title image for Jeremiah lesson with illusion structure in the backgroun

Jeremiah Bible Illusion Lesson

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The prophet Jeremiah had a strong word from God for the King of Judah. Would he listen? Use an optical illusion to teach children to not just listen to the word of God, but to do what it says.

Scripture Focus: Jeremiah 36; James 1:22

Materials:

  • 3 pieces of typing paper
  • 1 piece of construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue

{You will be using an optical illusion for the object lesson, so be sure to have it ready before you have children in the room with you. See the images for directions.}

Step 1: Cut a sheet of typing paper with 3 slits as shown. (Don’t actually make the dashes on the paper. Keep it white.)

sheet of typing paper with 3 dashed lines showing where to cut the paper

Step 2: Hold the short ends of the paper and twist 180 degrees.

two hands twisting the cut sheet of paper

 

2 hands holding the paper that is displaying the illusion

Step 3: Glue it onto a sheet of construction paper.

the finished illusion page glued to a purple sheet of construction paper

Geography: Kingdom of Judah

Background: The nation of Israel was divided after the reign of Solomon. Northern Israel had no good kings while southern Judah had a few good kings. Prophets, such as Elijah and Hosea, were sent by God to warn the people to repent, turn away from idols and sin, and come back to God.

Jeremiah Object Lesson:

{Ask for a volunteer to help you. Show your illusion and ask:}

  • I am going to give you a sheet of paper. Do you think you can create this illusion? [Allow for answers from the volunteer.]

{Give the volunteer time to look at yours and try to recreate it using the scissors. If they seem stuck say, “You can ask anyone in the room for help.” The volunteer will probably ask for help from a friend, or another child. After another few moments ask:}

  • Why did you ask __________ to help you? [Allow for answer]
  • Who is the person in this room who knows how this illusion was created? [You are]
  • Why did you not ask me for directions? [Allow for answer, and some laughs; if, by chance, the volunteer DID ask you how to do it, then commend them on going to the best source of information.]

I am going to show you how to do this illusion towards the end of our lesson because I want you to be able to share this with others. But for now, let’s discuss the people of Judah who did not listen when given instructions from God.

Jeremiah Bible Lesson:

{Depending upon the age of the children being taught, you might want to read the entire chapter of Jeremiah 36. At least read verses 2 and 3. Ask:}

  • Who is Jehoiakim? [son of King Josiah, been king of Judah for four years]
  • What did God tell Jeremiah to do? [Jeremiah was to write on a scroll all of the words that God had spoken against Israel, Judah, and all the nations.]
  • What did God hope would happen? [That the people of Judah would hear God’s grievances against them and turn from their wicked ways so God could forgive them.]

Jeremiah obeyed God and had Baruch write down on a scroll all of the words he spoke. Once finished, Jeremiah, who was unable to go to the temple (possibly because of his unpopular speeches there, see Jer. 7:1-15 and 26:1-19) had Baruch take the scroll to the temple. On a day when the people were fasting, Baruch was to stand in the temple and read the scroll out loud in the hearing of everyone.

title image for Jeremiah lesson with structure that is an optical illusion

Baruch had to wait about nine months until a day of fasting took place. (At this point in Jewish history, days of fasting were only called by the leadership during times of national emergency, see 2 Chr 20:3 and Joel 1:14, 2:15. Regular days of fasting were instituted after the fall of Jerusalem. Babylonian records tell us that Nebuchadnezzar captured the city of Ashkelon the same month as this fast. It is possible the leadership called a fast to plead for God’s deliverance from Babylon.) Then Baruch read the scroll at the New Gate. The scribes and the people heard him.

Michaiah, a son of one of the scribes, went to the king’s house where all of the prices, or officials, were sitting. He told them everything he heard from Baruch. The officials sent for Baruch to hear the words for themselves. After Baruch finished reading the scroll, the princes looked at each other in fear. The officials knew they had to tell the king.

They took the scroll, left it with the scribes, and told Baruch to go hide himself and Jeremiah because Jehoiakim would probably get very angry. The officials went to the king. Jehudi went to get the scroll and began to read the words to the king. The words were written vertically on the scroll, so as Jehudi finished reading 3 or 4 columns of words, the king took a knife and cut off the portion that had been read. He then threw the words into the fire.

The king had no remorse. He disregarded the words of God. Instead, King Jehoiakim ordered the arrest of Jeremiah and Baruch. God hid them both form the king’s men.

Jeremiah Bible Lesson Life Application:

{Show the optical illusion. Ask:}

  • Who should have been asked for the directions on how to create this? [You]
  • Who should we go to when we have problems in life? [God]
  • Where do we find God’s words? [the Bible]
  • When we hear God’s words how should we respond to them? [Allow for answers; sometimes God’s words and happy and filled with blessings, other times God’s words hold warnings; depending upon the scripture we could respond with happiness, conviction, remorse, etc. But we should ALWAYS take God’s word seriously.]
  • After we hear God’s word what should happen? [Allow for answers, this is a harder question. Guide children to verse James 1:22, that we should not just listen to the word of God but then DO what it says.]
  • Did King Jehoiakim do what the scroll said to do? [No]

{Hold up a sheet of paper and show the children how to do the illusion.}

Now…I have shown you how to do this illusion. You have heard and seen the directions. But if you don’t go and DO the illusion for a friend or your parents then showing you how to do this was of no value.  This illusion is no fun if all you do is keep the information in your head. You have to go and DO this illusion so other people can join in on your fun.

The same thing goes with the Bible. The Bible is of no value if all you do is listen to it. You must do what it says! King Jehoiakim listened to God’s word…but he DID NOT do what it said. Therefore, the kingdom of Judah will be captured by Babylon.

What can we learn from Jeremiah and King Jehoiakim? God takes sin and rebellion seriously. We can read and know what the Bible says, but if we don’t DO what the Bible says to do, then our faith is not active.

Worship Songs and Videos for Jeremiah Bible Lesson:

 

 

 

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