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Cup Bearer

November 30, 2007

Wednesday night was the final night of this quarter in Bible class, so I was finishing up my lessons on the Jewish Exile and Return period (II Kings, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Haggai, Zephaniah). I like to do a review game for my final class so the students leave me with the entire quarter’s worth of information fresh in their minds. But first first I had to finish up the discussion of Nehemiah rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem since we didn’t quite compete this lesson last week. We reviewed Nehemiah’s job as the cup bearer for the king of Persia and discussed why the cup bearer was an important and trusted position. Many kings died from poisoning so the person who had control over the king’s food and drink was a highly trusted individual. Then we continued with the discussion of Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem and the process of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem in just 52 days. This would be an impressive feat with modern day tools and heavy equipment but this was completed with hand tools and manual labor. It is amazing what can be accomplished by a group of motivated people.

When I finished the review of Nehemiah, we began our game. Last night’s game selection was Bible Jeopardy. This game is always a big hit with the kids. And it is surprisingly easy to make. I have posted a photo and instructions on the Christian Living page of the Tabitha website. The game was a lot of fun. One of the biggest challenges is for the students to decide whether they want to choose the easy questions worth 100 or 200 points or the harder questions worth 300 – 500 points. I love watching their faces as they try to choose between the easy questions and the big points. One of the students kept asking for an easy 500 point question – he really never got it.” One of my little ragamuffins wondered why he didn’t get very many points when he answered almost every question with Sanballat and Tobiah (see Nehemiah chapters 2, 4 and 6 if you have forgotten who they were). Believe it or not, this was not my “Paul” student.

This time the funniest moments revolved around the question “What job did Nehemiah perform for the king of Persia?” It was my dear little “Paul’s” turn. He immediately answered “cup holder”. I gently informed him that a cup holder was something that kept your drink from spilling in the car and that Nehemiah’s job was “cup bearer”. Paul looked at me , his eyes dancing with mischief, and said “ I really knew he was the cup bearer. I was just messing with you.” I knew I should have pinched that kid’s head off the first week. I am really going to miss him next week.

In case you are wondering, the photo at the top is from a fresco found in the ruins of Knossos in Crete.

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