God is good! Here’s a small one-hour session that will help children learn that God is Good. Happy teaching!
|Age Group||9 to 12 Grade (13 to 16 years)|
|Story||Naaman is healed|
|Message||God is good all the time! No matter how good or bad your situation is, God is good to you if you go to Him.|
|Bible Portion||2 Kings 5:1-15a|
|Memory Verse||Taste and see that the LORD is good. Psalm 34:8|
|Activity||‘God is good’ Kabaddi (Game)|
Materials required: None
We are going to play a small game called ‘Good Buzz’ before I share the story. [Make the children sit in a particular order so that they know when their turn comes] This is a simple game, where one person will start calling out the number ‘1’. The next person should say ‘2’ and the next person ‘3’. When you come to four, the fourth person should not say the number but instead tell something that tastes very good (Ex. Jack fruit). Then the next person will continue with 5 until you reach the next multiple of 4 which is 8. Did you get it? Shall we play? Let’s see what yummy food you all come up with! [Play the game until time permits]
How do you know that the food you mentioned was good? [Let the children answer: We know it was good because we have tasted it] That’s right! You know some food is good or bad only when you taste it. The Bible asks us to taste something greater. Do you want to know what? [Let the children answer: Yes!]
Would you all repeat after me?
Taste and see that the LORD is good. Psalm 34:8
[Repeat the verse until the children learn by rote]
The Bible asks us to taste and see GOD! Does that sound a bit strange to anyone? How do we taste God? He is not a food to be eaten for sure! 😀
In today’s story, I am going to share with you an incident that happened long ago, where a man tasted God. How did he taste Him? Did he find Him to be good or bad? Well, you will have to wait till the end to know.
“Left! Right! Left! Left! Right! Left! Forward march!” ordered Naaman. Hundreds of soldiers stood before him obeying his orders. Are you wondering who this Naaman is? Naaman was the commander of the army of the King of Syria. He was a highly respected man. The king was very pleased with him because he had won many victories for him. He was the hero of the country! Everyone knew Naaman. There could have been little children pestering their parents for some “Naaman” Hero-figures.
Though this hero had a big success story, there was a painful side too. Naaman had leprosy. Do you know how bad leprosy is? It is a skin disease causing change of color and lumps on the skin. In most cases it ends up in painful smelly sores. It is quite contagious. So not many dare to touch a leper. Which in turn forces them to live a lonely life. Naaman, put up a big strong commander look outside, but he was a rotting lonely man inside. His family who knew his condition felt very sad for him. They wondered why such a hero had to have such a painful life.
Naaman though, never gave up. He went on wars and raids and would fight his best to win in all the battles. His men had gone on raid to the land of Israel. While returning, they brought a little girl from Israel. This little girl served Naaman’s wife. As she lived longer in Naaman’s house she learnt about the disease Naaman was struggling with. In her place, Israel, when anyone was sick they would ask God to heal them and God would heal them. She knew a man of God, named Elisha, who had prayed to God for many sick people and healed them.
One day, she went to her mistress and said, “Mam, I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in my place! Then he would cure him of his leprosy.” When Mrs. Naaman heard that something good can happen to her husband, she was very excited. Soon word reached Naaman. He had already tried all the medication by the best doctors in his country, nothing good ever happened. The little girl’s words resounded in him and he thought to himself, “Let me just give this God a try. Maybe He can heal me”.
He went and told his king about the little girl’s words. His king was happy to hear about it and immediately wrote a letter to the king of Israel to help his most trusted servant, Naaman. Naaman was excited. He took some presents and supplies for the man of God whom he was going to meet. After a long journey, he and his servants reached Israel. Naaman went to the king’s palace in Israel and gave him his king’s letter. When the king of Israel read it, he was worried. He cried, “How can I heal you? Am I God?” Let me pause and ask you a question here – Do you think the king of Israel had tasted God? [Let the children answer: No!] I don’t think so too. Naaman had the same doubt – If this king had tasted God, he would know Him! He doesn’t seem to know him much!
