This is lesson 28 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 98
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 98, we’re reminded of the many ways that God has rescued His people through history and the ultimate way that he rescued His people through Jesus’ death on the cross in our place.
Passage: Psalm 98
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, a large sheet of paper
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 “charades”. Using some of the words in the psalm of ways to praise God and who should praise God (sing, shout for joy, burst into song, harp, trumpets, ram’s horn, rivers clap hands, etc.) as well as some ways we praise God or bring glory to Him (pray, sing, read the Bible, honor our parents, love others, etc.) play a round of charades. Whisper something into one child’s ear for them to act out and have the rest of the group guess what they were acting out.
Read the Text. . .Psalm 98
- 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.
- Focus on why God should be praised (He has done marvelous things ~ He rescued His people ~ Salvation) and what the reaction of everyone should be to God (sing and shout and praise Him). Ask the kids if this makes them think of anything else that they’ve read in the Bible about praising God.Have one of the kids flip to Revelation 5 and read Revelation 5:9-14. Discuss the similarities you see between Revelation 5 and Psalm 98. Make note of who is being worshipped, how they are being worshipped, what they are being worshipped for and who is doing the worshipping. If time allows, you might want to divide into 2 groups and have one group draw a picture of God being worshipped in Psalm 98 and one draw a picture of God being worshipped in Revelation 5.
- Take a few minutes to talk about what truths this Psalm teaches us about God. Focus on the idea of salvation. Talk about the many ways that God “saved” His people throughout the Old Testament. Have kids name some times/ ways that God saved His people, or give them clues and see if they can guess it and tell the story in their own way. Transition from talking about God physically saving His people God’s ultimate act of rescue through Jesus.
- Cross- Connection– – Look back at Psalm 98:1. Focus on the fact that we should sing a new song to the Lord because “his right hand” has “worked salvation for Him.” Then, go back to Revelation to help kids make the connection between “His right hand” working salvation and salvation being through Jesus. Read Revelation 5:1 and ask the kids what was in God’s right hand (the scroll). Then read verses 6-7 and point out that Jesus took the scroll from the right hand of God. Then read verses 9-10 and comment on why Jesus was able to do this….because He purchased people for God from every tongue and tribe and people. Look at some of the other verses that show Jesus at the right hand of God (Hebrews 12:2, 1 Peter 3:22, Acts 5:31, Acts 7:55). Go back to Psalm 98 and help the kids in the group to see that even though this Psalm was written long before Jesus came to earth, that this is a Psalm of praise about Jesus and Him dying on the cross in our place.
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 understand that the only way to be saved is through Jesus’s death in our place.
Extra Time – – If you have any extra time at the end, play the name game again, or play Old Testament/New Testament– – Have all the kids stand up in the middle of the room. Call out a book of the Bible. If it’s in the OT they have to go to your left side and if it’s NT 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.