Lesson: Why We Can’t See God

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The good news is that we will one day! Includes a teaching guide, class activity, and game.

Needed: a mask, poorly made food items

Intro Activity: Too Much!

Set out 3-5 poorly made food items for kids to try if they’re brave enough. They should all be safe to eat, but obviously wrong just by appearance.

Some ideas are a drink mix thick with too much sugar, nuts drowning in salt, applesauce dark with too much cinnamon in it, a salad covered in too much dressing, noodles with too much pepper piled on top, and brownies soupy with too much oil.

When kids do or do not try your concoctions, ask them what’s wrong with them. Show them that they all have too much of something. All the ingredients you used are good, but sometimes we can’t too much of a good thing.

Lesson

Ask students, Where do you think God lives? (Listen for responses, but lead them to understand that God lives in Heaven.)

Does God ever let us see Him? (Lead the students to understand that people don’t normally see God.)

Do you think it would be neat to see God? (Lead students to understand that we should all want to see God because He made us and loves us.)

Why do you think we don’t ever see God now? (Affirm that the Bible gives us the answer to why we can’t see God.)

Some people have seen God before.

Who were the first two people? (Adam and Eve.)

Do you think Adam and Eve ever saw God? (Yes.)

Adam and Eve saw God all the time. God would come down and visit with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

But, then, Adam and Eve sinned.

What did Adam and Eve do that was wrong? (They ate from the tree that God told them not to eat from.)

And what is the punishment God made for sin? (The punishment when we sin is that we die.)

So, after Adam and Eve sinned, God did not visit them anymore because they had sinned. God is perfect and He can’t be around someone who has sinned.

Have you ever looked up into the sun? What happens?

It hurts to look at the sun. In fact, you could go blind if you look at it too long because the sun is too bright for our eyes. God is kind of like that. After people sinned, they couldn’t look at God because He was too much for them. Their sin made it so that they couldn’t be around God or see God in the same way that they used to.

Have any of you ever done something that was wrong? Have you ever sinned? (Lead to students to understand that they have.)

That’s why we can’t see God. Just like Adam and Eve, we have all done wrong things. We have all sinned. If God visited us and let us see Him, He would be too much for us.

God couldn’t even let Moses see Him because even Moses sinned and did things that were wrong sometimes, like when he killed the Egyptian slave boss who was beating an Israelite.

(Have students take turns reading Exodus 33:18-23 or read it yourself if your students aren’t old enough.)

Why wouldn’t God let Moses see His face? (Because Moses had sinned and God would be too much for Moses if he saw God’s face.)

But God wanted to visit His people. He wanted to be with them even if He couldn’t let them see Him. So, He told Moses and Bezalel to build the Tabernacle, the first church. And He told Bezalel to make a special room. It was called the Holy of Holies. And God lived in the special room called the Holy of Holies. No one was ever allowed to go into that room because if they did, they would see God and God would be too much for them. So, no one went in there. No one could see God. But, at least they knew that God was right there with them, in the Holy of Holies in the church.

So, we can’t see God right now because God won’t let us see Him because of our sins. He would be too much for us. And that’s why God stayed in the special room in the church.

But what if God wanted to come down out of Heaven or wanted to come out of the special room in the church to be with people? Is there any way God could do that, but still not let us see His face so He wouldn’t be too much for us? (Listen for responses, but then, pull out your mask and put it on.)

See, I’m here with you right now, but you can’t see my real face, can you? That is what God did when He became Jesus. God is a Spirit, but God put on a human body and became Jesus. Jesus’ body and Jesus’ face were like a mask God put on so that He could come be with us, but not let us see His real face so He wouldn’t be too much for us. God was in Jesus. God was right there with His people, but they didn’t see God. They only saw Jesus.

(Have students take turns reading John 1:14 and 18 or read it yourself.)

When God put on a body and became Jesus, what did Jesus come to do? What was His mission? (Jesus came to teach us and to show us God’s love and God’s power by the miracles He did and all the people He healed. Finally, Jesus came to die for us on the cross.)

What does Jesus dying on the cross do for us? (Jesus died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven.)

Jesus died and went to Hell for three days, taking the punishment for all of our sins. He volunteered to die and go to Hell in our place so that we don’t have to die and go to Hell. Jesus loves us that much to do that for us. Now, if we believe in Jesus, God forgives us for every wrong thing that we’ve ever done.

When Jesus died and went to Hell for three days, did He stay dead? Did He stay in Hell? (After three days, God brought Jesus back to life and then, a little while later, God brought Jesus up to Heaven to be with Him again.)

And after Jesus went back up to Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit down to His followers on the day of Pentecost.

Where does the Holy Spirit live? (If you believe in Jesus, then Holy Spirit lives inside of you.)

Because you’ve been forgiven for your sins by Jesus’ death on the cross, the part of God that is the Holy Spirit can live inside of you even though you still do things that are wrong. Because you believe in Jesus, you’ve already been forgiven for those wrong things that you still do.

But even though we’ve been forgiven and the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, do we ever get to see God? (We still can’t see God because we still do things that are wrong, even though we have been forgiven for those things.)

But one day, we will see God. Does anyone know when we will see God? (We will see God in Heaven.)

When we die, God will make us perfect so that we never sin or do anything wrong again. Then, we will go to Heaven and we will be able to walk right up to God and see Him how He really is and we’ll be able to talk to Him and ask Him things and be with Him forever.

Game: Holy Light

Play a game of Red Light, Green Light with the change of turning the light on and off. Students run from one side of the room to the other when the lights are dimmed. But when you turn the lights on fully, they have to stop and shield their eyes. If they keep running when the light is on, God is too much for them, and they’re out. The winner is the first one who makes it to the other side of the room.

Closing Prayer

Lord, You are a holy God, and we thank You for protecting us by not showing Yourself to us yet. We also thank You for sending Jesus to die for us so that we can be forgiven for our sins. We look forward to the day when You will make us perfect and we will be able to see you in Heaven. Amen.

This lesson is included in my book, Slaves to Conquerors: Children’s Sunday School Lessons for Exodus – Joshua.

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