God is Wise (1 Kings 3) Lesson #40 in What is God Like?
AGE GROUP: elementary (ages 6-11)
TIME REQUIRED: 45 minutes
This is lesson 40 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 40: GOD IS WISE
- Key Verse: “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are His.” Job 12:13
- Teaching Passage: 1 Kings 3
- Supporting Texts: Job 28:28, Jon 39:26, Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 2:6, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
Bibles, previous attribute of God posters, a large piece of paper with the words GOD IS WISE written on it, key verse (Job 12:13) 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.
Take a few minutes to review the attributes you’ve previously learned. Have kids stand in a line. Whisper an attribute of God in the first person’s ear. They should say the attribute outloud. The next person should do the motion and the 3rd person should define or explain the attribute. Those 3 people should then move to the back of the line so you can start all over again. If someone doesn’t know the motion or definition, they can pass or someone can give them a clue. Play for 5 minutes or so.
- 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
- God Guides His People= He leads, accompanies, assists and gives direction/ guidance
- God Heals = make healthy & whole & free from ailments
- God is Holy = He is sinless, perfect and set apart
- God is our Hope = He is the One in whom our expectations are centered
- Jesus is Immanuel = God with Us
- God is Judge = He is the One who rules over and passes judgement on others
- God is Just = He is the One who is fair and does what is right
- God is King of kings & Lord of lords = He is The One who rules the rulers
- Jesus is the Lamb without blemish = He is the perfect sacrifice for sin
- God is Love = God has tender and caring affection for His people
- God is Majestic = God is stately, kingly, grand & raised up
- God is Merciful = God is full of compassion, pity, and undeserved grace & love for another
- God is Omnipotent = He is almighty or infinite in power
- God is Omnipresent = He is everywhere all the time
- God is Omniscient = He knows everything
- God is One = the Only God
- God Protects His People = He defends, guards, covers & shields His people
- God is Righteous = He is always right & He always does what is right
- God is the Rock = solid, strong and offering protection
- God provides the PERFECT SACRIFICE for sin = Jesus is the gift or payment that paid for our sin
- God Saves = to rescue from danger
- God Shepherds His people = He tends, guards and watches over His people
- God is a Shield= He hides, conceals & protects His people (through Jesus’ blood)
- God is Sovereign = He rules over all
- Jesus is the One Mediator = He is the One who stands between (us & God) and brings judgement
- God is Trustworthy = He is dependable, reliable, honest & faithful
- God is Truth = fact, reliable, not false in any way
- God is Unchangeable = He cannot be moved, He does not change
TEACH – WISE:
Introduces the truth that God is wise, by asking one of the kids to tell you what they think of when they hear the word wise or wisdom. Explain that often when we hear someone talking about wisdom we think of a really old man (Job 12:12 asks, ‘isn’t wisdom found among the aged?’) or a smart professor. In our minds, wisdom and knowledge are joined together.
One common saying about wisdom is that wisdom is KNOWLEDGE APPLIED. That means that you can be smart without being wise, but you can’t be wise without being smart. Wisdom is making the right decisions and knowing what to do with the things that you know.
The Bible often compares wisdom and foolishness. Proverbs is full of verses that compare the two. The point they’re trying to make is that you are either wise or foolish, you can’t be neutral. One of these verses about wisdom and foolishness is Proverbs 10:8, “The wise in heart accepts commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.”
Let’s take a little quiz to see how wise you are. If the statement is wise I want you to hold open a pretend book. If the statement is foolish I want you to make the letter “c” with your hand as if to say “crazy.”
~ Spending time reading God’s Word.
~ Obeying your parents
~ Crossing a busy street without checking for cars
~ Sticking something other than a plug into an electrical outlet
~ Eating all of your vegetables.
~ Feeding your vegetables to the dog and lying to your mom about it.
You guys are all really wise. It seems that you know the right thing to do in all situations. But, do you always do the right thing? The Bible tells us that God alone is always wise. He is the only one who always does the right thing at the right time. Nothing only does God always do what is wise, everything God does is wise, including the things that sometimes don’t make sense to us. We can’t question why God does certain things (like people dying in an earthquake), but we can know that everything that happens is wise and right.
We don’t have the same wisdom that God has. But, as we’ll see in our story this morning and in some of the verses we’ll read, we can ask for wisdom and He’ll give it to us and we can know that following God is always the wise thing for us to do.
