The story of Job provides some of the most difficult and profound lessons in the Bible. A righteous man who has done no wrong, Job finds himself afflicted by disaster and must cope with the loss not only of his possessions, but of his wife and children as well. Teaching the story of Job to children should combine creative fun with the characters and events of the story along with opportunities to discuss and learn from its many truths.
Make a Job Face Puppet
In the story, Job experiences both deep sorrow and intense happiness. Children can represent both by making a Job puppet out of a paper lunch bag, with a happy face on one side and a sad face on the other. Use red stickers to make the boils for "sad Job," and red hearts for "happy Job." Children can stuff the bag with crumpled newspaper and attach it to a craft stick with a rubber band.
Troubles in a Jar
Make about a dozen small objects from simple materials (such as paper and cardboard glued to a small stone) that represent troubles in life. Some of the life events depicted could be a broken bone, a trip to the hospital, a friend moving away or the loss of a pet. Hand out the objects to the children as you explain their meaning. Talk about the sad feelings that accompany such events. Then have the children place the objects one at a time in a jar with a label that says "God cares about me." Explain that they can bring their troubles to God in prayer just as Job did.
The Animals of Job
The book of Job features a long, detailed list of animals which includes lions, ravens, mountain goats, deer, wild donkeys and oxen, ostriches, horses, hawks, eagles, and monsters of land and sea. The narrative also depicts awe-inspiring natural events such as thunder and hail storms, the tides and the movements of the stars. Give the children crayons, markers and butcher paper to draw these scenes as they imagine them.
The book of Job is a drama complete with characters. Assign to the children the parts of God, the Accuser (note that this is not the Christian Devil or Satan, but is more like a prosecuting attorney), Bildad, Eliphaz, Zophar, Job, Job's wife, and the messengers of bad news. If you have a big enough group, assign some to play the animals (Job's camels, oxen and donkeys and the animals spoken of by God). Have the children act out the play and then discuss what they learnt.