This is the final lesson in our 4 part series for children about knowing and loving God. This mini-curriculum is titled “Discovering the Divine.” Follow that link to learn more about these lesson and read important tips for teaching them in your ministry.
This lesson is targeted for older elementary children, but it could be adapted for other age groups. It would be ideal for a Children’s Church or Sunday School learning context.
Bible Passage: Isaiah 40:12-31
Bible Lesson Title: Knowing the Incomprehensible God
Target Age Group: 4th – 5th grade
Target Time Frame: 50 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Children’s Church
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Exegetical Idea: Israel can find comfort in their trouble because of the incomprehensibility of God.
Pedagogical Idea: We can find comfort in God’s incomprehensibility.
Cognitive Aim: Students will know that God is incomprehensible, yet they will understand they can know Him as He has revealed Himself through His Word.
Affective Aim: Students will feel awe and wonder at the incomprehensibility of God, and they will yearn to know Him as He really is.
Behavioral Aim: Students will become familiar with some divine attributes of God through studying His Word.
Memory Verse: Isaiah 40:31
Lesson Four Overview
- Create Longing (10 minutes) See the responsibility of seeking God through Lucy in Prince Caspian. Supplies: Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian DVD, TV.
- God Revealed (15 minutes) Read Isaiah 40:21-26 and discover God’s incomprehensibility. Supplies: Bibles, bucket, dropper, water or dirt, scale; cardstock hearts.
- Personal Persuit (15 minutes) Look for God’s character in Isaiah 40:12-31. Supplies: Bibles, Poster Board, Markers.
- Daily Knowing (10 minutes) Worship and pray together, concluding encouragement. Supplies: Songs at end of lesson, Worship CD, Jer. 9:23-24 typed out for each child.
1. Create Longing (10 minutes)
Show Prince Caspian Clip: Scene 10 “The Return of the Lion”
- Lucy said the others did not believe her, and Aslan responds, “Why would that stop you from coming to me?” Lucy was afraid to go to Aslan alone. Do you think Lucy should have come to Aslan alone even though she is so young?
- Do you think Lucy fully understood what Aslan was telling her? (Begin to hint towards the idea of the incomprehensibility of God).
This scene with Lucy and Aslan displays the responsibility we have as God’s children to seek Him even when others do not come with us. We learned three weeks ago that God desires for you to know Him right now. You do not have to wait until you are older to know God intimately, and God does not want you to wait! He wants you to seek Him now!
- Question: How do you think you can come to know God intimately, the way He desires for you to know Him (yada)? (Through studying His word, prayer, worship, going to church, through teachers and parents, through spending time with Him).
God is incomprehensible; we will never be fully able to understand and know Him completely here on Earth. He is wholly other than we are, and there are depths of God we cannot even begin to fathom! We have learned in the past three lessons that God desires for us to know Him, we have learned what a heart of longing is, and we have seen it displayed in the life of Paul. Now we are going to see God’s incomprehensibility through the prophet Isaiah in the Bible, and we are going to learn how to know God as much as possible while here on earth.
One way we can come to know (yada) God is through learning about His divine attributes. Divine attributes are things that are true about God. We can discover His divine attributes by studying His Word. The entire Bible displays God’s character, His divine attributes. When we read and study Scripture, we always need to look for God in the story. In our journey of faith, it is always about God! He is the reason for everything we believe in and for everything we do. Today, we are going to read a passage in Isaiah that displays how big, amazing, and incomprehensible God is. We are also going to search the Scripture to find specific attributes of God so we can come to know Him more.
2. God Revealed (15 minutes)
Scripture: Isaiah 40:12-31 (Typed out at the end of the lesson)
First, have the students close their eyes while you read verses 21-26 aloud. Tell them think on God’s greatness.
After a time of silence and reflection, there is an activity to demonstrate God’s greatness and incomprehensibility: From verse 15, we learn that the nations are like a drop in a bucket and dust on the scales, and that the LORD weighs the islands as if they were fine dust. Have a picture of a nation of people, perhaps China, which really displays their vastness.
- With a bucket and a dropper, illustrate how this huge nation is like one tiny drop of water in a bucket. You could also take this the other direction with the dust and a scale. Help the children to see just how great and immeasurable God is.*
God instructed Isaiah to tell the people of Israel all of these words in order to give comfort to them. Israel did find comfort in seeing God’s greatness and incomprehensibility.
- Question: Why would knowing God is so big and so beyond our understanding give us comfort? (He is bigger than our problems, He has complete control over our problems, etc.
