Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Best King David Children's Sunday School Lessons

This post includes 7 children's Sunday School lessons about King David.

God Rejects Saul and Chooses David

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson about David to teach children about how God judges us for who we are on the inside.


Needed: Bibles, gift bags or wrapped boxes with dirt in them and one plain bag or box with a snack or prize to share


Intro Game: Looks Can Be Deceiving part 1– Set out a series of decorative bags or boxes on a table. These bags all have dirt in them. Set one plain bag or box in a visible but inconspicuous location elsewhere in your room. This plain bag or box has a snack or prize to share with the group.

Tell students that there’s a snack or prize in one of the boxes. Then, ask for one volunteer at a time to come up and choose one of the bags or boxes. They open it to reveal dirt. One student might spot the plain bag or box. If they do, they can choose to open it instead of the more decorative options.

If no students choose the plain bag or box, tell them that there must be one more option somewhere in the room. The first one to spot it gets to open it.

Then, explain that looks can be deceiving. Just because something looks nice on the outside doesn’t mean that it has something good on the inside. And sometimes, what doesn’t look very special on the outside does have something wonderful inside.

God always judges by what’s on the inside, not what’s on the outside. He judges our hearts, not what we look like.


Lesson: Last time, we learned about how the people of Israel asked Samuel to make one of them king. God said that He would choose someone and make them king, but He also warned the people that sometimes the king would not be a good king and that he would do wrong things. Then God chose the first king of Israel. Does anyone remember who the first king of Israel was? (Saul.)

(Read 1 Samuel 13-16:13 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)


Summary Story: The Bible tells us that Saul was 30 years old when he became king, and he ruled over Israel for 42 years. That’s a long time, isn’t it?

And Saul was a good king for most of that time, but King Saul made some mistakes during his kingship. One time, when he and his army were fighting against the Philistines, he asked Samuel to come to make a sacrifice to God for him. But when Samuel didn’t come in time, and the Philistines started to win the battle, King Saul made the sacrifice himself.

When Samuel got there, he told Saul that he shouldn’t have done that because only priests were allowed to make the sacrifices and no one else, not even the king.

Another time, God told Saul to take his army and to attack the Amalekites. And God said, “Usually, when you attack someone, I let you take their things too. But this time, when you attack the Amalekites, I don’t want you to take anything because I am punishing the Amalekites by having you attack them. I want you to kill all of them as a punishment.”

But when Saul and the army attacked the Amalekites, they didn’t listen to God. They let the king of the Amalekites live, and they took all the Amalekites’ sheep and cows for themselves.

Because of this, God told Samuel, “I’m sorry that I made Saul king. He doesn’t listen to Me. I am going to make someone else king who will listen to Me and do what I tell them.”

When Samuel went to see King Saul, Saul said, “Samuel, I did everything God told me to do.”

But Samuel asked, “Then, why do you have so many new cows and sheep?”

Saul said, “We took them from the Amalekites so that we could sacrifice them to God. We weren’t going to keep them.”

But Samuel said, “Enough! God told you to kill all of the Amalekites and not to take any of their things. But you let their king live and took all these sheep and cows. God didn’t tell you to bring them here to sacrifice. He told you to leave them there. Now, because you have disobeyed God, He is going to choose someone else to be king.”

Then Samuel said, “Bring the king of the Amalekites to me.” They brought him to Samuel, and Samuel killed the king of the Amalekites himself.

Let’s stop our story there for a second. King Saul was getting in trouble because he wasn’t listening to God, wasn’t he? We have to be careful to listen to what God says exactly and do what He says exactly. We can’t add anything to what God says or take away anything from what God says.

We’re going to play a game to help us remember that we have to listen to God exactly.


Game: Telephone - Have students sit in a line or in a circle. You’ll whisper a message to the first student, and they’ll pass it on. See how close the message is to what you said when it gets to the end. The goal is to have the message stay as close to the original all the way through.


Story Continues: A little while later, God said, “Samuel, I want you to go see a man named Jesse. I have chosen one of his sons to be the new king.”

Samuel was afraid to go. He said, “God, if I go make someone else king, King Saul will be jealous, and he will kill me.”

So, God said, “Don’t tell anyone that you’re going to make someone else king. Do it in secret.”

Samuel went to Bethlehem…

Does anyone remember what else happened in the town of Bethlehem? (The birth of Jesus!)

Samuel went to Bethlehem, the town where Jesse lived, and invited Jesse and his family to have a feast with him. Then, when Jesse’s oldest son came in, Samuel thought, “This must be the one who God has chosen to be king. He’s so tall and handsome.”

