The Heavens Declare: Sunday School Lesson on Psalm 19:1-14

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The Heavens Declare – Sunday School Lesson: Psalm 19

God has made the Earth and everything in it. Like a handmade gift tailored to a specific purpose, He has created all things with love and precious meaning. This lesson celebrates the care and creativity of God, who governs the universe. When we consider His mighty works, there is nothing for us to do but glorify Him with our lives, praising Him with word and song and following His rules and His ways. 

 It might sound strange to think about rules as being “richer than gold” and “sweeter than honey.” In the context of Psalm 19, though, we see how these rules establish order. Just as God governs the heavens and commands the sun to complete its course like a champion, He rules and plans our lives, as well. If nature is willing to obey His command, we can, too. If the Heavens declare His glory, we should gladly do the same! He makes and rules all things not as a tyrant, but out of love. The same God who controls nature cares for and loves us, and gives us His rules so that we can experience blessing and peace from Him. 

Passage: Psalm 19:1-14 

Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade 

Materials Needed: Handmade items; pictures or representations of nature; construction paper or cardstock; markers or crayons; decorative supplies; paper plates; honey-themed treats; bags; Bibles. 

Lesson Opening: This passage looks to God’s great power and might as seen throughout creation. The skies and nature proclaim Him, and so can we! God is amazing and we can glorify Him through worship and praise as we follow His laws. Start with an activity that uses these themes and gets kids thinking: 

  • The heavens declare… look at pictures of outer space and study some constellations. Describe how the stars are made and controlled by God. They “tell” of His marvelous work! 
  • “Sunrise Race”: Have a relay to celebrate how the sun “runs its course with joy” like a champion. Have students line up and race relay-style across a playing area. Each student should carry a picture/representation of a sun, run across and swap it for a picture of a moon or stars, and then come back for the next runner to do the same. 
  • God in All Nature: have students bring in or describe some of their favorite plants and animals. Discuss how God made all of those and wants us to enjoy and appreciate His handiwork. 
  • Rich Rules: Write out some of God’s laws and commands on the back of play money. Pass them out and have students read and discuss the rules, emphasizing how they can help and bless us in our daily lives. 
  • Sweeter than honey: God’s rules are also described as “sweet!” Have students taste some sweet things (honey sticks, caramels, graham crackers, etc.) and rank them according to flavor and sweetness level. Talk about why God’s rules are sweet and can provide for us. 
  • Handmade: Show off gifts or items you have that were made by hand. Talk about how special handmade things are, and remind children that everything around us (including us!) is handmade by God.

Explain that today’s lesson celebrates the might of our Lord and how we see His handiwork on display throughout creation. 

Bible Lesson: 

This passage is a beautiful and memorable psalm that offers powerful reminders of God’s majesty and strength. It’s a good one to go through a few verses at a time, pausing to consider what the psalmist communicates. Older students can read out loud, and teachers can read and discuss with younger ones. 

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.  -Psalm 19:1-4

These verses paint such a wonderful picture of God’s hand as seen in creation. The sky proclaims His handiwork. Where do we see God in the world around us? Everywhere! His power is evidenced by His work in all the universe. When we gaze upon the miracle of a night sky, how can we not recognize an intelligent master of things? And if the sky is proclaiming His work, we should be, too! 

Ask: What are some things you see in nature that remind you of God’s power and creativity? 

In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat. -Psalm 19:5-6

We don’t usually think of the sun as a “strong man running,” but it’s fun to imagine it this way. God controls and commands the sun. He also makes us with ability and allows us to do His work and will. Whatever He has for us, we can do it with joy knowing that God is in charge!

Ask: What activities do you enjoy? Have you thought about how God has controlled them? 

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward. -Psalm 19:7-11

These verses consider how marvelous God’s laws are. We might think of rules as something to obey or make our lives harder. Rules don’t normally seem “rich” or “sweet” as described here. But we know that God’s rules are there for a reason. He wants things to have order. He knows that rules make our lives better and more blessed in the long run. He gives them to us to help us and keep us on His path. Because we know that He loves us and wants what’s best for us, we can joyfully follow his rules, not out of rigorous duty but out of love for Him. He gives us His love and His laws so that our lives can be complete.  

Ask: How can we remember and try to follow God’s laws?  

Who can discern his errors?
    Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.  -Psalm 19:12-14

The close of this psalm is a great thing for us to remember as we seek to serve God. We want the words of our mouths and thoughts of our hearts to be from Him and for Him. We want to remember that God is our rock and redeemer no matter what comes. 

Psalm 19 begins with a declaration of how all of nature worships the Lord (and we should, too!). It goes on to describe how perfect are His rules, and finishes with a reminder that He is good above all things. When we consider all of this, it is only fitting that we praise and glorify God’s name. We can do this in words, prayers, and the ways we live our lives, obeying His rules and trusting in Him for guidance.

with prayer, thanking God for His work in creation and asking for help in serving and obeying Him.  

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