Sometimes we think of the prophetic books as a mysterious foretelling or maybe a boring old irrelevant message. For kids especially, words of the prophets can seem confusing or abstract, but we lose some rich spiritual nourishment when we overlook these wonderful portions of the Old Testament. Isaiah, especially, has beautiful descriptions of the Lord, as well as encouraging words and clues of Christ. This lesson looks at one of those passages in particular, highlighting the power of God and the amazing plans He has for us.
Lesson Objective and Observation: Students will recognize the incredible power of God, and be able to describe how He is in control and does all things. God promises to make a way for us, and that should provide kids a sense of joy and hope. Students will also understand that even when we don’t recognize it, God has a plan and purpose.
Passage: Isaiah 45:1-7
Target Audience: K-6th Grade (adaptable)
Materials Needed: Dark construction paper; colorful construction/scrapbook paper, cut into strips; pictures; markers; scissors; glue; string; sweet n’ sour candies.
Lesson Opening: The old object lesson, with some science….walk students through a couple of fun “experiments” to demonstrate the importance of God’s amazing power and how it protects our lives. First, ask them if they’ve ever seen a raisin “dance…” demonstrate the power of what might seem impossible.
- Have one cup with regular water or flat soda, and another cup with bubbling soda. Invite students to place raisins in each cup, and note how the ones in the carbonated cup “dance” or float up towards the top. Explain how that carbonation is sort of like the power of God: things become possible with a little something extra.
- Next, use two cups of water (could be the same as the raisin cups), and have two oranges. One should be peeled, while the other is still in its “shell.” Place both oranges in the cups and observe what happens. The peeled orange sinks, and the unpeeled one floats! Tell students that the peel acts as an “armor” or life preserver for the orange, just like God can be protective in our lives. Let them know we will be looking at some verses that discuss God’s amazing power.
Who is the most powerful person you know? Invite students to brainstorm people who seem extremely powerful. What makes someone strong? What can the strongest person do? What can the most talented or inventive person do?
More than likely, students are familiar with the concept that God is powerful and able to do amazing things. We want to make sure they also know that the same God who does all of that is on their side and wants to help them and love them, too. This is the same Creator we pray to, serve, and love. Today we will be looking at a passage from the book of Isaiah. If students do not recall who that was, remind them about prophets and what they did. Isaiah’s book has some powerful words that remind us about God’s love and power, and also point to the coming Messiah. Help students locate the book in their Bibles, and find chapter 45. Read the first few verses….
“This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
so that gates will not be shut:
2 I will go before you
and will level the mountains[a];
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron. -Isaiah 45:1-2
Wow…talk about power! That sounds pretty strong! Pass around a penny or other coin. Can it be bent? Do you think scissors would cut it? Probably not…our coins aren’t even made of material as strong as bronze and iron, but here it says God will wipe that out like it’s nothing! That is not all, though…the excitement continues:
I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
4 For the sake of Jacob my servant,
of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me. -Isaiah 45:3-4
Hidden treasures? Wow! Who wouldn’t want those? Explain to students that there are some small treasures hidden around the room…give them a minute or two to locate the treats and enjoy them. Explain that they didn’t know until you told them that they would be featured today. What a lovely treasure! Finish off the passage with a few more words of God’s might:
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
though you have not acknowledged me,
6 so that from the rising of the sun
to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
7 I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the Lord, do all these things. -Isaiah 45:5-7
God reminds us again of all that He did and does. HE created light and darkness. He can bring good things or bad. He makes the sun rise and set. And He also has power over us! He can make wonderful things happen in our lives if we allow it. How do we do that? By remembering, consistently and constantly, who is number one in control. And by asking Him for help to live not on our own power, but in His.
There are many significant reminder craft possibilities to indicate God’s power and control. Here are a couple of potential ideas:
- Collage: using magazines or newspaper, have kids cut out words or pictures that remind them of God’s amazing power and might. Glue the pictures to another sheet of paper.
- Make a stained-glass window. Various media work for this: tissue pieces and wax paper, contact paper, crayon shavings, glitter…it all depends how messy you feel you want to take on! Attach a verse caption to remember that God created light and darkness, and His light is always shining!
Closing questions: wrap things up with a few questions to evaluate how students have soaked in the lesson…Ask probing questions to see what kids remember. Such as….
- Who was Isaiah? What is a prophet, anyway?
- What are some amazing things God can do?
- What treasures might God have in store for your life?
- How can we remember and trust God’s power?
Close with prayer and ask the Lord to help us live in His power and majesty, loving and trusting Him.