Why do bees sting us? Why is the sky blue? What is inside my bean bag chair? How long does it take to get to the moon? Kids are full of questions. Some of them we can easily answer (or at least make up an answer!), but some questions are more challenging. We want to communicate to children that it is important to ask quality questions and to seek God, but that it is also okay to not know everything. We can trust and have faith that God does have all of the answers, all of the time. What a wonderful promise!
Lesson focus: God knows all things; He is higher and greater than anything we could possibly imagine.
Passage: Isaiah 55:6-9; Ecclesiastes 5:1-5; Psalms 139:1-14 Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 147:5
Target Audience: Pre-k through fifth grade (adaptable)
Materials Needed: Jars with small objects or candies; dark colored paper; chalk or paint; brushes
Lesson Opening: What do you know? Begin with a few activities or examples of things that we might have a hard time figuring out… For instance:
- Fill a jar or container with small objects (candy corn, jelly beans, beads, etc.). Know ahead of time how many things there are, but do not tell students the quantity. Take guesses and predictions as to how many things kids think are inside. Why is it difficult to know for sure?
- Play 20 questions… Think of a random item (or have a student think of one) and have students ask yes or no questions to guess what the item is.
- Hide and Seek… Use hot/cold clues to help children locate an object hidden in the room.
Explain to kids that we are going to talk about a rather large word today: “omniscience.” Help them practice saying it if this is not a familiar word. Omniscience means knowing everything. Do we know everything? Well, probably not! (Even though some people think they do!) Have students brainstorm questions they have, about anything at all. Write down questions on a white board or paper. What do they want to know about the world?
Next, have students brainstorm what they know about God, and what they want to know. Write these attributes on paper or white board, with a chart of “What to know” vs. “Already know.” Talk in pairs or groups about these qualities of God. Add the word “omniscience” to the chart, and discuss how God knows all things.
Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. -Isaiah 55:6-9
Let students read these verses quietly, or read them to them if reading levels are inadequate. Think for a minute…what does this mean? For one thing, it means we do not have all of the answers…and that’s okay? The questions asked earlier were not all easily answered. We wish we knew everything, but we certainly do not… that is God’s job. Peek at a few more verses relating to this topic:
Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven
and you are on earth,
so let your words be few. -Ecclesiastes 5:2
Have students look at their hair. Do you know how many hairs are on your head? Even in a little chunk of hair? How about sand…hold up a small amount of sand or glitter. How long would it take to count all of this? Well, God knows. He made everything, He knows everything, and He is everywhere all the time! How is that even possible…?
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you. -Psalm 139:13-18
Well, what about the part in the Isaiah verse that mentioned “seeking” God. How do we do that, if He is more powerful than anything?
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. -Jeremiah 29:13
We cannot see God face to face, but we read His word when we read the Bible, and when we pray we can talk directly to God and know that He hears us every time. We can also seek Him by serving Him and serving other people in Jesus name.
Above all, we know that some things are way over our heads. There are probably a lot of topics and details that even teachers have a hard time understanding! But we recognize that, with God in control, that is okay…
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit. -Psalm 147:3-5
God knows the hairs on our heads, the sands on the shore, the stars in the sky…our own human understanding is limited. But God will take care of the rest. The teacher knew how many candies were in the jar because she/he put them there. The Creator knows things about the world because HE made them! And we can know that our trust in His mighty power is not misplaced.
Like stars in the heavens…help children create a “Heavenly sky” with materials. Provide darker paper and varied media: paint, colored pencils, crayons, chalk….various things work, but make sure they are light colors (white, yellow, orange). If desired and ambitious, you can also use glitter, and even help kids splatter the paint using a plastic tooth brush. Attach a caption.
Close with prayer and thank God for knowing all things. Ask for help in truly seeking Him.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. -Isaiah 55:8
He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name. -Psalm 147:4