This is lesson 16 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 28
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 28, God is seen as the Great Protector who serve as a Rock a Shield and a Shepherd for His people. In each of these aspects of God’s character, we see Him protecting and preserving His people. Most importantly we see God protecting His people from the punishment we deserve for our sin through the death of Jesus in our place on the cross.
Passage: Psalm 28
Target Audience: Kindergarten-4th Grade (can be adapted for older or younger children)
Teaching Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Materials Needed: Bibles, dice
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. – – Have all of the kids in the group tell a story of the time when they were the most afraid, what were they scared of and what or who protected them in that situation.
Read the Text. . .Psalm 28 ….
- Have each kid in the group read one verse, or have 3 volunteers do the reading (divided amongst them). As you go through the Psalm continually ask kids (1) what is this Psalm telling us about who God is?, (2) what is this Psalm telling us about what God does and (3) what is this Psalm telling us about what God expects of His people and how His people should respond to Him.
- 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.
- Take a few minutes to talk about what truths this Psalm teaches us about God. Talk about the idea of God being our rock, our strength, our shield and our help….all words that describe protection. Remind them that this idea of God protecting His people is physical (protection from harm), but more importantly it refers to being protected from eternal punishment through Jesus. Briefly talk through the format of the Psalm… (1) David calls out to God for mercy, (2) David reminds us of the punishment that’s coming to the wicked, and (3) David praises God for saving him and rescuing Him from punishment.
- Cross- Connection– – Reread verses 3-5. Talk about who the wicked are according to this verse. Then, have one of the kids in the group read Romans 3:10-18 and ask who the wicked (or evil ones) are according to those verses. Help kids to see that in our hearts and without Christ we are all wicked. Then, go back to Psalm 28 and read the end of verse 4….’bring upon them what they deserve.’ Ask the kids in the group what the evil deserve and in fact what we all deserve because of our sin. Have one of the kids read or quote Romans 6:23 and remind the kids that we all deserve death, we all deserve to be punished for our sin, but that Jesus took the punishment that we deserve when He died on the cross in our place.
- Finish the discussion on the Psalm by rereading verse 9. Remind kids of the references earlier in the psalm to God protecting His people and have them notice the image of protection in this verse…a shepherd (guides, leads, protects, cares for, etc.).
- Play a round of Rock/ Shield/ Shepherd to remember the way this Psalm talks about God protecting His people. This game is similar to “rock, paper, scissors.” For rock they should pound one fist on the other hand, for shield they should put their hands in front of their face and for shepherd they should hold their hand out in front of them like holding a staff. Have kids pair up and count to 3 and then do one of the motions. For the sake of this activity….rock beats shield, shield beats shepherd and shepherd beats rock. The winners of each pair should pair up with someone else and play again. Play several rounds as time allows and then remind the kids that all of these remind us that God protected His people from the punishment and death that we all deserve when Jesus died on the cross in our place. After playing, emphasize the point that these are all equal attributes of God/ aspects of His character and that none are better or more important than the others.
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- – Close in prayer by praying for the kids in the group that they would begin to understand the punishment that they deserve because of their sin and the grace and love that God showed through Jesus’ death on the cross and that they would turn to Him in repentance.
Extra Time – – Play a Bible Book game called Roll the Dice. For this game you’ll take turns rolling a large dice and naming as many books of the Bible as the number that comes up on the dice. Ways to make the game more challenging… (1) have kids name books in order, (2) write down the books that are named and don’t let those books be named a 2nd time until all other books have been named, or (3) if they roll and odd number they have to name OT books and if they roll an even number they have to name NT books.