When you think about what you want your children to learn at church, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? We’ve all been there. With so much truth in the Bible where do we start? Why not start where the Bible starts. No, not necessarily creation, but GOD.
Who is God? What is God like? What does God do?
“The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls Father.” ~ C. H. Spurgeon
Through this series of 42 lessons we’ll be introducing children to fullness of God’s character one attribute at a time. Most churched children will tell you that God created the world, or He rescues His people, or even that Jesus came to earth to rescue God’s people, but the goal of these lessons is for them to begin to know more of who He is and what it means to worship Him for who He is.
AGE GROUP: elementary (ages 6-11)
TIME REQUIRED: 45 minutes
This is lesson 12 of 42 in our study on the Attributes of God called “Can you tell me what God is like?” Visit the series index to view all the lessons and get more ideas for using this curriculum in your children’s ministry.
LESSON 12: GOD GUIDES HIS PEOPLE
- Key Verse: “The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land and will strengthen your frame.” Isaiah 58:11
- Teaching Passage: Pillar of Cloud & Fire – Exodus 13:20-22 & 14:19-20 & 33:9-10
- Supporting Texts: Exodus 13:21, Isaiah 58:11, Nehemiah 9:12, Psalm 25:5 & Psalm 48:14
Bibles, previous attribute of God posters, a large piece of paper with the words GOD GUIDES HIS PEOPLE written on it, key verse (Isaiah 58:11) printed on a piece of paper, blank paper and markers or colored pencils for each child in the group
REVIEW PREVIOUS LESSONS:
Ask one of the kids in the group to remind you what you’re learning this year. Remind them that each week we’ll be looking into the Bible to answer the question… “Can you tell me what God is like?” and will be learning one of the many truths about God that we see in His Word.
Ask if anyone can remember the truths we’ve learned so far. Explain that as this week we’re moving on to talk about God guiding His people that we’re going to play a game of follow the leader to review the other truths about God we’ve been learning.
Do one of the motions and have the kids copy you and then tell you what attribute that motion represents. As each attribute is named, ask if anyone can remember the definition of that attribute.
- God is Almighty= He has absolute power or is all powerful
- God is the Alpha and Omega= He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last
- God is Awesome = He inspires awe and amazement
- God is Compassionate = He shows a deep concern for His people & a desire to meet their needs
- God is the Deliverer = He is the rescuer or savior
- God is Exalted = He is noble, elevated and lifted up
- God is Faithful = He is reliable, trustworthy, true to His Word & keeps His promises
- God Forgives = He grants pardon and cancels the debt of sin
- God is Glorious = He is full of glory (praise, honor & distinction)
- God is Good = morally excellent, virtuous or righteous
- God is Gracious = merciful, benevolent, kind & compassionate
TEACH- GOD GUIDES HIS PEOPLE:
Ask if anyone in the group can think of a story in the Bible where we clearly see God guiding or leading His people… (there are lots to choose from so hopefully someone will think of something… )
Then have the group read this week’s memory verse (Isaiah 58:11) from the poster. Explain that this morning you’re going to be talking about how God guides His people and what it means that God guides His people.
Tell the story of the Israelites leaving Egypt from Exodus 13 and 14 in your own words. Make sure to hit the following points as you go through the story:
- God’s people had been slaves in Egypt and God sent Moses to bring them out of Egypt. After a series of plagues and finally the passover (where the oldest child in each home not marked by the blood of the lamb was killed), the Pharaoh has finally let the people go and they are on their way out of Egypt.
- As God led them out of Egypt He gave them something specific to lead them…. He went before them as a pillar of cloud in the day and a pillar of fire by night. This shows us that God was with His people and He was leading them each step of the way…their job was to follow.
- The pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire stayed with God’s people each step of the way…. (God guides His people by being with His people).
- When they got to the edge of the sea, God used Moses to part the sea and the pillar of cloud moved behind the people to protect them from the Egyptians.
DEFINE AND REMEMBER:
To help the kids remember this truth about God, take a few minutes to define the attribute.
GUIDE = ACCOMPANY, ASSIST AND GIVE DIRECTION
EXPLAIN: Talk about how we saw God guiding His people in this story based on the definition they just read. God accompanied them – He was with them in the pillar of cloud and fire, God assisted them – the pillar of cloud moved behind them while they went into the sea, the pillar of fire gave them light so they could travel at night, etc., God gave them direction – wherever the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire went they were to follow and when it stopped they were to stop.
Since motions & actions help kids remember, choose an action for GUIDE. A good motion might be to motion with both hands for someone to follow you.
SAY: “This week’s memory verse is Isaiah 58:11. To help learn this verse and to help us understand what it means that God guides His people, you will play a game called “Follow My Lead.” To help you play the game, I’ll read the verse a couple of times and post the verse page close to you so that you can all see it.”
The way this game works is that the leader will say one of the words of the verse and the rest of the group should say the next word. The leader should randomly say words in the verse to force the group to think about what comes next. After randomly calling out words, go through the verse in order saying a few words and the group following you by saying the next few words, etc.
In our story this morning we saw God guiding His people out of slavery and leading them each step of the way with a pillar of cloud and fire. In this story, God was with them as He guided them and showed them the way. In John 14, Jesus tells His disciples that He’s going to leave them but that He will come back and take them to be with Him where He is going. Thomas (one of the disciples) gets confused and says to Jesus, ‘we don’t know where you are going so we don’t know the way.” And Jesus responds by saying that He is the way. The pillars of cloud and fire may have shown the people the way in the desert, but ultimately every time we see God guiding His people it points us to the truth that Jesus is the Way. He is the One we are to follow and its only by knowing Him and following Him that we can know God.
Give each child a blank piece of paper provide markers or colored pencils. Encourage them to write the word guide somewhere on the paper and then write or draw something to help them remember this attribute of God. They could write the definition for guide or the memory verse or they could illustrate the story of God guiding His people out of Egypt. After a few minutes, bring the group back together and give kids time to share what they have drawn or written.
Pray that the kids in the group would come to know God more and more each week through this study and that they would remember that all of us are sinners who need to be saved and that they would turn to this good God for salvation. Pray that they would follow God’s leadership in their life by following Jesus.