a time allowing students to guess each. Remember, the final sound should be that of a baby or child crying.
Begin by helping students find the Book of Lamentations. Point out:
Mention the sound of the baby crying. Have students think of the last time they cried. Discuss some of the reasons we cry - sad, hurt, mad, frustrated, brokenhearted, etc. Share a recent time of when and why you cried. There is something about sharing a personal story that will help kids, youth and even adults connect with you and the lesson.
State the key takeaway - "When we are sad, we can turn to God and talk to Him."
God used Jeremiah to write the Book of Lamentations. In the Book of Jeremiah we see that God has given Jeremiah a message for the nation of Judah. He was calling them back to Himself. They were living in sin and following false gods and idols. God knew their sin would lead to consequences; he sent Jeremiah to warn them and to also give them hope. There is always hope even when we sin; we can always turn back to God because of Jesus' saving grace!
The people of Judah did not turn back to God, and the consequence was Babylon conquered them and carried them into captivity. You may remember the story of Daniel and his friend Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. This was during this time period. Jeremiah wrote the Book of Lamentations when the Hebrew people had been taken captive by Babylon and it broke his heart. When he was sad, he turned to God and called out to Him.
Not only do these two books show us that Jeremiah lamented or was sorrowful, we see that God was sorrowful. He was broken hearted for His people and the consequences sin caused in their lives. God's punishment wasn't to "get back" at the people for what they had done, it was to point them back to Him and His safety and love just like a loving parent.
When a child is hurt regardless if it was from natural circumstances or bad choices, their parent also suffers and hurts for them. We learn here that God's heart breaks over sin and how it hurts us.
* Ask students if there's a time they want to share how this happened with their own parents because of how much they love them.
Read Lamentations 1:1-3 to introduce how Jeremiah describes Judah now broken and in captivity and 1:16 that talks about weeping. Remind students this is written like a song using poetic language that can be confusing.
Jeremiah was sad and broken over the suffering of Judah caused by their sin and disobedience to God. They had been warned, but didn't listen.
Jeremiah knew where to turn when he was sad, He called out to God. Read Lamentations 3:20-24. These are probably the most familiar verses in the Book of Lamentations and a great to memorize.
Have students turn one book back to the Book of Jeremiah and find chapter 23, verses 5-6. The whole Bible points to Jesus and the hope found in Him.
Look up the following verses together to see how God understands our sadness and worries; He promises to be with us.
God understands. When we are sad, afraid, anxious, etc., we can call out to Him and He will be with us.
Father, thank You that You promise to be with us. Thank You that we can cry out to You when we are in need or sad or fearful or anxious. You hear us and are faithful. You bring us comfort. Thank You for your promise of hope found in Jesus! Help us to remember this hope, Your faithfulness and nearness as we walk through this next week.
Give each student a sheet of paper or give this as a challenge for them to do during the week. Remind them that Lamentations was written like an acrostic. Challenge them to write a word or phrase that describes or has to do with God for each letter of the alphabet.
Example: A- Able, B-Bountiful, C-Comfort, D-Daddy, E-Eternal or a phrase N-New mercies every morning
We listen to many songs during our week. This week, let each remind you of this Song of Sorrows and the truth that God is with us and we can call out to Him when we are sad, fearful, worried, etc. He is near to us!
This week share what you learned in this youth Bible lesson with someone else. Knowing that there is a loving God they can turn to can change their life!
The following song is a wonderful one to play as students spend time meditating on the truths of this youth Bible lesson and how much God cares for them. When we take our focus off of our circumstances and place it on Who God is, worship fills our lives with hope!
Special note: We do preview the websites to which we link, but are unable to peruse them completely. We try to check others' faith statements and make sure they do profess Jesus Christ as God's Son and salvation is found only in Him. It must, however, be your responsibility to personally dig into God's Word and allow the Holy Spirit to be your first and final teacher on all subjects.
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