ONLY ONE GOD
Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-5, 40:12–31, 43:11, 44:6, 46:1–13, 57:15, 66:1
Memory verse: Isaiah 43:11
"I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no saviour.
Before our lesson this week, locate pictures of as many of the following items as you can: a river or body of water, a star, a tree, a rock, a cow, a snake, and the sun. Glue the pictures to a sheet of cardboard.
Begin the lesson by displaying the poster you have made. Ask the students what these pictures have in common. Explain that each of the pictures shows something worshiped by a group of people in the world. For example, followers of the Shinto religion offer cakes and flowers to certain rocks and trees they believe are sacred. Taoists often build their temples near the bodies of water they worship. Hindus believe cows are holy.
Some worship items that have been created by man. However, if we Christians are not careful, we sometimes become “worshipers” of things or people by letting them become more important to us than worshipping and serving God. Explain that our lesson today deals with this very problem. The Israelites were “going through the motions” of serving the one true God, yet their time and attention were caught up with other things. God gave the prophet Isaiah a message for His people. We can learn from this message today too.
Hearing God’s Word
People in the world today have different opinions of whom or what God is. Some think God created the world and then forgot about it. Others think God is a being made up by superstitious people. Still others believe they receive God’s “energy” from such things as carved images or other objects. Sometimes we hear so many different ideas we can become confused about what we do believe. But we do not really have to wonder what God is like. He told us about himself in His Word. By reading the Bible, we can learn about Him and what our relationship with Him should be.
Isaiah the Prophet
Isaiah was one of God’s messengers in Old Testament times. Isaiah in the Hebrew language means “Yahweh (God) is salvation.” It seems that Isaiah’s family was well known and quite respected. He was informed about what was happening in the world of his day. During this time, the people of Judah were struggling with a lot of problems. Instead of taking their problems to God and letting Him help them, they looked to other nations to get them out of their trouble. These other nations influenced them to worship idols instead of the one true God. The people of Judah went through the motions of going to God’s temple, but it was all for show. They did not serve and trust God at all.
God saw what was happening. He chose Isaiah to be His spokesman to the people. Isaiah tried to help the people understand what God is like and how important it is to love and serve only God.
Characteristics of God
One important thing Isaiah taught the people is that God is eternal. This means God has no beginning and will never have an end. God was not born nor created by any kind of being. God existed before the world came into being, and He can never be destroyed. He is the Creator of all things. (Ask a student to read Isaiah 44:6.)
Not only is God eternal, He is also omniscient (pronounced om-NISH-ent). This means God knows everything. We may know people who think they know everything, but no human is really that intelligent. No one can understand all the mysteries of nature, but God does. As He created the universe, He knows everything about it. (Ask a student to read Isaiah 40:28.) He knows more about you than you do!
Omnipresent means “present everywhere at all times.” God is both in the heavens and on earth with man at the same time. (Ask a student to read Isaiah 57:15.) God cannot be put in one place. He dwells in the whole earth. (Ask a student to read Isaiah 66:1.) Some people think God’s presence dwells only in a church. How can we limit God to one building if He is present everywhere?
(Ask volunteers to read Isaiah 40:12, 26, 29.)
Ask: “What do these verses tell us about God’s nature?” (Allow response.) They show us God is omnipotent. This word means “all powerful.” The greatness of our God is awesome. There is nothing too hard for God to do. He is in control of all His creation.
God’s People Were Influenced By Others
Isaiah tried to help the people of Judah see how foolish it is to worship objects made of wood, or metal. (Ask a student to read aloud Isaiah 40:18–20.) One craftsman carves out an idol, covers it with gold, and places it in a silver base. Another, who cannot afford gold and silver, simply tries to find a piece of wood that will not rot and takes it to a craftsman who can carve a figure he can worship. But these idols are powerless, especially when compared to the One who created the very wood and metal these objects were made of. (Ask a student to read Isaiah 40:22, 23; 45:5.)
