Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm in the bible. For many, that makes it daunting, but treating each part of the acrostic as a separate mini poem reveals great depth. Here we look at ‘bet’ or the Hebrew letter ‘b’ and how the author treasures the words of scripture as a guide for life.
Have 2 treasure chests (boxes) and divide your kids into teams. The winning team will be the ones with the most treasure in their box. Use small balls for treasure which are scatted around the area. State clearing if ‘stealing’ is allowed at the beginning of the game. Link: how do we treasure God’s word?
Hotter and hotter
Any size group
Requires setup time
A find the object game. Those who hid the objects get to call out hot and hotter or cold and colder as you move towards or away from the hiding spots. Link: verse 10.
Any size group
No Setup time
Can be seated
Using a small section of words from the Psalm as lyrics, have the youngsters make up a tune or a beat to sing the words. Add percussion instruments and work in pairs. Link: Psalms were songs sung, not read.
Any size group
No Setup time
Who can build the tallest tower, use whatever you have available. Give a time limit. Link: the Old Testament is the foundation to the New Testament.
We talk all the time, words are constantly around us, and yet in Psalm 119 we are encouraged to block out the noise and instead listen to just one voice, the voice in scripture. This craft has a person reading scripture, or more specifically a ‘mini-you’ speak scripture.
This week we look at Psalm 119. I’ve only used part of the ‘bet’ refrain from this psalm, as it’s the longest in the bible. If you have an older group or older group members, you may wish to give them another refrain from this psalm to explore too. This part of the song that references youth and so directly speaks to those who are still journeying towards adulthood. It also gives a really practical answer, in that we should dive in to the word of God, swim in the messages he gives us and not just dip our toes in the water!
These psalm lessons follow the Lectionary passages for the six weeks of year B Lent.
This retold version of the Bible passage is supplied for inspiration, feel free to omit or embellish to give it your personal voice.
Main passage: Psalm 119:9-16 Additional Passages: Psalm 119
We are going to read a song, a song Jesus may have sung with his friends, a song from the book of songs to be sung – the book called Psalms. This Psalm is a little bit special – it’s an acrostic, it gives us a little poem or verse for each of the the twenty two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Have you ever made up an acrostic? You take each letter and use it to say something. Perhaps you know an acrostic for the colours of the rainbow or the points on a compass?
Twenty two poems would take a very, very, long time to read. Psalm 119 is the longest psalm and it’s also the longest chapter in the whole bible! But just because we can’t look at all the poems doesn’t mean we can’t look at just one. Lets choose the second one, the letter ‘b’ or ‘Bet’ in Hebrew. Listen carefully and every time the writer mentions scripture (messages from God) clap your hands in the air.
9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping your word.
10 I have sought you with all my heart; don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you.
12 Lord, may you be blessed; teach me your statutes.
13 With my lips I proclaim all the judgments from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in the way revealed by your decrees as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts and think about your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
Wow – the writer must really love the word of God to mention it so much in his poem. Sometimes when we read the bible we just read the popular stories but there is so much more to discover. When we see the big picture of the whole bible it helps us to understand all the small bits too. When we read the psalms as we have done for the last few weeks it helps us understand the way people have always worshipped God. When we read the Old Testament it helps us to understand Jesus. To understand why Jesus came and why he had to die at Easter time. We should treasure the bible just like the psalm writer did.