November 18, 2012
Focal Scripture Passage:
Psalm 18:46-49; 30:1-5, 11-12; 103:1-22
To lead students to discover some of the things for which David was
thankful, and to encourage them to make a list of things for which they want
to thank God.
Read the notes on Psalms 18; 30; and 103 found in the Sunday School
Teacher Book. Have enough of the
“Thank you, God, for …” handout for your anticipated
(Create Learning Readiness): Tell
the class that Thanksgiving is just a few days away. Ask: “What kind of
things do you and your family do on Thanksgiving?” After allowing time
for some responses, ask: “Do you set aside any time on Thanksgiving to
actually thank God for His blessings?”
Tell the class that we have been blessed in
many ways and we have much to be thankful for. Most of us bow our heads
before a meal and thank God for the food. It has been said that only
animals eat without thanking the one who provided the food; but, sadly, many
people in our world are not thankful. This week many people across America
will travel to visit family, gather around a huge meal, watch football, go
shopping, or put up Christmas decorations, but will not take time to
thank God for His goodness and provision.
Tell the class today’s lesson is about being
thankful. Through studying some of David’s psalms, we will be reminded of
many things for which we should thank God.
HEART OF THE LESSON
Ask: “What was last week’s Sunday School lesson about?”
Ask if any volunteers would recite last week’s memory verses (Psalm
37:4-5) for the class.
Ask: “Have you found yourself in any situations this week in which
you had to trust God?”
Psalm 18 – Thank God
Publicly for Salvation and Deliverance.
Tell the class that Psalm 18 is almost identical to 2 Samuel 22. The
superscription tells us that David wrote this psalm when the Lord delivered
him from his enemies and from wicked King Saul.
Ask a volunteer to read Psalm 18:46-49.
Ask: “What did David call the Lord in verse 46?” (his rock and
the God of his salvation).
Ask the class to look back at verses 47-48 and to identify some of
the things God had done for David (He avenged him, subdued the people under
him, delivered him from his enemies, and lifted him up above his enemies).
Ask: “According to verse 49, what did God’s goodness cause David
to do?” (thank and praise God).
Ask everyone to look back at verse 49, and then ask: “Where did
David thank God?” (among the heathen).
These verses teach us not only that we should thank God for the
things He has done for us, but also that we should thank God among the
heathen. In other words, we ought to let unsaved people hear us thank
and praise God. It is a good testimony for lost people to hear us thank
Psalm 30 – Thank God for
Who He is and for Turning our Weeping into Joy.
Read Psalm 30:1-3.
Tell the class in those verses David again thanked God for specific
things He had done for him.
Ask a volunteer to read Psalm 30:4.
Ask: “For what did David thank God in this verse?” (His
Explain to the class that we certainly should thank God for things He
has done, but this verse teaches us that we should also thank God for who
He is. David thanked God for His holiness. If God were not holy He
would not be God. Like David, we ought to thank God for who He is.
Read Psalm 30:5.
Ask: “Did you ever get a spanking when you were a child?” If
so, you probably felt at the moment that your parent was angry and mean to
you. Ask: “Did your parent’s anger last forever? Did you lose your
close relationship with your parent forever?” (no).
The same is true with God: He chastens us when necessary, but in time
He restores our joy.
Ask a volunteer to read Psalm 30:11-12.
Tell the class that the Bible says for “every thing there is
a season” (Eccl. 3:1). We all face times of sadness, such as at the death
of a loved one. Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us in a perpetual state of
mourning or sorrow; He brings joy out of sadness.
Psalm 30 teaches us that we should thank God for who He is and for
turning our sorrow into joy.
Psalm 103 – Thank God
Wholeheartedly for all His Benefits.
Read Psalm 103:1-2.
Explain to the class that the word bless means “to kneel as
an act of adoration, praise, salute, thank.”
In other words, it means to adore, praise, and thank.
Note that David wanted to bless and thank the Lord with his whole
heart and being. Tell the class that we sometimes say “Thank you” almost
flippantly; but our thanks and praise to God should come from the very
depths of our being.
Read Psalm 103:3-13, stopping after each verse to ask the
class to identify any “benefits” named in that verse.
Ask a volunteer to read Psalm 103:14-18.
Tell the class these verses remind us that man is nothing but dust.
We are like a beautiful flower that bursts into bloom today, but dries up
and dies tomorrow.
Read Psalm 103:19-22.
Ask: “According to verse 19, how vast is God’s kingdom?” (He
rules over everything).
Ask: “According to verse 20, who should honor, adore, and thank
God?” (His holy angels).
Ask: “According to verse 21, who else should bless and thank the
Lord?” (His army of servants who do His will; in other words, us).
Ask: “According to verse 22, what else should honor and bless the
Lord?” (everything He has created).
Psalm 103 teaches us that everyone and everything that belongs to God
should thank and praise Him wholeheartedly.
Ask everyone to turn to Romans 1. Tell them the latter verses of this
chapter (Rom. 1:23-32) describe people who have corrupted themselves through
idolatry, immorality, vile affections, and reprobate minds. These verses
sound much like the culture of modern, godless America.
Ask: “Have you ever wondered how someone
gets started on such a wicked, downward path of sin and moral depravity?”
Tell the class the answer is found in verse 21. Read Romans 1:21.
Ask if they can spot the beginning point of sin and wicked behavior (they
did not glorify God and they weren’t thankful).
Stress the fact that thankfulness toward God
is essential for right living and continued blessing. We must remember that
we didn’t create ourselves, we didn’t give ourselves life, we can’t keep
ourselves alive, we can’t make our heart beat or our brain function, we
can’t enable ourselves to feed ourselves or walk or go to school or earn a
living. The fact is that we cannot do anything without God. Ask:
“What should our response be to this truth?” (we should thank God for
His blessings and goodness to us).
Give everyone a copy of the
“Thank you, God, for …” handout. Ask them to take it home
and to set aside some time this Thanksgiving week to make a list of some
things for which they are thankful.
Ask everyone to bow their head and close
their eyes. Ask them to thank God right now for things He has brought to
their minds during this lesson. Wait a moment and then voice a closing
Ask everyone to memorize Psalm 103:1-2. Suggest that they read Psalm
103 aloud to the Lord every day this week. Be sure everyone receives a
Sunday School Member Quarterly for the new quarter.