This is lesson 9 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 9
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 9 we are reminded of the justice of God. Through this study, children will have a chance to see the right/ deserved punishment for sin and how God shows His love and His justice through the cross of Christ.
Passage: Psalm 9
Target Audience: Kindergarten-4th Grade (can be adapted for older or younger children)
Teaching Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Materials Needed: blank paper or dry erase board and markers, a small item to be hidden
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 round of “hide & seek.” But, instead of hiding people, have one kid leave the room and hide an item somewhere in the room. When the seeker comes back in to find the item, give them hot or cold clues to help them find the hidden item.
Read the Text. . .Psalm 9 ….
- Have one of the kids in the group read Psalm 9, 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?
- Discuss the Passage – Talk about some of the truths of God revealed in this Psalm. Focus on what it means that God is the forever king (as seen in verse 7). Talk about Him ruling over the nations and being sovereign over all for all time.
- Cross- Connection– – Reread verse 8 and spend some time talking with the kids in the group about the judgment and justice of God. For the sake of younger kids, define justice as ‘fairness’ or doing what is right. Ask kids to tell you about things that are fair or unfair and how they determine if something is fair. Talk about the truth that everyone is a sinner and that because God is just (or fair) He has to treat sinners as they deserve (Romans 3:23- punishment for sin is death). The fair thing would be for all of us to be punished for our sin. Because God is just, He has to punish sin, He can’t just forget about it…that wouldn’t be fair. But, God is also loving and gracious. So, as Romans 5:8 tells us, while we were still sinners Jesus died for our sin. To be fair, sin had to be punished, but God took the punishment on Himself. He didn’t forget about the sin and the punishment, but instead He provided the perfect sacrifice (John 1:29) to take the punishment for us.
Write Your Own Song Of Praise – Write the following words on a piece of paper or dry erase board for the kids to see…
God is ___________ (one syllable)
God is ____________ (one syllable)
God is _____________________ (three syllables)
Everything that God does shows us who He is!
Have kids help you think of word that fill-in-the blanks that help us to praise God. Take enough suggestions for 2 or 3 verses and then sing the song together to the tune of “Jingle Bells.”
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 in the group read verse 11. Read the verse and then point at a kid to name one thing we can praise God for, especially since this Psalm calls us to praise God for what He has done. Then read the verse again and point to another kid, etc. Give kids a chance to share what they wrote on their “Praise God because He is…” line. Spend a few minutes as a group praising God for who He is and what He has done and then close by singing, “Praise Him Praise Him all you little children…God is just… or God is our refuge… or God Reigns.”
Extra Time – Play a Bible Book game called “Roll the Dice.” For this game you’ll take turns rolling the 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.