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Demos for Dads – Learn from the Shadows

God’s Word instructs dads to teach their children and bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. One of the best ways I’ve found to do this is to use demonstrations and activities they can see that teach a truth we want them to remember. Over the next several months, I’m going to present some demonstrations for dads to use in family devotion times that I hope will be an encouragement to all ages.

Learn From the Shadows

Lesson:  Truth about God, our Creator, man, and sin are revealed in creation, which are shadows of the truth.

Scripture Focus:

Colossians 2:16-17 : Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

Hebrews 8:5 : …[there are those] who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. . . .

Romans 1:20 : For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.



Ask each family member to select an item from anywhere in the house and bring it to devotions hidden in a towel, sheet, or box. Once everyone gathers, tell them you are going to see if the rest of the family can guess your item by its shadow. Then turn off the lights and shine a flashlight on a wall. Each member then holds their item, one at a time, in front of the flashlight beam and everyone tries to guess the item. Make sure the flashlight and item being shown are behind the rest of the group.



After each item has been displayed, put them all in front of the group and teach the lesson using the following questions and points as well as any insights you glean from the demonstration.

  • What is necessary for a shadow to be seen?
  • What does a shadow reveal? The presence of a shadow reveals the reality of the object.
  • Which is more useful or meaningful, the real object or the shadow?
  • What would you say about someone who could see the shadow, but denied the reality of the object casting the shadow?

Read the Scriptures above, pointing out that God has given us shadows of things that are true about Himself, us, and relationship with Him. In these verses, the shadows referred to are:

  • God’s commands to His people in the Old Testament about food, drink, and celebration of various days. These were shadows of Jesus Christ.
  • The design and service in the temple. These were shadows of heavenly things pertaining to God, His Son Jesus Christ, and our relationship to Him.
  • Things in creation. These are shadows of the nature of God.

Here are some of the shadows in creation. You might discuss them with your family and then add to the list. What other shadows exist in creation? You might list these on a white board or paper and then add your own observations. The shadow is what we see or what is evident to us first, and the reality or truth is what we see or understand later.

The Shadow

The Reality or Truth

The sun and the moon

God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ

God turns His heart to us, then we turn our hearts to Him

Fathers turn their hearts to their children, then they turn their hearts to their dads

The veil separating the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place is torn and so access
to God is opened [to whom, through what? Make parallel w/note to the right.]

The veil of sin separating God and man is torn, and access to God is opened to us through Jesus

The four seasons, with annual death and new life of plants

Death and resurrection of our physical bodies

God’s design of sexual intimacy, and union of male and female in marriage

God’s design of spiritual intimacy with Him through union with Jesus Christ

Physical death of creatures

Spiritual death due to Adam’s and our sin

Children honoring their parents

God’s children honoring Him



Have someone read Romans 1:18-23. According to Paul in Romans, because of the shadows of God revealed in creation, all people are responsible to honor God as their Creator and give Him thanks for all things. Why do people ignore and deny the shadows of God which surround them every day? Why can’t they see the meaning in the shadows of God? Instead of worshiping God, they worship the creature. Instead of worshiping the divine Object who casts the shadows, they make the shadows into gods. What examples can you and your children give that illustrate this great evil?


Closing prayer:

Father in heaven, we worship You as our Creator. We thank You for mercy and forgiveness when we have failed to worship, honor, and thank You and instead have worshiped the things You have created. Please help us acknowledge Your presence and honor You by how we use the things You have made and given to us for our blessing. Thank You for making Yourself known in Your creation. We are especially thankful for these shadows that let us know You are near. (Then let each person thank God for the shadow that is most meaningful to him/her).  Amen.


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