The Psalms have always held a special place in the devotional lives of believers. The first Psalm has often been used to instruct children about walking in the way of the Lord. This free children’s sermon will introduce this classic passage of Scripture and help children learn these truths on their own level.
Preparation: We recommended that the entirety of Psalm chapter 1 is read. Psalm 1 is a very short chapter, which will be good on a child’s attention span. This lesson would particularly be good if done outside, though, inside would work great too. If the lesson is outside, then draw the attention of the children to a large tree that is strong and lively–better if it’s by a stream of water. Don’t worry if this is not applicable, because the children can use their imagination. Also, have an object (maybe brought) that is very dry like chaff, a dead/dry leaf, or like a chalky powder; for, these images fit well with Psalm chapter 1.
Children’s Sermon Title: Strong Trees by Streams
Bible Passage: Psalm 1:1-6
Target Age Group: Elementary Aged Children
Optional: Use google image to find and display photos of a rain forest and desert
Don’t miss the Psalm 1 coloring pages if you are using this lesson in a classroom format.
Psalms Background for Teachers: Sometimes people can become tentative when reading the book of Psalms, but one does not need to be. Remember, the word “psalm” is another way to say “hymn.” When one reads Psalms, they must recall that it is similar to reading a song (hymn), poem, or prayer. There is a simple, yet sometimes complex, beauty when reading this book of the Bible. Allow the heart to be emerged in the reading, and try to feel what the author may be feeling. Is the author thankful? Contemplative? Praising? Sad? Excited? Meditating on God’s greatness? Empathetic? Psalms, like music, evokes images. Think in pictures.
Psalm 1 Children’s Sermon
Questions to Begin:
- Does anyone know what a rainforest is? What is it like? The rainforest has lots of beautiful greenery, there is a lot of life, and the plants are generally very healthy looking.
- What about a desert? Does anyone know what a desert is? Can someone describe it to me? Deserts are dry, there is not a lot of green plants, and there is not much life.
- Did you know that the Bible tells us that there are two kinds of people? Those who love God and follow his commands are considered “blessed” and those who do not follow God’s commands and hurt other people are called “wicked.”
Let us read what the Bible says about blessed people and wicked people.
Psalm 1: 1-2
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
Question: Does anyone know what the word “meditate” means?
“Meditate” means that a person thinks really hard about something; they spend a lot of time focusing upon that thought. Meditation involves more than just the brain. It also involves the heart. We just read that a man meditates about God and his law. This means that the man really loves God and wants to please Him. In fact, the Bible says…v
Psalm 1: 3
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Wow! A person whom loves God is like a strong tree. Imagine a great and beautiful tree covered in green leaves. It is so wonderful to love God. God delights in us when we think about Him; God wants us to be like that strong tree by the flowing stream of water. It’s like the rainforest. There is a lot of life there.
However, we should avoid being like the wicked. Lets see what the Bible says about the wicked.
Psalm 1: 4-6
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
Chaff is a very dry plant. Has you ever picked up a dead and dry leaf then crumpled it up? What happened? The leaf broke up in many pieces and the wind may have blown them away. The Bible tells us that bad people, the ones that don’t love God, are like a dry plant that the wind blows away.
We don’t want to be like people that blow aimlessly in the wind. We want to be stable people; people that are planted strongly by streams of water. Remember what the last verse says, “For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction” (verse 6). It is comforting to know that God watches over those that love Him.
Psalm 1 Gospel Connection
The stream by the tree has life. Jesus, likewise, calls himself living water (John 4:10).
Jesus says in John 4:13-14, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Jesus is explaining that he can give eternal life. Eternal life is given when we put our faith in Jesus; he is the only way we can become righteous. Without Jesus we would remain wicked, and remain dry like a crumpled up leaf.
Jesus offers us eternal life through him and him alone. We cannot create goodness within ourselves; without Jesus’ salvation, we would remain like a desert. With Jesus’ salvation we are like a tree planted by streams of water. We are healthy and living like a rainforest.
- Does anyone remember what chaff is?
- Are wicked people or righteous people like chaff?
- Does anyone remember what the word “mediate” means?
- Is it good to mediate on God and the Bible? Why?
- Why do you think Jesus describes himself as water?
- Do the words “life” and “water” go together?