This is lesson 19 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 33
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 33, the psalmist gives instructions for worship and explains why God deserves all of our worship. As the psalmist discusses the deliverance of the Lord in this psalm, he points people forward to the day when God would deliver His people eternally through Jesus’ death on the cross.
Passage: Psalm 33
Target Audience: Kindergarten-4th Grade (can be adapted for older or younger children)
Teaching Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Materials Needed: Bibles, blank paper, markers
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- – Ask all of the kids to tell you what their favorite song is and why it’s their favorite song. Give them a chance to sing it for the rest of the group if they want.
Read the Text. . .Psalm 33 ….
- 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. Have kids name the truths about God that they see in the text. Some of the aspects of God’s character that you may want to highlight are…
(1) He deserves our praise- it is fitting to praise Him,
(2) His Word is right and true,
(3) He is faithful,
(4) He made the world with His Word,
(5) He is sovereign- His plans never fail,
(6) He chose His people,
(7)His love is unfailing,
(8) He is our help and our shield- He protects and rescues His people
- Cross- Connection– – Reread the Psalm beginning in verse 12 and take a minute to talk about what it means that God delivers His people. Have kids share examples they can think of from the Bible of God rescuing or delivering His people (Noah, Isaac, Joseph, the Israelites in the Exodus, Jericho, Jesus calming the storm, etc.). Then, remind the kids in the group that God has rescued His people in an even more dramatic and powerful way than any of these. God physically rescued His people many times, but the real rescue or deliverance that we see in the Bible is God rescuing His people from eternal death and punishment through Jesus. Ask the kids why we all need to be rescued (because we are all sinners) and what we all need to be rescued from (God’s judgment and the punishment that we all deserve for our sin). Help kids to see that through Jesus God has rescued His people from Himself and how just like verse 17 says ‘a horse is a vain hope for deliverance,’ that anything we do on our own is a ‘vain hope’ and will do us no good- the only way we can be saved is through Jesus. (Romans 5:6. John 14:6, Romans 6:23).
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.
Sing to the Lord a New Song– – Remind the kids in the group that the Psalms are praise songs that remind us who God is and what He has done and that these songs were sung by David and by the Israelites as their praised the Lord.
Using a familiar tune, work together to write a NEW song of praise that you could sing to God based on the attributes of God seen in this verse. Use the following song to the tune of “London Bridge” as an example…
Can You Tell Me What God’s Like? Can you tell me what God’s like, what God’s like, what God’s like? Can you tell me what God’s like? God keeps all His promises (or made everything)
Prayer- – Close in prayer by praying for the kids in the group that they would begin to see their own need for salvation and forgiveness of sins. Pray that they would see their sins for what they are stop trying to hide them from God, but that they would confess and turn to Him in repentance.
Extra Time – – If you have any extra time at the end, play “Top Book.” For this game you’ll divide the books of the Bible cards evenly among all of the kids. All the kids will turn over the 1st card in their pile and whoever’s book is closest to the end of the Bible gets to take all the other cards and add them to the bottom of their pile. Continuing playing in this manner until someone has run out of cards, or as long as time allows. If no one knows which book is closest to the end of the Bible, someone should look at a table of contents and check.