Thankfully, Elisha, the man of God heard about all that happened in the palace. He immediately sent word and asked Naaman to come and meet him.
So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Then Elisha sent him a messenger, who said, “Go wash seven times in the Jordan and your flesh will be restored and you will be clean.” And the servant left. Naaman turned furious – “I am the hero of Syria, I am the commander of the country’s army! But look! This man has not even come out to see me!” In anger he said, “I thought he will come out, stand before me and call on the name of God, wave his hand over my spot, chant some spells and heal me!” His servants were afraid and were quietly listening to his rant. Naaman continued, “Now he wants me to wash myself in some river called Jordan here. Are there not better and clean rivers in my place? If I should wash in a river, it is better I do it in my place.” So he turned and left in rage.
His wise servants though afraid, gathered some courage and spoke to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more should you do it when he tells you, ‘Wash and be clean? Is it not simple? Why don’t you give it a try?”
Naaman being a good man, listened. He went to the river Jordan. He dipped himself once, nothing happened! He looked at his servants’ faces – they nodded saying “Six times more sir”. Naaman obeyed. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… and 7! He had dipped himself seven times. He came out of the water and looked at his servants. They looked at him speechless with surprise. His skin that had lumps and sores and that which was abnormally white as snow became like the skin of a small boy, and he was clean. Words could not express the joy in Naaman’s life. He had tasted the God who heals. He had tasted a God who does good because He is good. Naaman and his servants went back to the man of God, full of happiness and said “There is no God in all the world except this God who is good”. Naaman tasted God and found him good.
The Bible says God is good all the time! He is not just good when everything is going fine but even when things are going pretty bad in your life. Naaman’s life was not alright in the beginning. He was going through a tough time until one day he decide to taste God. And when He tasted the good God, His life became real good.
So how do you think Naaman tasted God? [Let the children answer] Naaman tasted God by going to Him. Those days, people had to travel long distances to meet men of God who would then talk to God and find answers. But today, because of what Jesus did on the cross, you and I can directly talk to God wherever we are. You can go to God right from your bench during class interval. You can go to God when you are playing with your friends in the field. Going to God is as simple as talking to Him as you would talk to a friend. You can tell him what you need, how you feel, what someone did to you or about the beautiful butterfly you spotted or your wooden cricket ball or just about anything. This is what we call prayer. You can go to God from anywhere and anytime by praying to Him. When you pray He would listen and answer you. When He answers you, you will find He is good, very good in fact!
Shall we pray?
I will talk to you often from now. I want to taste you and see how good you are just like Naaman. Amen!
Game: ‘God is good’ Kabaddi
About the game: Kabaddi is a contact team sport that is played in south Asia. This version of Kabadi is a simplified version of the real game.
Materials required: Chalk powder (to mark the field boundaries)
Preparation: Draw a big rectangular field and divide it into two equal blocks.
- Divide the children into equal less than 15 member teams.
- Only two teams can play at a time (Team A and Team B).
- Both the teams strategically place themselves within their allotted block.
- Assuming Team A starts the game, a child, ‘It’, from team A is send to team B’s block. ‘It’ loudly repeats “God is good” without pausing in between as it marches to the opponent’s area.
- The duty of ‘it’ is to tag a person in team B and run back to its own team’s block.
- While returning after tagging the team B person, if this ‘it’ is touched by any member in team B, this ‘it’ will be taken captive by Team B.
- ‘It’ cannot play any longer but will be positioned in Team B’s side until the game ends.
- The game continues by Team B sending an ‘it’ to Team A.
- In the end of the stipulated time or when all have had a chance to be ‘it’, the team with more number of captives are the winners.
Message: The ‘It’s were asked to say ‘God is good’ without pausing. Can you tell me why? [Let the children answer] To teach us that, GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME, no matter what!