- Worshiping practices of the Hebrews. Our memory text tell us how the Jewish people of the Old Testament worshiped God. In the lessons presented this quarter, God’s children are celebrating the dedication of the temple’s wall. Have you ever participated in a heartfelt celebration of a new church wall? What made this portion of the sacred building so precious? Let’s take a deeper look into what went into the the celebration of a wall that was part of the sanctuary.
- Singing songs to celebrate. In the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, who were chosen to make the temple celebration especially great? What was special about the contribution of the descendants of Asaph to the temple dedication? How important was music in this celebration? What was special about the music selected? The “music committee” was far more than a group of singers. What other talents and work were blended into the planning of the service through the generations since the temple was first built? Maybe you love good church music but don’t think you have talent to help with that part of the worship service. What can you contribute? Do you derive a special joy from the music provided at church events where you worship?
- Purification. The Bible presents a special ceremony to purify the Levites, the priests, the gates and the wall of the temple. Explain how the system contributed to the purification of the people. What was the most important goal of the services involved in temple worship? How can simple worship components add to the power of temple services? We are dealing with ceremonies occurring hundreds of years before the ministry of Jesus. How can you and I use gratitude, hope, and joy in linking the services of the worship temple of olden days with the services we provide for worship today? Should we do more of that? Or just be satisfied with the power of the worship service we follow today?
- Two large Thanksgiving choirs. Do you ever sense a thrilling experience when you sing praises to our God? Demonstrate the movement of two thanksgiving choirs in relation to the temple. Imagine having a worship celebration like that in your own church? How was it possible for the music to be a definite part of worship and not just an accompanying melody? Can music at home provide a similar blessing to family members today? What seems to be the predominant purpose of music in the worship experience? Does your church make the most of musical opportunities in your services? If not, can you do anything at all to strengthen and improve the quality of inspiring music in your church’s service?
- Sacrifices as part of worship. Imagine an announcement from your pastor stating that from now on a farm animal will be sacrificed every Sabbath at the church service. In what way is the offering of a sacrificial animal recognized these days in the church service? (Hint: at the cross…)
- Priests and Levites as part of worship. Does Jesus continue to offer His body as a sacrifice for our sins? Did the Israelite followers of God take the temple services seriously without stumbling over them or laying them aside? As followers of God in these final days of earth, do you and I pay enough attention to the music, Bible study, and prayer that are part of our worship service? What about financial support? Do you give to God’s church to the extent that you are able because you want to see His church have a more important witness in your community? Do you and I take the example of the Old Testament church seriously enough? Think on these things.