God desires for us know His incomprehensibility and for it to give us comfort. He is all-powerful and so much bigger than we are! We can praise Him for His greatness, standing in awe of who He is. We can also be drawn into His arms and comforted through His great love (v. 11).
- Memorize Isaiah 40:31. Encourage the children to make-up motions to help them remember the Scripture and allow them to write it on their cardstock hearts. If there is time, use this opportunity to review the other three verses they have memorized in this series.
* Allow children who do not get to participate in every activity because of disabilities an opportunity to drop water in the bucket or have special job that allows them to be involved.
3. Personal Pursuit (15 minutes)
Divide the students into small groups and give each group a section of 3-5 verses in the 12-31 section of Isaiah 40. Have the students read their section in their group and discover the divine attributes of God displayed in their portion of Scripture. Make sure every student is able to participate and has a Bible to see and study the Scripture.
Let the students tell you what they find and write it down on a poster board that will remain up in the classroom. They should see God’s character through the Scripture, such as His power, His everlasting nature, His faithfulness to provide strength, etc. You made need to help them see beyond the words of the Scripture to find the character of God. Discuss the characteristics they find.
- Question: Do you find comfort from knowing more of God’s character? Why?
Tell the children that while on our journeys of faith in this life, we do not always see the character of God clearly. Sometimes horrible things happen that seem to not display God’s love or faithfulness or power, but God’s character never changes. The attributes we learn about Him are always the same, so even when we do not see them, we have to believe He is who we know Him to be. We can only have this kind of faith when we yada know God. In fact, His attributes go beyond what we think. His love is greater than we can imagine, His faithfulness goes beyond human faithfulness, and His holiness is past our human understanding. Knowing that His attributes are even greater than what our minds can comprehend provides us with further reassurance and faith in God.
- Tell a personal story of a time in your life when you went through a time of pain or suffering and you had to cling to what you knew to be true about God even though it was not evident that He was present.
4. Daily Knowing (10 minutes)
Transition to a time of worship through song. Ask children to stand and go to the designated area that you have for them to worship through song.
- Have a time of prayer together before singing (See paragraph below before entering into a time of prayer.)
Ask children what they have on their hearts and minds this morning, whether it is related to the lesson or not. Encourage them to pray to God in reassurance and praise of His attributes they have learned today. (Not only should their faith grow as a result of knowing God, but their praise should overflow in awe of who He is). This is a group prayer time, a time for your students to bond with you, each other, and deepen their faith in God.
- Sing both worship songs: “Knowing You Jesus” and “Give Me Jesus”
Provide each student with the Scripture Jeremiah 9:23-24 (best if typed). Encourage them to take this home and practice discovering God’s divine attributes. Tell them to ask their parents for help if they have trouble discovering His attributes in these two verses. They can use different colored markers, pens, or highlighters to mark things that catch their attention about God. Ask them to spend time thinking about how God shows these characteristics in their own lives, and what these attributes mean for them.
Remind the children of the scene from Prince Caspian they watched at the beginning of class. Encourage them to seek God with all of their hearts every day like they have today, through Scripture, prayer, and worship. Knowing God always goes beyond the Sunday school room. He desires them to seek Him everyday. Th Remind them of God’s great desire for them to yada know Him, the heart of longing that Paul had for God, and the greatness of God.
Sources for Lesson
Isaiah 40:12-31 (Pass out to each child in Lesson Four)
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has understood the mind of the LORD,
or instructed him as his counselor?
14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge
or showed him the path of understanding?
15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales;
he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations are as nothing;
they are regarded by him as worthless
and less than nothing.
18 To whom, then, will you compare God?
What image will you compare him to?
19 As for an idol, a craftsman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and fashions silver chains for it.
20 A man too poor to present such an offering
selects wood that will not rot.
He looks for a skilled craftsman
to set up an idol that will not topple.
21 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught
and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted,
no sooner are they sown,
no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
25 “To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
“Give Me Jesus” by Jeremy Camp Lyrics
In the morning when I rise, In the morning when I rise, In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus
Chorus: Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus, You can have all this world, just give me Jesus
And when I am alone, And when I am alone, And when I am alone, give me Jesus
And when I am afraid, And when I am afraid, And when I am afraid, give me Jesus
You can have all this world, but give me Jesus
Knowing You (All I Once Held Dear)
I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now compared to this.
Knowing You, Jesus, knowing you,
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.
Now my heart’s desire is to know You more,
To be found in You and known as Yours,
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All surpassing gift of righteousness
Oh to know the power of Your risen life,
And to know You in Your sufferings;
To become like You in Your death, my Lord,
So with You to live and never die.
©1993 Make Way Music
Words and Music by Graham Kendrick