Genesis 1:27–2:25; 3; Jeremiah 10:12, 13; Psalm 19:1-7; 104; Matthew 6:25-34
God created nature for mankind. Though marred by sin, nature still provides a healing environment in which to grow and learn more about our Creator.
Bibles, paper, pencils, glue, materials from nature (moss, leaves, twigs, etc.)
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Describe a time and place when you were in nature and really felt God’s presence.
- As you listen to others share, do you notice any similarities in people’s experiences? If so, what are they?
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- What do you believe God’s purpose was in creating nature for us? Take a piece of paper and draw lines to divide it into four quadrants. In each square draw a simple object from nature (such as a tree) and write underneath it one of the reasons you believe God created nature for us.
- Thought Questions
Gehazi was Elisha’s servant. He was lucky to serve one of the greatest prophets in the Bible. Many stories show his involvement in miraculous events. Read 2 Kings 4:8-37 and put yourself in Gehazi’s place. How would you have felt?
- What a privilege! I would have thanked God every day to be so closely associated with Elisha.
- Perhaps like many jobs, it would have gotten “routine” for Gehazi―even the miracles.
- Seeing a dead boy raised to life would have sealed my faith in God’s power for the rest of my life!
- Gehazi seemed a little protective of Elisha in verse 27. I wonder why?
- Elisha involved Gehazi in too much of the detail work (verse 36); Gehazi was more of a big-picture person.
One of the greatest miracles of Elisha’s ministry was the healing of Naaman the leper. Read 2 Kings 5 and look closely at Gehazi’s actions. What do you think of his receiving the silver and clothing?
- I think he deserved some compensation. Too often God’s servants live in poverty and deserve to be paid more.
- I think he deserved what he got (leprosy). He lied more than once and was absolutely deceptive.
- This incident reveals how one sin (greed) leads to another (lying).
- Can you identify Gehazi’s rationalization for getting what he wanted? (See verse 20.)
- It was admirable that Elisha tried to protect “new-believer” Naaman from his servant’s greediness.
The heavens remain one nature’s greatest untouched wonders. Read Psalm 19:1-7 and think about what you can learn from looking up into the only part of nature that sin has not yet marred.
- It never occurred to me that I can observe a part of God’s nature that sin has not touched.
- The vast distances between planets, stars, and galaxies boggles the mind and teaches us how great God is.
- The warm, life-giving sunshine teaches us how much we need God to shine into our hearts every day.
- It’s a good reminder that astronomy, not astrology, gives us the best revelations of God.
- Viewing the vast star-studded sky helps me to see how small I am and how big God is!
Worry is one of the most common mental-health maladies of our time. Read Matthew 6:25-34. How can we learn not to worry by observing the things of creation?
- Look at the flowers. They do not worry. God cares for flowers and will care for you, too.
- Look at the fish in the sea. They don’t worry about their next meal.
- Look at how little birds sing sweet songs and fly around looking for food. They don’t worry.
- Don’t live in denial. Natural disasters devastate nature (plants, animals, atmosphere) all the time. You have to worry!
- Obviously the lesson is to trust in the One who holds the whole world in loving hands.
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: After reading about a flood that killed 73 people, a friend says to you, “God may have gotten things started on our planet, but I think the Creator packed up and went home.” How might today’s lesson help you share another perspective?
- Option 2: Choose one verse from this lesson and create a nature hanging. Write the verse out and decorate it by gluing pieces of nature (leaves, twigs, moss, etc.) to it. Have fun! Take it home and hang it on your refrigerator.
- Option 3: Think of an antidote for worry. Use the word TRUST as an acronym for your worry medicine. For instance, the first letter in trust, “T”, might represent “Time alone with God in nature.” What might the other letters represent?
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Do you need to spend more time in nature? Has something in this lesson convicted you to connect more regularly with God outside? How might you enjoy this healing environment during the coming week?
- As a group, pray together and thank God for things in nature that speak to your senses about how much our Creator cares for you.
Next Week’s Scripture Focus:
Psalm 31:24; Matthew 6:14, 15; 25:34-46; 26:36-44; Mark 1:21-35; Luke 4:31-42; John 15:4