Introduce the story by introducing the kids to Solomon. Ask the kids to tell you what they know about Solomon…. (he was the 3rd king of Israel, he was David’s son, he wrote most of the book of Proverbs and Song of Solomon and probably Ecclesiastes, he built the temple in Jerusalem.
Tell the story of 1 Kings 3:1-15 in your own words. Focus on verse 5-15. Explain that God offered to give Solomon anything he wanted. Read Solomon’s response in verses 6-9. Explain that Solomon could have asked for power or wealth or anything else, but he asked for wisdom to rule God’s people well. Tell the kids that God granted Solomon’s request and made him the wisest person anyone had ever known and the wisest person who has ever lived. And, because Solomon made such a wise request of God, God also gave him wealth and power and all of the other things he didn’t ask for, and God promised Solomon that if he obeyed God that he would also give him long life.
Introduce the skit by saying that this skit represents one of Solomon’s wise rulings and shows how he used the wisdom that God gave him.
Read 1 Kings 3:16-28 and/ or tell the story in your own words highlighting the following points:
- Two women (use the word women so you don’t have to explain prostitutes) lived together and both had babies.
- One night one woman’s baby died, so she got up and took the other woman’s baby and put her dead baby next to the other woman.
- The next morning, the woman who woke up with the dead baby knew it wasn’t her son, so they brought the matter to the court.
- The women argued in front of Solomon about which baby belong to which woman.
- Solomon asked for a sword and gave an order that the living baby should be cut in half and 1/2 baby given to each woman.
- The mother whose baby was dead said okay.
- The mother who knew it was her baby begged Solomon not to kill her baby and told Solomon to give the baby to the other woman.
- When Solomon heard this response, he knew who the baby belonged and gave the baby to the rightful mother.
- When the people of Israel heard what had happened they were amazed at Solomon’s wisdom and knew his wisdom was from God.
After the story remind the kids that even though Solomon’s wisdom was from God, it was still nothing compared to the wisdom of God. And, just like the rest of us, Solomon eventually chose to worship himself instead of God, and sinned and turned away from God. BUT, seeing the failings of Solomon reminds us that God never fails and His wisdom is always perfect.
DEFINE AND REMEMBER:
To help the kids remember this truth about God, take a few minutes to define the attribute.
This morning we’re talking about the truth that God is Wise. The point that we’ll make is that everything God does is right and His understanding is greater than our understanding.
WISE = ABLE TO DISCERN WHAT IS RIGHT OR TRUE
Since motions & actions help kids remember, choose an action for WISE. A good motion might be to tap the sides of your head (point to your brain).
Read Job 12:13. Talk briefly about the truth that you see in this verse. Talk about how the words counsel and understanding help to support the word wise. It shows that it has been thought out and decided, not just done on a whim.
Take a minute to read some of the other supporting verses:
~ Job 28:28 – wisdom is found in obeying God
~ Job 39:26 – it’s in God’s wisdom that all things on earth happen
~ Psalm 111:10 – fearing/ following God is where wisdom begins
~ Proverbs 2:6 – wisdom comes from God
Read the memory verse (Job 12:13) a few times together and do the motion for wise.
This morning we talked about how God shared His wisdom with Solomon, but we were also reminded that as a man Solomon still failed. The greatest example of God’s wisdom comes in a package that doesn’t really make sense to people. Can anyone think of what I’m talking about? (Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-25) Think about the truth of Jesus coming to earth and dying on the cross for His people. Humanly speaking, does it make sense that Jesus would die to pay for the sins of His people? In our minds, this doesn’t make sense at all, but it’s the greatest example of God’s wisdom ever. In His wisdom, God knew that the only way the price for sin could be paid was through the death of a perfect, spotless sacrifice and that had to be Jesus. When we think about Jesus on the cross we have an amazing picture of God’s wisdom and we see that His wisdom and His power and His love and His goodness are far greater than anything we could ever think or do or even imagine.
Give each child a blank piece of paper provide markers or colored pencils. Encourage them to write the word WISE somewhere on the paper and then write or draw something to help them remember this attribute of God. They could write the definition for WISE or the memory verse or they could illustrate the the story. 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. Thank God for the way He showed His wisdom by Jesus dying on the cross in our place.