This lesson allows students to use inductive Bible study methods with Psalm 1. The lesson combines the 4 methods introduced in previous lessons (Jonah and Philemon). The lesson was prepared for older elementary students and can be used as a guide for your ministry’s needs.
Learning Goal: Students will discover how to take the path of the righteous and avoid the path of wickedness.
Bible Story: The Two Paths of Life
Scripture: Psalm 1
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List: Observation sheets of Psalm 1 for each student, colored pencils, pencil/pen, copies of Think Questions,
Learning Activity #1- While students arrive have the students mark the key words in Psalm 1 with their colored pencils.
Memory Verse: Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Bible Lesson: The Two Paths of Life (Psalm 1)
(The following is a suggested time line for leading a class through the inductive study of Psalm 1. Begin lesson with prayer.)
5 minutes: Read Psalm 1 with students following along on their observation sheet. As we read through think about how you would title this Psalm.
5 minutes: Allow students to share their titles.
10 Minutes: What are the two groups of people mentioned in this Psalm? Write 2 columns on board or large piece of paper. Compare the righteous person with the wicked person. What does Psalm 1 say a righteous person doesn’t do? (Explain walking in the counsel of the wicked-listening to and taking ungodly advice. Stand in the way of sinners-spending most of our time with ungodly people. Sit in the seat of mockers-mockers are those who make fun of God and His ways. Don’t spend most of your time with people who dishonor God’s ways.) What does Psalm 1 say a righteous person does? (Delights in God’s Law and meditates on it day and night)
15 Minutes: Give students the Think questions and assign them a question to look up. (If the students finish with their question and others are still working have them look up other answers while they wait.) Have students share their answers.
10 Minutes: What is your response to this Psalm? What are some questions we can ask ourselves to be able to live our lives as followers of Christ?
(Teacher preparation: Create copies of questions you want your students to discover and think about from Psalm 1. The following are possible options.)
Read 2 Corinthians 5:21. What has Jesus done so that people can be righteous before God?
Read Titus 3:4-8. Did God save you because of any righteous thing you have done? Why did God save us? (Verse 5)
Read Romans 3:10. Without faith in Jesus Christ who is righteous?
Read Psalm 1:2a. What do righteous people delight in?
Read Psalm 1:2b How does a righteous person show they delight in God’s law?
Read 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9. What will happen to all people who do not believe in the Lord Jesus?
Have I ever been given advice that if I followed the advice I would disobey God’s Word?
How do I respond when I hear ungodly advice?
How much time do I spend each day thinking about God’s Word?
Psalm 1 tells us about the righteous and the wicked. Which group do I belong to? I belong to the wicked group what will I do to be delivered from destruction?
When have I ever shared the Good News to another person so they can be rescued from eternal destruction?
How would my family members, schoolmates, friends describe me? Would they say I am wicked or righteous?
We have discovered who the righteous and the wicked are from studying Psalm 1. As we close what did you learn about yourself that you need to change from our time in God’s word? As we close in prayer, let’s take a few minutes of silence allowing each of us to talk to God about what He has shown us.
- People who have believed in Jesus. Romans 4:5 “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.”
- Doesn’t spend time listening to ungodly counsel. Proverbs 4:14-15 “Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not travel on it, turn from it and go on your way.”
- Doesn’t get involved in the way of sinners-Job 21:16 “…so stand aloof from the counsel of the wicked.” Psalm 26:4 “I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites.”
- Doesn’t allow those who mock God and His ways as his closest companions. Proverbs 19:29 “Penalties are prepared for mockers and beatings for the backs of fools.”
- Delights in God’s ways-Psalm 112:1 “Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in His commands.”
- Meditates on Scripture day and night-Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
- Healthy tree with strong roots, healthy leaves and fruit-John 15:1-2; 5 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
- Anchored on the rock that doesn’t move- Psalm 40:2 “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Matthew 7:24-25 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
- You can also use our free coloring book illustrations from Psalm One to discuss the meaning of each section of text.
- People who have not believed in Jesus. 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?”
- Cannot stand on unmovable ground-builds house on sand- Matthew 7:26-27 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
- Cast out from God’s presence. 2 Thess 1:9 “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power.”