The sun is powerful. Step outside in the desert during the summer and the sun’s power is obvious. Yet, God is so powerful, He can not only control the sun, He created it!
The sun is mentioned quite a bit in the Bible. You can have fun with your kids learning about the sun’s power while teaching them something God wants them to know.
As always, you pick which of the three scriptures and applications you think will help your kids the most. After your Bible study, there’s a fun activity you can do with your kids to learn more about the sun.
Let’s get started!
Materials: Bible, containers with various kinds of liquids and solids that will melt (you can also use other solids if a thermometer can be inserted and temperature measured), thermometers
Procedure: Choose one of the following Bible stories and its application principles to share with your kids.
- Creation: Genesis 1. God created light before He created the sun. God created the sun before He created people. One could assume this was because people need the sun in order to survive. Ask your kids to name all of the ways the sun helps people. Talk about how God created everything. (If you want to address evolution, Answers in Genesis has lots of great resources to help.) Discuss other ways God takes care of us.
- Joshua and the Sun Stands Still: Joshua 10. Joshua was leading a battle against the five kings of the Amorites – one of the groups the Israelites needed to conquer to gain control of the Promised Land. Joshua needed more daylight to completely win the battle. He asked God for a miracle – for the sun to stand still in the sky – until they finished the battle. The Bible tells us the sun didn’t move for almost a complete day. God can do anything He wants. Because He created the sun, He can control it. He can even “overturn” the rules of nature He also created. Many people refuse to obey God because they can’t explain His miracles scientifically. Help your kids understand that miracles by definition mean God is doing something that cannot normally be done.
- Job. Job 9:1-11. The story of Job can be confusing – especially since many people quote Job’s friends as being correct when late in the book we know God thought they were speaking foolishness. Job 9 is Job’s reply to one of his friends theories about why God is allowing Job to suffer. Job points out that there is no way he can say to God he was perfect and didn’t deserve negative consequences. He does so by pointing out how great God is and how small we are to think we are wiser than God. Job mentions God’s power over the sun as one of his examples of God’s power. God wants us to remember He is wiser than any person. If He commands us to do something we don’t like, it isn’t our place to question God. We need to trust Him and do what He tells us to do. We also don’t have the right to demand a perfect life because we think we are perfect – because we aren’t.
After sharing the scriptures you chose and their application principles, explain to your kids that you are going to experiment to find out how powerful the sun can be. (Don’t worry if it’s a cloudy day, because the sun is strong enough to work through clouds. On very cold days, it may take longer to see a rise in temperature.)
Have children put various substances in containers and measure their temperatures. They may want to try things like water, soda, cooking oil, ice, margarine, etc. (For frozen items assume the starting temperature as 32*F or 0*C.)
Take the items outside and place them in the sun. Record the temperature of the various items every fifteen minutes. You may want to place similar items in the shade and note that although the sun works more slowly when diffused by shade, it still works.
After your experiment is completed, discuss the results. Explain the idea of solar power used to make electricity or heat homes or water. Review your scriptures again. Remind your kids that God is much, much more powerful than the sun and can do anything He wants to do. (For older children, you can discuss the things you do to show respect for the sun’s power like using sunscreen. Compare it to ways they should be showing respect for God’s power – obedience.)
End your study time with prayer recognizing God’s amazing power.