But God said, “He is not the one. People look at a person’s looks, but I look at a person’s heart. I look to see if they love Me and if they do the right things.”

Seven of Jesse’s sons came to the feast, but God said, “I have not chosen any of these to be the new king.”

So, Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all of your sons?”

“No,” Jesse said. “There is still one more taking care of the sheep. He’s the youngest.”

Samuel said, “Call for him to come to the feast. We won’t start until he gets here.”

A little while later, Jesse’s youngest son came in. His name was David. God told Samuel, “He is the one I have chosen to be king.”

So, Samuel went over to David and poured olive oil on his head. Samuel said, “God has chosen you to be the next king.” And God’s Holy Spirit came down on David.


Review Questions
Why did God say that Saul couldn’t be king anymore? (Because Saul wasn’t listening to God. He was doing wrong things.)

When God chose David to be king, He told Samuel that God doesn’t look a person’s looks, but at a person’s what? (Heart.)

God looks to see if we love Him and if we will do the right things. If we love God and do the right things that He wants us to, then God will be happy with us, just like He was happy with David and made him the new king.


Game: Looks Can Be Deceiving part 2 – For the second part of this demonstration, you’ll play an active game. It can be almost anything that kids know the rules for. The trick is that you’ll change one of the normal rules. If you’re playing soccer, for instance, set up a goal as usual but also set up a cone to mark the boundaries of the play area. Without telling students, you’ll decide that a team gets a point whenever they kick the ball “out of bounds,” not when they get a goal.

Let the kids figure out the new rule. Then, explain that it looked like the point of the game was to kick the ball into the goal, but looks can be deceiving. Just because something looks how it should be doesn’t mean that it’s right. God looks past how something looks, and so should we.

Once kids figure out the new rule and you give them the explanation, you can continue playing by the new rule or revert back to normal rules, whichever is easier.

Closing Prayer: Father God, we know that you look at our hearts, not how we look. So, we pray that You will help us to keep our hearts pure and clean for you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.


Recommended Extras

Samuel Anoints David – free coloring and activity pages

David Playing the Harp – free coloring page

Different Containers, Same Content – free object lesson for teaching on how God looks at our hearts, not our appearance




David and Goliath

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids about how God helped David defeat Goliath and how He can help us in every situation.


Needed: Bibles, a simple musical instrument such as a toy drum or toy keyboard, balls, socks, bucket or trashcan


Intro Game 1: Soothing the King – Tell kids to line up one side of your play area. You stand at the other end with a toy musical instrument behind you. Tell them that you’re King Saul. When you say, “Go!” the kids will try to run past you to play the musical instrument. If you tag any of them before they can play the musical instrument, they’re out. Once one of them does play the instrument, the round is over.

Students who are still in the game return to the other side of the play area, and you signal the new round to begin. The last student in the game becomes the new King Saul.


Intro Game 2: Challenge! – Choose one thing that you’re good at and that you have a high chance of beating the kids at. It could be running a race or finding random books in the Bible or any other short activity you can think of. Show kids a snack or prize and tell them that you’ll give it to them if they can defeat you in your challenge. You’ll let them challenge you one by one, and if any of them wins, the group gets the snack or prize.

When one of them wins or once they’ve all tried, explain that today’s story is about someone answering a challenge. Then, give them the snack or prize.


Lesson: So far, we’ve learned about how God told Samuel to make Saul the first king of Israel. But after Saul had been king of Israel for a long time, he started to do things that God didn’t want him to do. God told Saul that he couldn’t be king anymore and God told Samuel to choose David to be the next king.

Today, we’re going to learn about what happened next to Saul and David.

(Read 1 Samuel 16:14-17:58 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)


Summary Story: God’s Holy Spirit left King Saul because Saul had sinned against God. From then on, King Saul would often become angry or sad. No one could make him feel better, so his servants had the idea that maybe listening to some music would make Saul feel better.

Saul decided to try it. Everyone knew that David played music very well, so King Saul called for David to come to live in the palace with him. King Saul didn’t know that God and Samuel had chosen David to be the next king.

Whenever Saul was in a bad mood, David would play music on his instrument and make Saul feel better for a little while.

A little while after that, though, the Philistines came and attacked Israel again. King Saul and his army went to fight the Israelites, and David went back to his father’s house because he was still too young to fight.

The Philistines didn’t attack the Israelite army, though. Instead, they sent out their best fighter, a man named Goliath. Goliath was the tallest man there was back then. He was nine and a half feet tall. He was huge. Every day, he would come out of his tent with all of his armor on and holding a long spear, and he would say, “I challenge you, Israelites. Send out one man to fight me. If he wins, all of us Philistines will be your slaves. But if I win, then all of the Israelites have to be our slaves.”

