Heavenly Help…Look Up!
Sunday School Lesson on Psalm 121 and Looking to God for Strength
Where do we go for help? Young children are familiar with the concept of needing assistance with things, and depending on age, might be quite accustomed to asking for help. Sometimes we need support physically, or we might want help answering a question or figuring out how to do something. These days, people of all ages might seek help from the internet when questions arise. There are people we can go to with questions or worries. However, all of our human help (and technology guidance) is imperfect and can let us down. This lesson highlights how our true support and protection come from the Lord our God, who made all things and promises to be with us always.
We are not alone! Children and adults often find ourselves in need of support. We can turn to a lot of things seeking help, but it is God who promises to always come to our aid. He never rests or sleeps, and will always be with us and guide us. Night or day, he keeps us from harm and loves us. It is a hopeful and wonderful reminder to kids that no matter what goes on around us, God is present and ready to help!
Don’t miss the complete Sunday School Lesson on Psalm 121, with related children’s sermon, Sunday School craft activities, and Bible lesson for kids.
Passage: Psalm 121:1-8
Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade
Materials Needed: Construction paper; lined paper; glue; markers or crayons; pictures of hills or mountains; books, maps, or research resources; tape; scissors; decorative supplies; blindfolds; small soft balls; Bibles.
Lesson Opening: This passage reminds us that God is our source of help. He never sleeps, but always watches over us, night and day, and will not let anything happen to us. It is encouraging to recall that God promises to protect and provide for us. Open with some activities to spark thought and introduce themes. Some possible ideas include:
- Protect your neighbor: This active game reminds us that God protects us. Have students play a round of dodgeball, but in pairs. Only one student in the pair can throw the ball, while the other partner must block him or her. The blocker can be hit and remain in the game, but once the thrower is hit, both are eliminated. For extra excitement, play this game with the thrower blindfolded!
- Trust leadership: This is another paired activity. Have partners help each other through a simple maze or obstacle course, but blindfold one of the pair, and have the other guide with verbal directions.
- What protects you? Look at and talk about several items that would be worn or used for protection, such as helmets, umbrellas, jackets, or even bulletproof vests. Discuss how the various items can protect our bodies, but only God can protect our souls.
- He never slumbers… Play a twist on the “What Time is it, Mr. Wolf?” game. Have one student be the watcher, and invite them to stand on one end of a playing area with their back facing the other students. Have the students line up and call out to the watcher, “are you awake yet?” The line of students will advance slowly, calling to the watcher. The watcher will choose a point to turn and chase the approaching students, trying to tag them before the reach the safety of the starting point. Any tagged students join the watcher until all student have been tagged (or play ends).
Explain to students that today’s lesson reminds us of how God is our helper, and is always with us. Sometimes we might feel scared or uncertain, and sometimes things that we turn to for help let us down. But God always wants to help us, and He will never let us down! We look to Him for hope and help, always!
Psalm 121 Bible Lesson for Children
This passage is from the Psalms, and contains some memorable (and good to memorize) verses. It’s great to go through verse by verse, offering younger students some additional description or information. You might have students take turns reading these verses, or you could choose to read them out loud and pause to explain and discuss what is being said.
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. -Psalm 121:1-2
Provide a little background for this psalm. The Israelites would recite these words as they journeyed to visit Jerusalem, the Holy city. The roads were dangerous, and the travelers would pray this psalm as an encouraging reminder of God’s presence and power in their midst. These opening verses are a reminder that our help and strength come from the Lord, who made and controls all things. The journey was hard, but the people knew that God was with them.
Ask: What’s the hardest thing you have ever had to do?
Sometimes we face scary challenges. There are things in our lives that might be uncertain or difficult, but we can trust in God and be certain that He is worthy of our hope. Why? He gives us His promise!
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep. -Psalm 121:3-4
There are a lot of human helpers that can assist us in times of need. Our parents, teachers, friends, or siblings might offer support when we feel scared or anxious. However, these helpers have struggles of their own. They grow weak and weary and make mistakes. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go to them for aid, but we recognize that they are not perfect. These verses offer the comfort of knowing that God does not sleep! He has no need for rest, and does not get tired. Because of this, He is all the more capable of caring for us, and won’t ever let anything happen to us!
Ask: Who do you turn to for help in tough situations? What gives you hope and strength?
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night. -Psalm 121:5-6
Refer back to the elements of protection that were discussed earlier in the lesson. God is a greater armor than any of those things ever could be! Of course, we know that the sun and moon still shine, but this verse encourages us with the hope that they will not harm us. The Lord will shield and protect us from elements that threaten to harm us physically or spiritually. He is our “shade”, our “umbrella” in times of fear.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore. -Psalm 121:7-8
Ask: Who knows the most about you?
There are a lot of people who know a great deal about us, but no one knows more than God. He knows us better than our families or friends, better than our teachers and pastors, better even than we know ourselves! Because God knows all about us, He will keep us safe and secure, no matter what. This is a beautiful promise and a message of hope at all times!
Close with prayer, thanking God for His presence and promise of constant protection.
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