THE SUNDAY SCHOOL OVERVIEW WILL FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LESSON EACH WEEK. BIBLICAL TRANSLATIONS WILL VARY, BUT THE MAIN RESOURCE WILL BE THE TOWNSEND PRESS SUNDAY SCHOOL COMMENTARY, 95th EDITION. THIS FEATURE IS DESIGNED TO BE OF HELP TO THOSE WHO CANNOT ATTEND THEIR LOCAL CHURCH AND/OR SUNDAY SCHOOL.
Lesson Title: ASSURANCE AND JOY FOR THE FAITHFUL
Adult/Young Adult Topic: THE JOY OF RESTORATION
Printed Text: Zephaniah 3:9-14, 20
Key Verse: Zephaniah 3:14 (NIV)
Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem!
Source: Townsend Press Sunday School Commentary – 95th Edition, 2015-2016
UNIFYING LESSON PRINCIPLE:
People will sometimes repent of their harmful, destructive ways and seek to restore what has been originally created beautiful. How can people turn from destruction to reconstruction? The book of Genesis tells that God created cattle, creeping things, wild animals, and humankind and that God declared the creation to be very good. Zephaniah recounted that God’s intervention was required for the people to stop their rebellion and return to God with singing.
God is still able to turn our mourning meetings into praise parties. Mourning is something that we all will experience multiple times in life. We have to allow god to help us move through the various stages of mourning to reach a new place of normalcy. Sure, life is not the same as it was before, but in the LORD we can come through stronger that we were before, especially spiritually.
Unfortunately, too many people see the joy of restoration as renewal after loss as optional. That was and is never God’s plan for those who truly love Him. Just as the corn seed’s death ushers in new life more abundant than before, God can do the same today just as Zephaniah prophesied so many centuries ago.
Loving God, we celebrate Your care and concern for us, especially during our periods of sorrow. No matter whether it is the death of a loved one or some institution near and dear to us, You have made it possible for us to move out of the ruts of our sorrow into a new level of joy in You. We thank You for being what we needed when we needed it most. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.