SONG: “Bless the Lord!”
Illustration: God’s name YHWH (Yahweh, Yehovah, Jehovah) in Hebrew. Read right to left.
Scripture: Psalm 104:1-2
“Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, You are very great! You are clothed with honor and majesty, Who covers Yourself with light as with a garment: who stretches out the heavens like a curtain.”
Theme: God the Creator
LESSON FOR CHILDREN
Did you ever go camping in the country and at night you looked up at all the stars in the sky and just thought, “Wow!”?
A long time ago, someone looked up in wonder at that same big, beautiful starry sky. Then he looked all around him and saw all the many beautiful things that God had made. He saw how God provided food and water for the animals. He saw so much beauty and so many different animals and plants that he just wanted to thank God for it all. So he wrote this song, a psalm that has been handed down to us from thousands of years ago.
He begins by saying “Bless the Lord!” What does “bless” mean? If we bless God, we praise Him. If God blesses us, He does something good for us. If we want to do something nice for God, we can praise Him and tell Him how much we love Him and how great He is. God likes us to say nice things to Him just as your parents like it when you say “I love you, Mommy ” or “You’re the best Daddy in the whole world!”. God, Our Daddy in Heaven, loves to hear us say, “Gee, you’re great, God! And wow! Look at all this awesome stuff you made!” Next time you’re out at the park or the beach or in the mountains, you can write your own song of praise to Yahweh, the Creator!
“Yahweh” or “Yehovah” are different pronunciations for the name of God. If your name is John in English, it would be “Jean” (zhahn) in French and “Johann” (yo-hann) in German. God’s name in English means “I AM that I AM”. It means He IS, He always exists. God had no beginning and He will have no end. He just IS. That’s why His name is “I AM”. In Hebrew it is pronounced Yahweh or Yehovah. The one, true God who made heaven and earth told Moses to tell the children of Israel that His name was “Yahweh”. He wanted them to know His name! Do you want to know His nickname? It’s “YAH”. “YAH” is a short form for “Yahweh” just as “Sue” is short for “Susan” or “Bob” is short for Robert. When you say “Hallelujah!”, you are really saying, “Praise YAH!” If you were to say “YAH saved!” in English, do you know what name you’d get? JESUS! Jesus or Joshua are English for “Yahshua” or “Yeshua” in Hebrew. We can call Jesus, “Yeshua” also, if we like and we’ll be calling him by His Hebrew name.
This song “Bless the Lord!” also talks about how God “stretched out the heavens”. Scientists today have discovered that the universe is expanding or stretching out. Let’s think of some things that expand. Little rosebuds bloom and expand into beautiful roses. [Use prop or hand gesture of closed fist to open hand.] A rubberband stretches. [Use prop.] Sponges expand with water. [Use prop.] Well, the whole universe is stretching out… [Stretch out arms.] and guess what? God let the writer of this song know that fact thousands of years ago before the scientists knew it.
God talks about how He created the earth in the very first book of the Bible – Genesis. If a poet wrote the story of creation from Genesis as poetry, it might come out like this psalm. So it is sometimes called “The Creation Psalm”.
Everyday let’s try to look at the beautiful creation all around us and thank the Lord above for His handiwork!
Thank You, Father God, for making this very big and beautiful universe and all the wonderful things in it. Thank You especially for making my family and friends, and thank You for making ME! Amen.
LYRICS: Bless the Lord!
Bless the Lord, O my soul! Yahweh, My God!
You are very, very great! Yahweh, My God!
You are clothed with honor and majesty
You are clothed with beautiful light!
You did make the earth, sky, and stars AND ME!
O Yahweh of power & might!
You stretched out the heavens (3x)
And made this earth a special place in all that big, big cosmic space
You made this earth a special place for me.
1. Have children sway side to side with arms bent at elbows upwards, hands up, palms out, swaying side to side.
2. On “Yahweh, My God!” have children extend arms and hands totally upwards, then bring back to 1st position..
3. On “earth”, point down.
4. On “sky”, point up
5. On “me”, point thumbs to self.
6. On “stretch”, stretch hands outwards.*
7. On “big, big….” make a big circle with arms
8. On “made this earth….”, point down.
9. On “me”, point thumbs to self. Emphasize “ME”.
Suggested Props: Cosmic Curtain
I use a cloth that has been painted with glitter to look like a universe with stars and comets and such. Designated children hold this closed and on cue [“stretched”], stretch out “the heavens”. This is dramatic when there are four or so of these cosmic curtains in a group at the front.
Suggested Activities Have children color or draw a beautiful picture of something God created, a beautiful place, a favorite animal, or themselves! Or use black construction paper and gold glitter and make a picture of the starry sky. You may also collectively make a starry sky on black cloth to use the “Cosmic Curtain” mentioned above.
Scriptural References for Teachers and Parents
The first four lines of this song’s chorus is almost word for word the first two verses of Psalm 104.
“1 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with honor and majesty. 2 Who covers yourself with light as with a garment: who stretches out the heavens like a curtain”
God’s name written vertically.
YAHWEH: The Name of God
In the song, the name for God “Yahweh” or “Yehovah” [Hebrew #3068 in Strong’s concordance] is truer to the original Hebrew text. The word “LORD” is often substituted for H3068, the name of God. “LORD”, however, is not a name. It is a title.
When God revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush, He told Moses to tell the children of Israel that “I AM” [Strong’s #1961] has sent him.
“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus you shall say unto the children of Israel, I AM has sent me unto you.” (Exodus 3:14)
The title of “Lord” would not have been specific enough. God wanted them to know specifically who their Redeemer was, not just any “Lord” but THE LORD, the Great I AM that I AM, the Self-Existent One.
The Hebrew 3068 is translated in English as “Yehovah” or “Yahweh”. H3068 is from the root H1961 which is the word in Exodus 3:14. “YAH” [H3050] is a contraction for “Yehovah”
These words are the basis for the many redemptive names of God:
“Yehovah Yireh” [H3070] is “Yehovah will see to it” or more commonly, “Yehovah will provide”
“Yehovah Nissi” [H3071] is “Yehovah is my banner”
“Yehovah Tsidkenu” [H3072] is “Yehovah is my Righteousness”
“Yehovah Shalom” [H3073] is “Yehovah is Peace”
“Yehovah Shammah” [H3074] is “Yehovah is There”
and, of course, the precious name of Jesus, “Yahshua”, “Yehoshua” [H3091] or “Yahweh saved” or “Yahweh is salvation”.
Therefore, “YAH” and “Yahweh” are used in this song and in some others on this CD. It is important to familiarize children with the name of the God of the Christian, the God of the Scriptures, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Nowadays, people will claim to believe in God. But do they believe in the Judeo-Christian God? The God of the Scriptures revealed Himself to Moses as “I AM that IAM”! Hallelujah!
The Creation Psalm
Psalm 104 is a praise to the God of Creation:
“24 O LORD, how manifold are your works! in wisdom you have made them all: the earth is full of your riches!”
The Liberty Bible Commentary refers to Psalm 104 as “A poet’s version of the creation chapters of Genesis.”The next two lines of our chorus summarize the psalm which is often referred to as the “Creation Psalm”.
“You did make the earth, sky, and stars AND ME!
O Yahweh of power & might!”
The picture painted by the psalmist shows the Creator sovereign over His creation.
“3… who makes the clouds His chariot: who walks upon the wings of the wind: 4 Who makes His angels spirits; His ministers a flaming fire”
It speaks of His loving care and faithfulness in provision over His creation:
“10 He sends the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. 11 They give drink to every beast of the field….”
Let us inspire our children to see the awesomeness of God in His creation! Amen!