This is lesson 20 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 43
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 43, the psalmist shows us that God not only saves His people physically, but that He is the eternal rescuer of His people, saving us from sin and death.
Passage: Psalm 43
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- – Take a few minutes at the beginning of the session to chat with the kids in the group about times that they may have been lost somewhere and how they found their way out – did they ask for directions?, did they use a map?, was it a light that guided them?, etc.
Read the Text. . .Psalm 43 ….
- 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. Ask kids to imagine the situation that the author of this Psalm must have been in (he needs to be rescued physically) and what does he do? (he calls out to God for help). Point out how the Psalm refers to God as his stronghold (like a fortress) and guide, and how at the same time God is shown as his joy and delight and the one who deserves all his praise. Make note of how the psalmist starts out upset and then reminds Himself to put his hope in God.Talk about how we often find ourselves in bad situations and we try all kinds of things to get out of the situation instead of remembering that the only thing we need to do is turn to God and put our hope in him.
- Cross- Connection– – The Psalm ends by calling God our Savior and our God. Have kids tell you what the word Savior reminds them of. Have them name people whose job it is to save people (life guards, medics, doctors, rescue helicopter pilots, etc.) and talk about how these people act as saviors in that they physically save and rescue people. Help the kids in the group to see that the rescue we all need is more that a physical rescue (no matter how bad the situation is that we’re in), we need to be rescued from death and the punishment that we deserve for our sin (death- Romans 6:23) and that the only way we can be rescued is through Jesus (John 14:6).
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 worship God for who He is revealed in Scripture and that they would come to know Him as their Savior. Pray that kids in the group (and yourself) wouldn’t rely on your own strength in times of trouble but that they would put their hope in Christ alone, knowing that if He has rescued us from sin and death, He can surely rescue us from all else.
Extra Time – – If you have any extra time at the end, 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. Watch the demonstration video of this Bible book game for kids.