But none of the Israelites were brave enough to go fight Goliath. He was just too big and scary. Every day, for 40 days, he would come out and challenge the Israelites, “Send out one man to fight me,” but no one ever did.

Until one day, David’s father sent David to take some food to his brothers in the army. While David was there, he heard Goliath saying this. David asked, “Why doesn’t someone go fight him? We can win. We have God on our side.”

But no one would go fight Goliath. So, David asked, “What will I get if I go fight him?”

The men in the army said, “If someone goes to fight Goliath and wins, King Saul will give him a lot of money and will also let him marry his daughter, the princess.”

Then, David said, “I’ll go fight Goliath. I’m not afraid.”

When King Saul heard what David was saying, he said, “David, you can’t go fight Goliath. You’re just a teenager, and he’s a grown man. He’s a warrior.”

But David said, “King Saul, I am a shepherd. Whenever a lion or a bear tries to steal one of my sheep, I fight the lion or bear, and I kill them. I rescue my sheep from them. I will kill this Philistine, Goliath, just like I killed all of those lions and bears. I’m not afraid. God helped me fight the lions, and the bears and God will help me fight Goliath too.”

So, Saul gave his permission for David to go fight Goliath, but he made David wear some armor first.

David tried on the armor and the helmet, and he practiced using a sword. But he couldn’t move very well. The armor was too big for him. He took it off and said, “I can’t go fight like this.”

Then, David took his shepherd’s staff and his sling. He picked smooth stones out of the river and put them in his bag. Then, he went out to fight Goliath.

Goliath looked at David and laughed. “You’re only a boy,” Goliath said, “and you don’t even have a sword, just a stick for a staff. Come here so I can kill you. I’ll let the birds and animals eat your dead body.”

But David answered, “You want to fight me with your sword, but I will fight you in the power of God. God will help me win, and then, I will cut off your head.”

Goliath ran at David, swinging his sword. But David took out his sling, put one of his rocks into it, and swung it over his head. The rock flew out and hit Goliath right between the eyes.

Goliath fell down dead, and David ran up and took Goliath’s sword. He cut off Goliath’s head with his own sword.

Seeing that Goliath had lost, the soldiers in the Philistine army all tried to run away, but the Israelite army chased them and beat them. And David kept Goliath’s sword for himself.


Review Questions
What did David do to make Saul feel better when he was in a bad mood? (He played music for him.)

Do you think God wants us to help people feel better when they’re in a bad mood? (Yes.)

What are some things you can do to help make somebody feel better when they’re sad or angry about something? (Suggestions could include talking to them, giving them a hug, doing something nice for them, etc.)

Why wasn’t David afraid of Goliath? (David knew that God would help him beat Goliath.)

Do you think God can help you when you’re afraid? (Yes.)

God is always with us, and He can always help us to be brave when we’re nervous or afraid. Remember, God is stronger than everything. If He can help David defeat Goliath with only a single stone, He can help us with anything.


Game: Sling Shot - Put a soft ball in a sock and give a “sling” to each student. Put a bucket or garbage can a few feet away. Tell students that they have to swing the sock over their head and then, sling it to try to get it in the bucket. They let the sock loose along with the ball inside it.

After everyone has thrown, students retrieve their sock slings and start round two. Each time their sock lands in the bucket, they get a point. The student with the most points at the end wins. Play as long as time permits or interest continues.

Remind students that God helped David beat the huge Goliath with only a single stone.


Closing Prayer: God, thank You for this lesson about David. Help us to remember that You can help us in every situation. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.


Recommended Extras

Superbook: A Giant Adventure – an animated video from the updated Superbook series, includes time-traveling children who learn lessons from the story

Greatest Adventure Stories from the Bible: David and Goliath – animated video with time-traveling teenagers who witness the Biblical story, realistic art style

Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible – another animated video with a Disneyesque art style and no time traveling

David and Goliath Bible Story – free animated video telling the story

David Plays for King Saul and David and Goliath – free coloring and activity pages

Five Smooth Stones – free object lesson to show kids the five qualities we need to overcome difficulties in our life




King Saul Tries to Kill David, but David Won’t Kill Saul

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson about David to teach children about how we should treat our enemies.


Needed: Bibles


Intro Game: Soothing the King (from the last lesson) – Tell kids to line up one side of your play area. You stand at the other end with a toy musical instrument behind you. Tell them that you’re King Saul. When you say, “Go!” the kids will try to run past you to play the musical instrument. If you tag any of them before they can play the musical instrument, they’re out. Once one of them does play the instrument, the round is over.

