Several years ago, I was leading a group of kids in learning about the Old Testament temple. The kids learned that God warned the Israelites over and over that He would dwell in the temple only so long as they honored Him, but the Israelites didn’t listen and eventually, the Assyrians and the Babylonians invaded their land and forced the Israelites into exile.
I’ll admit, sometimes as I quizzed the kids on the names of invading nations and conquering kings, I felt a bit like it’s all trivia that doesn’t much matter to us now. But I had a good reminder that those histories do matter to our faith as I began leading those same kids in a Christmas program. One of the skits started off with an explanation of what the Israelites of Jesus’ day expected in their Messiah — and the explanation made a brief mention of the Assyrian and Babylonian conquests. As I read that part, I saw the kids’ eyes light up in recognition. They understood the Israelites wanted freedom from their conquerors, so the Israelites’ expectation for a political Messiah made better sense to them.
Seeing the kids “get it,” I realized again that the better our kids know the Biblical account of how God has been at work in the world, the better their understanding of salvation will be. In fact, that’s true of all of us.
“ … from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:15-17, NIV