Donna is a retired Christian educator who writes creative lesson plans for Sunday school, children's ministry, and home education.
What Is God Like in the Bible?
Most kids have questions about God, and there is no better way to introduce them to God the Father in the Bible than by using scripture, fun family activities, and analogies geared to their age level and comprehension.
Let' s talk about some creative ways to answer some questions like.
- Who Is God according to the Bible?
- What are the qualities of God?
Who Is God According to the Bible?
While the Bible is replete with scriptures describing God's nature and character, you can develop a comprehensive family Bible study just by using the Psalms. According to the Psalms, God is like:
- Psalm 18 - Warrior
- Psalm 23 - Shepherd
- Psalm 28:7 - Shield
- Psalm 31:3 - Fortress
- Psalm 38 - Archer
- Psalm 47: 7 - King
- Psalm 61:3 - Strong tower
- Psalm 68:5 - Father
- Psalm 71:3 - Rock
- Psalm 119:97 - Law giver
Now, this is a pretty impressive list, and one that's sure to overwhelm most children, especially the younger ones. If you are trying to help preschoolers or early elementary students learn about God, why not focus on those attributes which are easiest to explain in terms they understand?
For our purposes here, we'll discuss how God is like a:
- Fortress and strong tower
- Loving Father
What Is God Like in the Bible?
According to Psalm 47:7, God is the King of Earth, and we should sing praise songs to him.
A good way to illustrate this scripture to kids is to show them pictures of kings and explain how God is more powerful than any earthly King.
Stories or books about King David, who was one of the mightiest kings in the Old Testament, are another good way to help little learners understand about God's kingship and kingdom.
In Psalm 18, King David writes about how he depended on God to save him from his enemies and protect him from death. He describes God as a mighty warrior with a thunderous voice who fights against David's enemies with lightning and arrows.
For younger children, an image of a policeman or soldier may be easier for them to comprehend than a warrior because they are more familiar with law enforcement officers and military personnel in today's society. Explain how God always protects us.
Psalm 23 is a beautifully poetic illustration of how a shepherd cares for his flock, and the concept of God/Jesus as the Good Shepherd is used in many popular Sunday school lessons and literature.
If you are lucky enough to live in a rural area, your children have probably seen sheep but if not, a trip to the local petting zoo to pet the sheep and talk about the shepherd's duties is a fun way to reinforce this lesson about what God is like in the Bible according to Psalm 23.
A picture of a castle (including the ramparts, if possible) is a good way to illustrate to kids the concept of a fortress or strong tower. In this psalm, King David is reiterating the concepts of God's strength, protective abilities, and warrior characteristics. We can feel safe because we know God is watching over us at all times.
According to Psalm 68:5, God the Father in the Bible is a father to the fatherless.
Psalm 103:13 describes God's compassion and tender love for his children, while Psalm 27:10 assures us that even if our earthly parents desert us, God will never reject us, leave us or forsake us.
Depending on your family circumstances, you can use some or just one of these scriptures to help children understand God's role as a caring father to them. We can tell our kids something like, "I love you with all my heart, but God's love for you is even greater than mine."
Biblical Activities for Children
To help your kids remember these lessons about how God is portrayed in the Bible, use some of these lesson extension ideas.
Kids are visual. Using Christian coloring pages with the appropriate pictures is a wonderful way to reinforce these lessons about how the scriptures describe God. Provide your kids with lots of art media such as colored pencils, erasable crayons and markers, or even watercolor paints and let them decorate the coloring pages as they choose.
Edible crafts are another wonderful way to make sure they remember what they have learned about God's nature and character. Sheep cookies and cupcakes are easy to make for even the most culinary-challenged, and the kids can help with most, if not all, the preparation and clean-up chores.
Skits or Plays
Why not put together an impromptu skit? Most kids love to dress up and pretend to be someone else, so let your child be a king, warrior or one of the other personas of God's nature and character. Encourage them to tell about how they imagine God in their own words and applaud their efforts.
Write your own songs: many of the psalms we've discussed here lend themselves to the piggyback song concept. If you've never written a piggyback song, you'll be excited to see how easy it is. Just use a tune to a song your child already knows to teach the words of the scripture.
Here's an example using Psalm 23:1. Use the tune of "London Bridge is Falling Down" and this wording:
The Lord is my shepherd, yes! Shepherd - yes! Shepherd - yes! The Lord is my shepherd -yes - I have all that I need. (New Living Translation, with the word "yes" added to maintain the rhythm.)
Plant the Seeds of a Godly Heritage
No matter whether your focus is on God the Father in the Bible, God the King or even one of the other attributes of God, it's important as parents to help our children learn who God is.
Here's some helpful teaching hints:
- Use your Bible while teaching them and show them where these verses are found in the Psalms.
- Tell them the Bible is comprised of stories and events that happened to real people, not made up stories like fairy tales and myths.
Proverbs 22:6 assures us as parents that if we teach our children the truths of the Bible, they won't turn their backs on God's truth when they grow up.
© 2013 Donna Cosmato