If you would like ideas for activities and extensions for your Bible Readings, this Bible Reading Challenge is for you! Below you will find a challenge sheet filled with a variety of activities. Some activities may be particularly suited for children and families, while others may be suited for adults and teens – there is something for everyone. Each activity collects a certain number of points with a goal of 1000 points.
One of the best parts of a challenge is doing it together. Share your thoughts, favourite verses, quotes, reviews, photos, artwork, etc. in “Sisters Bible Study” on Facebook or “readthebiblechallenge” on Instagram with the hashtag #genesistojob and #2020readthebiblechallenge!
To see all of the challenges go to www.magnifyhimtogether.com/bible-reading-challenge.
Badgebook and Badges
Print out the Badgebook (print front and back), Badgebook Cover, and badges (Avery 22866 Badge Stickers 2 Sam to Job Black and White or Avery 22856 Badge Stickers 2 Sam to Job Color). You can also order the Badges as magnets at Christadelphian Book Supply (see: www.magnifyhimtogether.com/2020/07/01/books-of-the-bible-magnets-genesis-through-ezra/).
Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther Challenge Sheet
Ezra Challenge – see below for details for each of the activities.
Details for the Challenge Sheet Activities
Using the Bible Reading Companion, read every chapter of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. You can download the digital photo of the reading list (save it on your phone and use your photo editing to check off the boxes you have read), or print the less colourful version.
Use a notebook or a Bible Reading Journal to take notes while you read. You can download a page of suggestions (Bible Journal suggestions) to paste in your notebook if you wish. Share your thoughts or favourite verses. This is the link for the 1 Samuel to Job Bible Reading Journal.
Choose a verse from Ezra, Nehemiah, or Esther that exhorts or encourages you during your bible readings.
Share it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1393428964180459
Highlight the word “build” as you come across it in Ezra and Nehemiah.
BOOK (or LITERATURE)
Read one of the following books:
- The Exiles Return by Michael Ashton
- Return and Rebuild by Stephen Irving
- Historical: From the Exile to the Advent by William Fairweather D.D.
- Fictionalized: Persecuted by Hannah Hayles
Keep a box for drama objects. For Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther this might include a scroll, bricks or things to build with, play swords, king/queen dress-up clothes.
Explore the archeological evidence for the ancient wall of Jerusalem:
- Archaeological evidence for the ancient wall of Jerusalem – Youtube video
- Jerusalem in the time of Nehemiah by Leen and Kathleen Rittmeyer
Draw a map of the Persian Empire. You can print off the photo on the side to trace.
Make some Hamantaschen. These are cookies traditionally made during the Festival of Purim which celebrates the survival of the Jews in the time of Esther. www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/how-to/article/how-to-make-hamantaschen
Sometimes a question to find the answer to can be helpful to keep little ones engaged. Aquila N. Priscilla has done an excellent job preparing lots of questions to ask before or after reading – you can find their book for purchase here: Know Questions: Genesis to Job. Alternatively, review the history of God’s people from Genesis to Nehemiah.
Search for this series of talks on Christadelphian Bible Talks and Exhortations: Esther Queen of Destiny by Nathan Lewis. Share a thought or review on social media using #genesistojob.
Use these outlines to draw picture summaries of each section of Ezra/Nehemiah and Esther.
Learn these three verses by heart: Ezra 7:10, Nehemiah 8:10, Esther 4:14b. You can print out the bookmark PDF of these three verses to help you memorize them. You can also colour them, use them as bookmarks, or use them as a template to journal into your Bible margin.
The word “remember” shows up seven times in Nehemiah. Do a study on this word. This link explains how to do a word study including a template that may help: How to Do a Bible Word Study – Template Included. Share what you learn!
Spending time with a hymn related to the Bible passage that you are reading can enrich what you are reading. You can approach a hymn study in many ways. This month’s hymn is 142 – God Moves in Mysterious Ways.
Option 1) If you don’t know the hymn already, you can learn to play and sing it. This website provides piano music for each of the hymns that you can sing along with.
Option 2) Sing it daily for a week.
Option 3) Write out the hymn (you can use this template!), and write Bible passages that relate to the different lines from the hymns along the side (you can also mark this right into your hymnbook to make the hymn more meaningful the next time you sing it).
You can also play this music video of Hymn 142.
Pray like Nehemiah!
“Nehemiah teaches that prayer is not to be used like poetry, that literary opiate which soothes the mind, wafting it into the dreamy bliss of an unreal world, but instead is to be regarded as the life’s blood of real life.”
“We must believe that God is not shackled by human weakness and His arm is never ‘shortened that it cannot save’. Although He very often works through human agency, He is never restricted by it! When a man is at his extremity, his prayer is seen for what it is – either an act of faith or a mere formality.”
From Prayer: Studies in Principle and Practice by Melva Purkis and Cyril Tennant
Bas Relief was popular during the time of Darius. The ruins of the city of Persepolis, now a UNESCO world heritage site, show off some of these sculptures.
Create a bas relief of your own. There are a couple of different ways you can do it: 1. Use air-dry clay and add to the tile (for example here), or you could draw your design in clay and then pour on plaster and let it harden (for example here).
What is your identity?
“Herein lies the reason for Mordecai’s refusal to prostrate himself before Haman. In a sense, there was a re-enactment of Saul’s encounter with Agag. Mordecai was determined that he would not show honour and respect to an Amalekite who gloried in the name of the ancient king Agag. Mordecai was put under great pressure for his contemporaries, noting his behaviour, reported his actions to Haman. Notice that his defence was, “I am a Jew” (Esther 3:4). He was determined to maintain his identity as one of the distinctive people of God. He would not compromise himself but would remain faithful to Israel’s God, remembering the failure of Saul so long before when confronted by the Amalekites. In this respect, he was representative of the Jews as a whole (verse 8), and their behaviour stands as an example to us of how by our manner of life we should retain our identity as the people of God, and witness for Him before those amongst whom we live.”
From Glimpses of Glory by Dudley Fifield
Thank you to all the contributors for this Bible Reading Challenge: Julie S, Bailey M, Karen P!!!
For more Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther resources check out the following links:
- Ezra Bible Marking Notes
- Ezra Bible Reading Journal
- Nehemiah Bible Marking Notes
- Victory on the Walls – Book Review
- Esther Devotion Videos, Workbooks, and Purim Celebration Resources
- Providence in the Book of Esther Printable Template
- Celebrating Purim Resources
For more Bible Reading ideas check out the following links: