We can hope in the Lord no matter what! Includes a teaching guide and 2 games.
Needed: Blankets or sheets or beach towels, various objects
Game: Up and Down
Give the students blankets, sheets, or beach towels to hold between them. You can break the students into teams or have them complete the following challenges together.
- Bounce an object 5, 10, and 20 times without dropping it.
- See how high they can bounce an object.
- Bounce more than one object for 30 seconds without dropping any of them.
- Bounce an object while spinning their blanket, sheet, or towel. (Everyone in the circle moves one step between bounces.)
- Bounce and object while hopping. (Everyone takes one hop between bounces.)
You can add more complicated challenges if your group is doing well. As you finish, point out that we all have ups and downs in life. Sometimes, things are going well for us, and, sometimes, they’re not.
Ask students, Has anything bad ever happened to you? Tell me about a time something bad happened.
Did it get better?
(The teacher should also tell a story about a time when something bad happened to them and how the situation was resolved.)
Why do you think God lets bad things happen to us?
We’re going to read in our Bible story today about a man who had some pretty bad things happen to him. Let’s pay special attention to what his attitude is and how he deals with those bad things.
Summarize the story of Job with the following Bible story, asking the included questions as you read.
A long time ago, in the city of Uz, there lived a man named Job. Job was a man who had a good relationship with God and he always did the right thing. He had seven sons and three daughters, whom he prayed for every day, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, along with many servants.
It sounds like Job is pretty lucky, doesn’t it? How would you like to have all those animals and servants and be rich like Job was?
But one day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan – or the devil – also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Satan, where have you been and what have you been doing?”
Satan answered, “I have been travelling back and forth all over the earth.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you seen My servant, Job? There is no one on earth like him. He has a good relationship with Me and he always does what is right.”
“That’s only because You protect him and his family and everything he owns,” Satan replied. “Take away some of his things and he will surely curse You to Your face.”
Do you think it’s true what Satan said? Was Job just doing the things God wanted him to do because God was protecting him and making everything go well for Job? No, Job was doing the right thing because he believed in God and wanted to make God happy.
So the Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands. You can take away anything that Job has, but you can’t hurt him.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and got ready to make his attack against Job.
Then, one day when Job’s sons and daughters were having a party at the oldest brother’s house, a servant came running back to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys and camels were grazing in the field, and a bunch of men attacked and carried them off. They killed all your servants who were watching the animals, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another servant ran up and said, “Fire fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants watching them, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, still another ran up and said, “Your sons and daughters were having a party at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. The house fell down on them and they are all dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
Those are some pretty bad things to happen to Job, aren’t they? How would you feel if all those things happened to you? What would you do? Would you get angry at God about it? Would you think it was all God’s fault that those bad things were happening to you?
When Job heard all this, he got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. May the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by saying that God had done something wrong to him.
On another day, the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before Him. And the Lord said to Satan, “Satan, where have you been and what have you been doing?”
Satan answered, “I have been traveling back and forth all over the earth.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you seen My servant, Job? There is no one on earth like him. He has a good relationship with Me and he always does what is right. And he still has not cursed Me, even after you had all his animals stolen and all his sons and daughters killed.”
Satan replied. “Job is only good because You protect him. Hurt his body and he will surely curse You to Your face.”
Do you think Job will curse God?
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands. You can hurt him, but you can’t kill him.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and made Job’s skin break out with painful sores all over – from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
Job’s wife said to him, “Are you still doing the right thing? Curse God and die!”
Job replied, “You are talking like a foolish person. Sometimes we have good things in our life and sometimes we have bad things. We have to accept both.” In all this, Job did not sin by saying that God had done something wrong to him.
When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon Job, they set out from their homes and came and sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him because they saw how very sad he was.
Job was so sad about everything that had happened – about all of his animals being stolen and all his children dying and all the painful sores all over his body – that he suddenly cried out to God and to his friends, “I wish I was never born! Then all this bad stuff couldn’t have happened to me.”
Job’s friends were also very sad and they said, “Job, you must have done something very bad for God to do all of this to you. He is punishing you for your sin.”
Was God punishing Job? (No. Remember that the story said that Job always did the right things. God was not punishing Job.)
So Job said, “Good things happen to everyone and bad things happen to everyone. Just because something bad is happening to me, does not mean that God is punishing me.”
Then a great storm started to form in the sky and God’s voice came out of the storm. “You are right, Job. Good things happen to everyone and bad things happen to everyone. You have done very well to keep your faith and not curse Me, even through everything that has happened to you. Now I will reward you.”
And over the next few years, God gave Job twice as many animals as he had before and He gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters, and He let Job live until he was one hundred and forty years old!
So you see that even though bad things happen to us, God can always make things better, can’t He? We just have to keep doing the right things and having a good relationship with God. Then, we can trust Him to make things better for us.
Game: Job Relay Race
Students can run this race in teams or as individuals.
Leg 1. Skipping. At the beginning, Job was happy because everything in life was going well for him. Skip like you’re happy.
Leg 2. Flapping Arms. Then, God called all the angels to a meeting. Flap your arms like they’re angel wings.
Leg 3. Hopping with Devil Horns. Satan came to the meeting too. Hop with your fingers on your head in the shape of devil horns.
Leg 4. Hopping and Pointing Fingers. Satan didn’t’ think Job would stay faithful to God if bad things started happening to Job. Hop and point your fingers like you’re Satan pointing at Job.
Leg 5. Dragging Feet. God believed in Job, so He let Satan do bad things to Job. That made Job very sad. Drag your feet, cry, and mope like you’re sad.
Leg 6. Crippled and Rubbing “Sores”. Satan even made Job break out in painful sores all over his body. Hop on one leg and rub your arms like you have sores on them and are in pain.
Leg 7. Running and Shouting for Joy. But through it all, Job never turned against God, and that made God very happy with Job. Run and shout with joy like you’re God being happy.
Leg 8. Skipping. Then, God reward Job by making his life better again. Skip like you’re Job being happy.
Game: Up and Down
Play the intro game again as long as time allows. Remind children that we have ups and downs in life, but God is always with us and He always makes everything better in the end.
God, we thank You that You are with us in our good times and our bad times. We thank You that You have a plan to make everything better. Help us to stay faithful and keep our hope in you, like Job did. Amen.
You can also find this children’s Sunday School lesson for your Kindle reading app or in print form in Created: Children Sunday School Lessons for Genesis 1-11.