This guest post was contributed by Patricia M. Tamang, a reader from the Philippines who severs as Coordinator for Christian Education in her church.
Bible Lesson Title: The Word of God
Bible Passage: Psalm 19:7-10
Target Age Group: Older Elementary
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Key Concept: God’s word gives us understanding and shows us the right way to live.
Objectives: The children will
- Discover other names used in the Psalms for the word of God
- Tell how the word of God gives them understanding and guide them in their lives
- Explain why the psalmist compares the word of God with gold and with honey
- Compose a praise sentence about the word of God
Preparations: The Bible passage in power point or written in a chart. Write on each piece of paper the following:
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.
- How do you understand the word “revive”?
- In what way does the word of God revive the soul?
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
- What do you mean by the word “trustworthy”?
- In what way is the word of God trustworthy?
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
- In what way does the word of God give joy to the heart?
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
- How does the word of God give light to the eyes?
For craft activity: plain bookmarks and list of Bible passages about God’s promises
For the memory verse, write the words in pieces of construction paper. See procedure and illustration under the Took section.
Materials Needed: white papers, pens, color pens, stick-ons for decorating or designing the bookmarks OR you may prepare other materials that are available in your supplies and are suitable to the activity.
Ask your class, “Do you remember any good advice from your mom or from your dad that you won’t forget and that you cherish? How did it make you feel and why do you treasure those words of advice?”
Say: Just like our parents, God gives us lots of words of advice, too. We can find them all in the Bible. Let’s take a look at how important the word of God is. Open your Bible in Psalm 19:7-10 and read each verse alternately. The boys read first and then the girls. And then all of us will read the last verse (v. 10) together. (If it’s possible, present the passage in power point or in a chart, especially if your class has different versions of the Bible. But before reading from the power point or from the chart, let your class open their Bibles to the passage and point it out to them.)
Explain what the ‘law’ means in verse 7. The word ‘law” in Hebrew is torah which literally means “teachings.” Torah refers to the law of God that find their origin in the commandment received by Moses and developed fully in the Pentateuch. These are the first five books in the Old Testament and are commonly called the Books of Moses. These books were also referred to as the Law. The Law, its importance, the benefits of devotion to it, and the consequences of not obeying it are essential elements of torah psalms like our Bible passage for today Psalm 19:7-12. Other names that refer to the word of God in the book of Psalms are statutes, precepts, commands, and ordinances.
Divide the class into four and give each group a verse written in a piece of paper. Each group will share how the word of God works in their lives in relation to the verse assigned to them. Give each group papers and ask for a volunteer from each group to write their answers to the question about the passage given in their respective group.
Call a volunteer from each group to share to class what they talked about.
Synthesize the sharing. And then continue the discussion with your class.
Explain: In verse 10, the psalmist compares the word of God to gold and to honey. Gold and honey are two things which the psalmist used as symbols to describe the value or importance of the word of God in his life. Gold is a desirable thing, a prized possession. The psalmist says that the word of God is more desirable than gold. This means that the word of God is like a treasure. Have you ever considered the word of God a treasure in your life? If so, how do you regard it as a treasure? What do you do with it?
- Read the Bible and try to understand what God is saying to us, or how God wants us to live
- Live by the word of God – be honest, leave peaceably with others, be kind and considerate to others, etc.
- Attend Sunday School
- Learn to memorize Bible verses
- Share the word of God to others
The psalmist also compares the word of God to honey. Who among you likes honey? Most of us like honey, like Winnie the Pooh. Honey is a delectable thing. We delight in its taste. Foods, especially desserts, taste better when mixed with honey. But did you know that honey does not only taste good? Honey is good for our health, too. Honey contains vitamins and minerals. Honey can be used for treatment of allergies, sore throat, ulcer, cuts or wounds. It is good for skin and hair and is now popularly used for beauty treatment. It is also a good source of antioxidants and helps prevent cancer and heart disease. That’s how good honey is, not only to our taste buds, but to our bodies as well. The psalmist says that the word of God is sweeter than honey. My! That means the word of God tastes better than honey! Have you ever considered the word of God as something sweet? Of course, we can’t ‘taste’ the word of God literally, but we can understand that our experiences in studying and obeying the word of God could help us ‘taste’ its sweetness. Can you help me think of reasons that make the word of God sweet?
- We can find verses in the Bible that could make us feel better and assure us of God’s promise and presence like: when we are worried, 1 Peter 5:7; when we are afraid, Psalm 23; when we are discouraged, Deuteronomy 31:6.
- The word of God strengthens us, Philippians 4:13.
- The word of God assures us of his love and salvation, John 3:16.
- God assures us of his provisions, Philippians 4:19
- God guides us, Isaiah 58:11
Craft Activity: You may prepare plain bookmarks and a list of God’s promises in the Bible. Each one will choose one passage from the list and write his/her choice in the bookmark. After they have written the passage in the bookmarks, have each one read the passage.
Ask: Why did you choose that passage? Have you had an experience when that passage was helpful to you? What was its significance in your life? After everyone has shared, let them decorate or design their bookmarks.
Creative Activity: Using the answers to the passage questions they have written earlier, each group will compose a praise sentence (two lines). For example, “We praise you God for your word, for they open our eyes to truth and knowledge.”
Memory Verse: “The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.” (Psalm 19:9b-10)
HELP YOUR CLASS MEMORIZE THE VERSE by using this technique:
- Write single words and phrases of the passage in pieces of construction paper. See illustration below.
- Put adhesive at the back of each pieces of paper and post them on the writing board.
- Have the class read the whole passage. You may call one or two volunteers to explain what the passage means to make sure that they understand its message before asking them to memorize it.
- Tell the class that remembering Bible passages help reminds us of God’s promises especially when we need it to encourage us or to uplift us. So tell them that you will memorize the verse. Let the class read the whole passage again, once or twice.
- Remove one key word and let them read the passage again. Then remove the next key word and ask them to read again. Repeat the process until the class could recite the passage without the words posted on the board.
SING A SONG
Say: Another image or symbol about what the word of God does to our lives is like that of a lamp. The word of God is like a lamp that lights our way so that we won’t get lost and be in the right path with God. So, let’s sing this song. This is actually a verse from Psalm 119:105.
Thy Word is a Lamp
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path
Thy word is a light unto my feet and a light unto my path.
1. When I feel afraid, think I’ve lost my way,
Still you’re there right beside me,
And nothing will I fear as long as you are near.
Please be near me to the end.
2. Now I will not forget your love for me and yet
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus be my guide and hold me to your side,
And I will love you to the end.
Closing Activity: Call on two or three volunteers to share the lesson they learn about the word of God. As a form of closing prayer, have each group recite what they have written in creative activity.
Something To Do at Home
Say: The verse that we memorized today can also be found in Psalm 119:103 and 127. You see, Psalm 119 is also a torah psalm. It also tells us about the Law, the word of God.