This is lesson 12 of 33 in a series of lessons called “Praise God Through the Psalms.” These lessons are designed to point children to the fullness of God’s character and lead them to see Him as the One who deserves all praise and worship. These lessons work well in Sunday School or mid-week Bible study groups or even family devotion times.
“Praise God Through the Psalms” – Psalm 19
Lesson focus: Through the book of Psalms and the worship of the people of Israel, we get a glimpse into the character of God and how we should rightly respond to Him in worship. In Psalm 19 we are reminded that God has given His people the law to show us our sinfulness and point us to our need for a Savior.
Passage: Psalm 19
Target Audience: Kindergarten-4th Grade (can be adapted for older or younger children)
Teaching Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Materials Needed: Bibles, a set of Bible book cards
Optional Materials: if you want to be able to send the kids home with something each week, you can print the text of the Psalm on one side of a piece of paper and on the back print “I should praise God because He is ____________” (leave the rest of the page blank for drawing.
Early Arriver/ Opening 10 minutes- have a few board games out and play with kids as they arrive. Don’t underestimate the conversations that happen while playing “Jenga” or “Uno” with a group of kids.
Intro. – – Play a game of “ABC Names of God”– – remind the kids in the group that all year long we’ve been looking at the Psalms and seeing what they teach is about who God is. Explain that in order to review some of the truths they’ve learned about who God is and what He is like that you’re going to play a simple game. Divide the group into 2 teams. Tell them that you will call out a book of the Bible and they should be the first one to call out (or raise their hand if you want to keep them more calm) a truth about God or a name of God that starts with that letter… EX: A= Almighty, B=brought the people through the sea, etc. The player who correctly calls out a truth about God will get a point for their team. After playing for a while, tell the kids that it’s time to look at the Psalm for the day and see what it tells us about who God is and what He is like.
Read the Text. . .Psalm 19 ….
- Have one of the kids in the group read Psalm 19, or have the whole group read it from their handout.
- As you go through the Psalm, have a signal for the kids in the group to make (like a time-out signal- – a T with your hands) every time they hear another truth about who God is and/ what God is like/ or what God has done. Each time you take a time-out, briefly talk about that characteristic of God. As you go through the Psalm focus on these questions/ thoughts… (1) What has God done?, (2) Who does God want to praise Him?, and (3) Why should we praise God?
- Talk through what this Psalm teaches us about God’s law. Reread verses 7-11 and tell the kids to jump up when they hear a different name for God’s law and raise their hands each time they hear something about what God’s law does. Talk through these different truths about God’s law and ask if any of them have ever wanted to say things like this about rules or laws. You might even want to take a few minutes and chat about what our normal reaction to rules/ law is (we groan and moan and complain because we don’t want anyone telling us what to do- we want to be in charge of our own lives.)
- Cross- Connection– – Move into a discussion on why God’s law is different…. Explain that when you just read through God’s law it sounds impossible because it’s a call to holiness and perfection, and it might make you depressed when you realize you can’t keep these laws. Then, have one of the kids read Romans 3:20. Explain that the law was given to show God’s perfection and our sinfulness and our need for a Savior. Help the kids to see that the law should cause us to rejoice, because it reminds us of what Jesus did in our place when He died on the cross for our sin. (Romans 5:8)
Worship Time- After discussing the passage, distribute the paper and markers or pages printed with the text for the week. Explain that each week you want them to do three things in response to the Psalm…
- write a verse from the passage that they want to remember
- write a reason to praise God that they see in the Psalm
- draw of something from the passage that they think is important.
Give kids time to work on their pages and then have them share what they have drawn or written with the rest of the group.
Prayer- – Have one of the kids reread verse 12. Talk briefly about how forgiveness is only possible through Jesus. Give the kids 30 seconds of silence to think about their own sinfulness and need of forgiveness and then close in prayer. Pray for the kids in the group that they would realize their own sinfulness and turn to God in repentance. Pray that this Psalm and other Psalms would open their eyes to see the goodness of God and cause them to desire to worship Him.
Extra Time – – If you have any extra time at the end, play the name game again, or play OT/NT– – Have all the kids stand up in the middle of the room. Call out a book of the Bible. If it’s in the Old Testament they have to go to your left side and if it’s New Testament they have to go to your right side. To make it even more challenging, you could call out names that aren’t books of the Bible and have them freeze for those.