‘I shall always bless the Lord; his praises shall be in my mouth forevermore’. Psalm 34:1

Week 1.png

Week 1 objectives: to discover that this verse was written by David at a time when King Saul was trying to trap him, and to talk about what it means to praise someone.

Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game that involves making a trap before talking about King Saul trying to trap David. 
You will need: lively music and the means to play it.   

Choose three children to make a ‘trap’. They will need to stand in a circle and join hands. They then raise their hands to form arches. When the music plays the remaining children run in and out of the circle, weaving through the arches. When the music stops the trap is ‘shut’ and the children making the trap lower their hands to close the circle. Children ‘trapped’ in the circle are ‘out’ and join the ring to make the trap bigger. As the music restarts the children making the trap raise their hands and the remaining children weave in and out again, trying not to get caught.

Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper, marker pens and a Bible.

Before the session write the verse on a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper. Circle the word 'Psalms' in the reference.

Explain that this verse comes from the book of Psalms. There are 150 Psalms in the book. Write ‘150’ on the white board. Psalms are songs or poems; they are either to God or about Him. They are in the Old Testament part of the Bible. Quickly show the children where the book of Psalms is in a Bible or ask a child to find it for you. Show the children how it is easy to find because it is roughly in the middle. See if anyone would like to have a go at finding it with their eyes closed.

People who study the Bible think that King David wrote seventy-three of the psalms. Draw King David as a stick man with a crown on his head; write ‘David’ underneath. The Bible tells us that David wrote Psalm 34. Circle number 34 in the reference. He wrote it before he was King. Rub out David’s crown.  At the time Saul was King of Israel. Draw another stick man with a crown and write ‘Saul’ underneath. When David wrote this Psalm King Saul was very cross with him; he was trying to catch him. David was running away to a safe place. He ran away to Philistia. He went to the city of Gath. (You could at this point explain that Gath was where Goliath had come from and briefly remind the children that David, as a boy, had killed the giant Goliath.) But the King of Gath didn’t want David to stay in his city so David ran away to a cave. While he was in the cave people began to join him; they made him their leader.  Point to the psalm again and remind the children that it was about this time that David wrote these words.

Underline the word ‘praise’ in the verse and quickly explain that lots of the psalms are about praising God. Ask the children if they know what it means to praise someone. Talk about praise meaning telling someone they are great, telling someone you are pleased with them and/or thanking them for doing something wonderful. Give an example of how a teacher might praise someone for working hard or being kind – give examples of things they might say such as: ‘That was fantastic, I’m so pleased with what you have done, thank you for doing that for me’. Explain that when Christians praise God they thank him for what he has done for them; they say: ‘Thank you for what you have done for me, thank you that you love me – I think you are fantastic.’

If you have time talk about the different things Christians thank God for. You might like to dig deeper (see Printables) and talk about the things we can see and the things we can’t see. 

Finally talk about how things weren’t going well for David when he wrote this Psalm, Saul was trying to catch him and the King of Gath didn’t want him in his city. However David said he would still carry on praising God. David knew that when things were tough God was still good to him and deserved to be praised. Summarise by explaining that Christians believe even when things are tough God still deserves their praise. 

Explain that over the coming weeks we will learn more about praising God as we take a closer look at this verse.

Song - 2 mins
To the tune of ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’.

    I will bless the Lord at all times his praise will always be,
    In my mouth and on my lips;
    I’ll thank him constantly. 

    So if I’m feeling lonely* or if I’m feeling fine,
    I’ll sing the psalm that David wrote, 
    And praise God all the time…

    I will bless the Lord at all times his praise will always be,
    In my mouth and on my lips;
    I’ll thank him constantly. 

*Ask the children to shout out other feelings such as sad, angry, tired, happy, hungry.

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