After completing this Sunday school lesson, the children will better understand the use of the word fear in the Bible as it relates to respecting and honoring God. God doesn't want us to be terrified of Him, but we should respect and honor Him.
Fearing God, Honoring God, Knowing God, Respect
AS KIDS ARRIVE (10 minutes)
Question Slips (Activity) Click here
Before class, print and cutout the question slips. Each child in class will get one slip.
As the children arrive, have them complete the question slips. Explain that their answers will be used later in class.
OPENING PRAYER AND PRAISE (5 minutes)
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MEMORY WORK (12 minutes)
"‘For I am a great king,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and my name is to be feared among the nations.’"
Malachi 1:14b NIV
Write the memory verse on the whiteboard. Have the children say the verse aloud. Explain that God loves us and doesn't want us to be terrified of Him. However, we respect and honor Him. Have the kids read the verse again replacing the word “feared” with the word "respected." Then, as a group, read the verse once again replacing the word “feared” with the word “honored.”
SCRIPTURE READING AND DISCUSSION (15 minutes)
Introduction to this week's lesson:
Today, we are going to learn that God should be feared, but not in the way that you might expect. When you arrived, you were asked to write down the first word or words that came to mind when you read certain words. I would like everyone to share what came to mind when you read the word fear. (Write each child’s response to the word fear on the whiteboard. Likely most of their responses were Pachad type fear.
In the English language, there is only one word for fear. In the Hebrew language (the language the Old Testament was written in), there are two words for fear, pachad and yare. Both of these words are used in the Bible, but have very different meanings.
Pachad - Fear
Dread, Terror, To be startled
Yare - To stand in awe
Reverence, Respect, Recognizing the power and position of God and giving Him proper respect.
Read Psalm 22:23
1. What kind of fear is this verse referring to? (Yare.)
2. How does this Psalm command the descendants of Jacob to act towards God? (Praise Him, Honor Him, Revere Him.)
Our next verse talks about a different type of fear. King Saul had become very jealous of David and started chasing him all over the countryside. King Saul wanted to harm David and his men.
Read 1 Samuel 23:15-18
1. What kind of fear is this verse referring to? (Pachad.)
2. Would you put your hand into a fire? (No, of course not. Explain that the reason people don't put their hand in a fire is because they have yare fear of the fire. We have a respect or reverence for the rules or boundaries of the fire. It is the same with God; we know His commands and we should respect and obey them.)
CLASS EXERCISE (10 minutes)
The Fear of God (Activity) Click here
ALTERNATE CLASS EXERCISE (10 minutes)
What Type of Fear? (Object Talk) Click here
APPLICATION (5 minutes)
Today, we learned that we need to approach God with reverence and respect.
1. Has your understanding of today's memory verse changed because of this lesson?
2. How will you fear God this week?
Come back next week to learn about a judge who never makes a mistake!
CLOSING PRAYER (2 minutes)
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