Idol Worship Today
Can you imagine serving and worshipping gods like that? There are people in some places of the world today who serve false gods. People worship many of the things God created —the sun, moon, stars, cows, and other animals. Some people even today still make gods from wood and stone. How important it is that they be told the truth about the one true God. Only He can help them with their problems. Only He can give them joy. That is why the work of missionaries is so very important. Everyone needs to hear the truth about God.
But people in faraway places are not the only ones who practice idolatry. Your neighbours next door or friends from school may be worshipping false gods. An idol or false god can be anything that takes our time and loyalty away from the one true God. These things may not be wooden statues that people bow down to, yet they are objects that people value more than they value the God who made everything. Sometimes Christians even have problems with idolatry.
Ask: “What are some present day idols people today put ahead of worshipping and obeying God?” (Allow responses.)
Some things include possessions, money, sports, food, music, video games, TV, and popularity. These things are not necessarily sinful in themselves. They may take up so much of a person’s time and attention that he does not have time to pray, read his Bible, attend church, or do other things he knows God wants him to do. In a sense he is “worshipping” these things rather than God because they are made more important than God. As Christians we must continually examine our lives for activities and objects that have become more important to us than God.
Can any of these things give us eternal life? No, they cannot. This week’s memory verse explains why we should obey and worship only God. (Recite the verse with the class.) Only He has the power to save us and meet our needs. He alone can give us eternal life in heaven. That is why it is important to serve only Him.
God Will Help the Faithful
As we are faithful to worship God and live for Him, He will be faithful to do some things for us.
(Ask volunteers to read Isaiah 40:29–31.) Life can sometimes be difficult. Pressures from school, family, and relationships with friends can be almost overwhelming. It is easy to become tempted to “go along with the crowd” just as God’s people in Isaiah’s day did. Sometimes we get tired of the struggle. That is when God can be a special help. As we faithfully follow Him, He will give us the strength we need to handle problems and pressures. He has promised to sustain, carry, and rescue His people as they put their trust in Him. Other things may disappoint us or let us down, but God never will.
We serve a great God. He is far more powerful than we can ever imagine, yet He loves each of us. Since He is all-knowing, He cares about every part of our lives. In fact, He loves us so much that He was willing to send His only Son Jesus to become the perfect sacrifice for our sins. If Jesus is not your Lord, you can accept Him today and begin a new life filled with His love and care.
Accepting God’s Word
Remind the students that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. He sees us wherever we are and knows our thoughts and actions. He knows everything about us and cares about what we are going through. Ask if there are any who desire to accept this powerful but personal God as their Saviour. Pray individually with each one who responds.
The driver of the tour company’s rented van drove our research team up into a beautiful mountain range. The terraced mountainsides were covered with deep green foliage called “khat.” The valleys were speckled with shocks of sorghum that recently had been harvested.
A family was resting under a tree above their khat farm. The husband was chewing khat, and beside him was an AK-47. It was evident that he was providing protection for his crops.
Upon inquiry, I found that the family harvested khat leaves three times a week and made a profit of 20,000 Ethiopian birr (about $1,111). No wonder everyone was growing it! Sadly, during the next two days, wherever we visited and regardless of the time, the Hararghe Oromo people were chewing khat. It is a khat-addicted society.
REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Deliverance from Addiction
1. Society to recognize the bondage of khat and that it lessens the possibility of them reaching their full potential.
2. The khat market to be disrupted so that it will no longer be an attractive source of easy cash.
3. The message to be clearly presented of Jesus' power to deliver from khat addiction
"Everything is possible for one who believes" (Mark 9:23)
Remember: ONLY ONE GOD
Memory verse: Isaiah 43:11
"I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no saviour.
1. God is eternal, knows everything and is present everywhere.
2. God is all powerful. He is in control of all things.
3. Faithful worship of God results in His faithful provision for us.
Pray for the Hararghe's Deliverance from Addiction.
Study 2 | All Peoples/The Prophets | africaatts.org/go-teach