This is lesson 18 of 33 in a series of lessons called “Praise God Through the Psalms.” These lessons are designed to point children to the fullness of God’s character and lead them to see Him as the One who deserves all praise and worship. These lessons work well in Sunday School or mid-week Bible study groups or even family devotion times.
“Praise God Through the Psalms” – Psalm 32
Lesson focus: Through the book of Psalms and the worship of the people of Israel, we get a glimpse into the character of God and how we should rightly respond to Him in worship. In Psalm 32, the psalmist focusses on the need to confess our sin and turn to God in repentance. Through this study, kids will be reminded that they are sinners who need to confess their sin to the Holy God.
Passage: Psalm 32
Target Audience: Kindergarten-4th Grade (can be adapted for older or younger children)
Teaching Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Materials Needed: Bibles, blank paper, markers & a coin
Optional Materials: if you want to be able to send the kids home with something each week, you can print the text of the Psalm on one side of a piece of paper and on the back print “I should praise God because He is ____________” (leave the rest of the page blank for drawing.
Early Arriver/ Opening 10 minutes- have a few board games out and play with kids as they arrive. Don’t underestimate the conversations that happen while playing “Jenga” or “Uno” with a group of kids.
Intro- – Play a round of “Where’s it hidden?” – – Bring in a small item (like coin) and explain that one of the kids will leave the room while the rest of you hide it in the room. The one who was outside them has to come in and find it while the rest of the group gives clues. Allow a couple of the kids to be the one to come in a search. Talk about how it was easy to find and sometimes hard to find because it was a small easily hidden object. Try to imagine how they could hide an elephant in the room (or something equally ridiculous). Ask them if they’ve ever tried to hide something big (either an actual item or a secret) from someone and talk about how hard it is to do, but how we keep trying anyway.
Read the Text. . .Psalm 32 ….
- Have each kid in the group read one verse, or have 3 volunteers do the reading (divided amongst them). As you go through the Psalm continually ask kids (1) what is this Psalm telling us about who God is?, (2) what is this Psalm telling us about what God does and (3) what is this Psalm telling us about what God expects of His people and how His people should respond to Him.
- As you go through the Psalm, have a signal for the kids in the group to make (like a time-out signal- – a T with your hands) every time they hear another truth about who God is and/ what God is like/ or what God has done. Each time you take a time-out, briefly talk about that characteristic of God.
- Take a few minutes to talk about what truths this Psalm teaches us about God. Some of the truths about God that you might want to discuss with the kids are God’s righteous judgment of sin, his forgiveness, his protection and deliverance of His people through Jesus, etc. Have kids share some of the truths they see about God and then move on to the cross connection discussion.
- Cross- Connection– – The majority of this Psalm focuses on sin, confession and forgiveness. Remind the kids of the game you played at the beginning of hiding the coin. Reread verses 1-2 & 5-6. Define the words transgression, sin, iniquity, forgiven & confess in your own words. Go back to the illustration of hiding the coin and talk about trying to hide (or cover up) sin from God. Ask if they think that’s possible and look to Psalm 139:1-4 for the answer.Talk through the process of uncovering your sin, confessing it to God (repentance- -help kids to see that it’s not just about admitting the sin, but about turning away from the sin) and then Him forgiving the sin. Read 1 John 1:8-9 for more discussion on confession and forgiveness. Take a minute to remind the kids that we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness and how there is nothing we can do to earn our forgiveness, but that it is only through faith in Jesus’ death in our place (Romans 5:8).Make sure all the kids in the group are clear on the truth that we are all sinners (Romans 3:10-12 & 23) and that because of our sin we are separated from God even though we were made to glorify Him and be in relationship with Him.
Worship Time- After discussing the passage, distribute the paper and markers or pages printed with the text for the week. Explain that each week you want them to do three things in response to the Psalm…
- write a verse from the passage that they want to remember
- write a reason to praise God that they see in the Psalm
- draw of something from the passage that they think is important.
Give kids time to work on their pages and then have them share what they have drawn or written with the rest of the group.
Prayer- – Close in prayer by praying for the kids in the group that they would begin to see their own need for salvation and forgiveness of sins. Pray that they would see their sins for what they are stop trying to hide them from God, but that they would confess and turn to Him in repentance.
Extra Time – – If you have any extra time at the end, play ROLL the DICE– – For this game you’ll take turns rolling the large dice and naming as many books of the Bible as the number that comes up on the dice. Ways to make the game more challenging… (1) have kids name books in order, (2) write down the books that are named and don’t let those books be named a 2nd time until all other books have been named, or (3) if they roll and odd number they have to name OT books and if they roll an even number they have to name NT books.