The following lesson was prepared for a small group of students ages 5-11 (on the day it was taught a 3 year old and 5 year old visited our class). The lesson teaches students that pride steals the credit that belongs to God. We honor God by giving Him the glory for all things.
Bible Passage: Obadiah
Bible Story Title: Obadiah prophesies Edom’s Judgment
Target Age Group: Ages 5-11 (K-5th Grade U.S.A.)
Target Time Frame: 60 Minutes
Original Teaching Context: Sunday School
Supply List: Bibles, 12 index cards for the names of the minor prophets, paper with the word prIde written on it, activity pages, pens, pencils
Learning Goal: Students will learn that pride steals God’s glory. (Explain that when we are prideful we take the credit (glory) that belongs to God alone.)
Learning Activity #1: Activity pages-Word puzzle Coloring page
Learning Activity #2: Place index cards of the minor prophets where students can see them (we put them on the floor) and practice saying them in order. After reciting a few times have students flip over a name and recite the books in order.
Memory Verse: 1 Peter 5:5b “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (ESV)
Bible Lesson: Obadiah prophesies Edom’s Judgment
(Begin with prayer)
Recite the Minor Prophets. (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi) When we refer to the section in our Bibles as the Minor Prophets it means that the book the prophet wrote is smaller in comparison than a major prophet (i.e. Isaiah).
Today our lesson is going to be from one of the Minor Prophets Obadiah. Let’s turn in our Bibles to the book of Obadiah. Which book of the Bible comes before Obadiah? (Amos) Which book comes after? (Jonah)
We know very little about the man who wrote this book. We know that his name means the Lord’s servant and the message from the Lord that he wrote in this book.
(Show the sign that has prIde written on it.) Before we begin who can tell me what the word pride means? (Allow responses) (Dictionary.com-high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.)
How does God feel about pride? (It is sin.) Why is pride a sin? God is creator of all things. He deserves all the glory or credit for everything we have in this life. When we are prideful we steal God’s glory. An example of stealing God’s glory is to be prideful about something you are good at. What is something you are good at? (Allow responses) If you are really good at a sport, it is God who gives you the health and ability to play that sport. To brag about your ability is stealing the credit that belongs to God. If you are good at something it pleases God when you give Him the credit (glory).
Obadiah is writing a message from God to the people of Edom. Maybe that is the first time you have heard the people of Edom. Edomites are people who came from Esau’s family. Does anyone remember who Esau is? Esau is Jacob’s twin brother. As the firstborn son of Isaac, the son of Abraham he would inherit God’s promises that the Savior would be born from Abraham’s descendants. Esau didn’t care about God’s promises. He showed how little he cared about the promises by selling his firstborn privileges to Jacob for a bowl of soup when he was hungry.
Jacob was in no way a perfect man but he loved and desired to be a part of God’s promises. You may remember that he wanted to have the firstborn blessing so much that he tricked his father Isaac by pretending to be his brother Esau. When Esau learned that his brother Jacob had stolen his blessing he hated him and wanted to kill him. (Genesis 27)
God had renamed Jacob Israel and years after this event happened the family of Esau didn’t like the family of Israel and didn’t treat them very well.
• This is a good place to think about the world we live in. Wherever we are there are always going to be two kinds of people-Believers who like Israel (Jacob) love God’s promises and put their faith in Him, and unbelievers who like Edom (Esau) despise God’s promises and put their trust in themselves.
Now that we have the background of the people of Edom, we are going to look at God’s message to them from the prophet Obadiah.
Obadiah 1-9 Edom is judged by God
Let’s read verses 3-4. What deceived the people of Edom? (The pride of their heart)
• Pride puts ourselves above God and deceives us. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Our purpose and desire should always be to put God first and honor Him above all things.
Pride steals God’s glory. Edom was full of pride and God was going to punish them.
Obadiah 10-16 Edom’s punishment for mistreating Israel
Because Edom was prideful they did some other things that did not please God. Esau’s family had mistreated Jacob’s family over many years. Obadiah tells of some specific things they did to God’s chosen people.
Verse 10-Because of violence done to your brother Jacob shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever.
Verse 11-Stood aloof (showed no sympathy, uninterested) when enemies came in to Jerusalem and carried off their treasures.
Verses 12-14 The Edomites rubbed it in when they saw the enemies hurting the Israelites. They even took some of their treasures when the enemies were attacking Jerusalem.
Let’s read verse 15 “For the day of the LORD is near upon all nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.”
God saw all the unkind things Edom had done to His people the Israelites and they would be punished.
• God sees everything that happens to His children. He will punish those who hurt them. (Romans 12:19; Zechariah 2:8; Acts 9:4-5; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-6)
Obadiah 17-21 Israel’s promised restoration to their land
The last part of Obadiah was good news for God’s people. The punishment of God’s people would end and they would return to their land and even own the land that belonged to Edom. They would live in the land forever. However, Edom’s punishment would be forever.
All of us are sinners. We all deserve to be punished forever for our sins. In Obadiah God says, “as you have done, it shall be done to you” (verse 15) God loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to take upon Himself all our sins so we can be forgiven and have eternal life. When we put our faith in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, we will live forever with God (Romans 6:23). If we choose to ignore God’s gift of eternal life through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son we will be punished forever for our sins (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
Before we close in prayer I want you to think about what I said earlier. In this world there are always two groups of people, believers and unbelievers. Believers are like Jacob’s family who loved God’s promises and unbelievers are like Esau’s family who despised God’s promises. Which group are you a part of? If you are an unbeliever you don’t have to stay in that group. As long as you have breath in your lungs you have an opportunity to repent and turn to Jesus for forgiveness of sins.
(Close in prayer)
1. What does Obadiah’s name mean? (Servant of the Lord)
2. What group of people was God’s message for? (Edom)
3. Who are the Edomites? (Esau’s family)
4. Why was God punishing the people of Edom? (Pride)
5. How did Edom treat God’s people when they were being attacked by enemies? (Showed no interest when enemies attacked, took some of the wealth when the enemies attacked, etc.)
6. What was the good news at the end of Obadiah’s message? (God’s people would return to their land and live there forever)
Let’s change these sentences to ones that give glory to God:
1. I am better than everyone on my soccer team. (God has given me the ability to play soccer well. I can help others on my team to learn to play better with the things I have learned.)
2. I am prettier than her. (God created me. It’s more important that I act like Jesus than what I think I look like.)
3. I’ve memorized more Bible verses than anyone I know. (God has helped me to hide His Word in my heart so that I will not sin against Him.)
4. Allow students to create more prideful statements if time allows.
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