May 15, 2022 – Deuteronomy 22 – 25

Lesson Date: May 15, 2022

Focal Scripture Passage: Deuteronomy 22:20-30; 24:1-5; 25:5-10

AIM: To lead students to discover and describe three guidelines God gave Israel for happy and healthy family relationships, and to evaluate and modify their family relationships to line up with God’s standards.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Deuteronomy 22 – 25 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Write the following heading, “Family Problems,” across the top of the marker board or chalkboard.  Number from 1 to 3 down the left side of the board.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the words, “Family Problems,” written on the board.  Ask: “Would you agree that many families are struggling today?” (yes).  Ask the students to name some of the problems that families face.  As each response is given, express sympathy for the situation and comment on the deep hurt and heartache that problem causes.

After allowing time for responses, tell the class that family problems may be summarized under the three following categories:

  1. Problems resulting from immorality,
  2. Problems brought about by divorce, and
  3. Problems caused by neglect and lack of love.

Write the words, “Immorality,” “Divorce,” and “Neglect” on the board below the heading.

Tell the students that family relationships are the most important relationships we have.  Explain that God knew we would have problems in our family relationships because we are all sinners.  Because He loves us and wants us to be happy, He gave His people some guidelines for healthy families.  He didn’t give those guidelines to hurt us or to spoil our fun, but to protect us from the hurt and heartache of damaged family relationships.

In today’s lesson we will discover some guidelines God gave to ensure that His people would have happy, healthy families.  The title of today’s lesson is Family Relationships.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Tell the class that we are nearing the end of our study of the book of Deuteronomy.
    • Remind them that Deuteronomy consists of sermons Moses preached to the Israelites shortly before they entered the Promised Land, reminding them of God’s rules for living.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (legal guidelines to ensure that justice was carried out).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verses (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
  2. Morality is Essential.
    • Explain that Deuteronomy 22:13-19 tell what would happen if a man accused his wife of not being a virgin when they married.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Deuteronomy 22:20-21.
    • Ask: “What was the penalty if it was true that the wife was not a virgin when they married?” (she would be publicly stoned to death at her father’s doorstep).
    • Ask: “Why at her father’s doorstep?” (because he was responsible for teaching her to be moral and for placing limits upon her to protect her virginity).
    • Ask: “How would our world be different if this law was still in force today?”
    • Read Deuteronomy 22:22.
    • Ask: “What was the penalty for adultery?” (death for both parties).
    • Tell the students the next verses present two different penalties if a man had sex with a betrothed woman.
    • Read Deuteronomy 22:23-27.
    • Ask: “What was the penalty if the immorality occurred in the city?” (both the man and the woman were to be stoned to death).
    • Ask: “What was the penalty if the immorality occurred out in the fields?” (only the man was to die).
    • Ask: “Why the difference?” (if the man made unwanted advances toward her in the city, the woman could have cried out for help; but if it occurred in the fields, nobody would have been around to hear her cries and come to her rescue).
    • Ask: “How would our world be different if these laws were still in force today?”
    • Ask a volunteer to read Deuteronomy 22:28-29.
    • Ask: “If a man had sex with an unmarried woman, what was he required to do?” (pay her father the bride price, marry her, and never divorce her).
    • Explain that while this might seem unfair to the woman, it protected her reputation and provided for her lifelong financial support.
    • Read Deuteronomy 22:30.
    • Stress the fact that God has always forbidden incest.
    • Ask: “How would our world be different if this law was still in force today?”
    • Erase the word “Immorality” from the board, and in its place write, “Morality Is Essential.”
    • Summarize: God wants us to have happy, healthy families, so He taught us that morality is essential.
  3. Divorce Causes Many Problems.
    • Explain the following:
      • The Bible makes it clear that God hates divorce ( 2:16); but divorce was common in ancient days, just as it is today.
      • God gave the Israelites rules to prevent further defilement resulting from divorce.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Deuteronomy 24:1-5.
    • Ask: “Why do you think God required a bill of divorcement?” (to make the divorce legal and to prevent them from wantonly moving from one cohabitation partner to another).
    • Ask: “According to verse 2, was remarriage allowed after divorce?” (yes).
    • Tell the class that verses 3-4 explain that once either of the divorced parties remarried, the opportunity for their remarriage to one another was forever gone.
    • Ask: “Why do you think verse 5 says God wanted a new husband to spend a full year focused on his wife, rather than on warfare or business?” (to solidify his new marriage).
    • Ask: “What would our world be like if these laws were still in force today?”
    • Erase the word “Divorce” from the board, and in its place write, “Divorce Causes Many Problems.”
    • Stress the fact that God does not want divorced people to go through life burdened with guilt. He wants all of us to confess our sins of the past and avoid sin in the future.
    • Summarize: God wants us to have happy, healthy families, so He warned that divorce causes many problems.
  4. God Expects Us to Care for Our Family Members.
    • Read Deuteronomy 25:5-6.
    • Ask: “If a married man died without fathering any children, how was the widow to be cared for?” (her dead husband’s brother was to marry her).
    • Explain that since ancient women had a very hard time supporting themselves financially, this law provided for her financial security.
    • Ask: “What does verse 6 say about the first child of this new marriage?” (it would carry the name of the dead brother).
    • Read Deuteronomy 25:7-10.
    • Ask: “What would happen if the brother refused to marry the widow?” (he would be publicly rebuked and shamed).
    • Stress the fact that God has never told New Testament Christians to continue this practice, but the principle we can glean from it is that God expects us to care for our family members.
    • Erase the word “Neglect” from the board, and in its place write, “God Expects Us to Care for Our Family Members.”
    • Ask: “What would our world be like if family members properly cared for one another?”
    • Summarize: God wants us to have happy, healthy families, so He taught us to care for our family members.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the students that we have discovered three guidelines God gave for having happy, healthy families.  Read those three guidelines from the board.

Ask: “How do your family relationships measure up to God’s standards?  What areas need improvement?  If you fall short in some area, what can you do to correct it?”

Stress the fact that God does not give guidelines such as these to make us feel guilt or shame, but to protect and bless us.

Tell the students if immorality is a problem, they must stop it NOW and ask God to heal the hurts that it inevitably leaves behind.  Urge them to confess their sins and seek godly counsel.

Tell them if divorce has scarred their home, they should seek God for healing and restoration,  because only He can heal the hurts they feel.

Tell the students we should all care for and try to meet the needs of our family members.

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes.  Urge them  to confess their sins, reject the devil’s condemnation for their past failures, and make a commitment to God to follow His guidelines for family relationships in the future.  Voice a closing prayer of confession and commitment, asking God to give us happy and healthy families as we follow His leadership.

 

CONCLUSION: Urge everyone to take definite steps this week to restore and improve their family relationships.

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