Students who are still in the game return to the other side of the play area, and you signal the new round to begin. The last student in the game becomes the new King Saul.


Lesson: So far, we’ve learned about how God told Samuel to make Saul the first king of Israel. But after Saul had been king of Israel for a long time, he started to do things that God didn’t want him to do. God told Saul that he couldn’t be king anymore and God told Samuel to choose David to be the next king.

Saul didn’t know that David had been picked to be the next king, so, whenever Saul was in a bad mood, David would play music for him and make him feel better.

When the Philistines attacked Israel, it was David who was brave enough to go fight the huge man, Goliath, and kill him, even though David was only a young teenager. God helped David beat Goliath with only a sling and a stone, and Israel won the war against the Philistines.

Today, we’re going to learn about what happened next to Saul and David.

(Read 1 Samuel 18-24, 26 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)


Summary Story: After David killed Goliath, he went back to live in the palace with King Saul. King Saul had a son named Jonathan, and David and Jonathan became best friends.

David also joined the army and won many more battles for Israel. All of the Israelites loved David, and they made songs to sing about him. When King Saul heard the songs, though, he became jealous. He thought that people were starting to like David more than they liked him.

Saul was in such a bad mood about it that he asked David to play some music for him so that maybe he could feel better. But while David was playing his instrument, King Saul picked up a spear and threw it at David. He tried to kill David because people liked David more than him, but David moved out of the way, and the spear missed him.

Saul said he was sorry and blamed it on his bad mood. Then, he sent David to fight in another war against the Philistines. Saul hoped that David would die in the battle against the Philistines, but he didn’t.

Then, Saul said, “David, I want you to marry my daughter, Princess Michal. All you have to do is kill one hundred Philistines.”

King Saul thought, “David will never be able to kill a hundred Philistines. They’ll kill him for sure.”

Do you think David can kill a hundred Philistines?

David did not kill a hundred Philistine soldiers. He killed 200 Philistine soldiers, and so, King Saul had to let David marry Princess Michal.

Meanwhile, King Saul kept getting more and more jealous of David. Finally, he told his son, Jonathan, and the rest of his soldiers to kill David. But Jonathan was David’s best friend, and he warned David to run away.

David went home, but some of Saul’s soldiers came to kill him. Seeing them coming, Princess Michal, David’s wife, helped David escape out the window.

Some of the soldiers who liked David more than Saul went with him and they made their own army in the desert. They would attack Israel’s enemies, but would never attack King Saul or his army. Two times, King Saul and his army went out chasing David so that King Saul could kill him.

One time, David and his army were hiding in a cave. King Saul didn’t know they were in there. so he went into the cave to go to the bathroom. While King Saul was going to the bathroom, David snuck up and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe.

When Saul walked back out of the cave, David followed him and said, “Look!” He showed him the piece of Saul’s robe he had cut off. “I could have killed you today, but I didn’t. Why are you trying to kill me?”

Saul was glad that David hadn’t killed him and he said he was sorry for chasing David and trying to kill him. He said he wouldn’t chase David anymore and went home.

But a little while later, Saul got jealous of David again. He took his army to chase David and try to kill him. This time, when it was dark, and everyone was sleeping, David snuck into King Saul’s camp and took Saul’s spear and water jug.

When David had snuck back out of King Saul’s camp, he yelled at him and said, “King Saul, look! I have your spear and water jug. I could have killed you tonight, but I didn’t. Why are you trying to kill me?”

So again, King Saul said he was sorry and went home.


Review Questions
David and Jonathan were best friends. Do you have a best friend? What do you like to do with your friend?

God gave us friends so that we could help them and have fun with them.

Why was King Saul trying to kill David all those times? (Because Saul was jealous of David.)

What would you have done to King Saul if you were David?

Even though King Saul was chasing David and trying to kill him, David knew that it would be wrong to hurt King Saul back. Remember, when someone hits you or does something wrong to you, be like David and don’t hurt them back.


Game: Sneaking Up on Saul – Remind students that David snuck on King Saul twice, but didn’t hurt him. In this game, one student at a time will be David. All the other students will spread out around the play area and close their eyes. They’re all King Saul. David will try to sneak up and tap one of them. If any of the other students hear the David, the David has one more chance to try again. Whether the student succeeds or fails, they become a Saul as you choose a new David.


Game: Friend Relay Race – Remind students that David and King Saul’s son Jonathan were best friends. Have them choose a partner. Then, each pair will complete the following steps of the relay race together. The first pair to complete all the legs of the relay race wins.

Leg 1: Skip in step together.
Leg 2: Give high fives to each other.
Leg 3: Walk back to back.
Leg 4: Link arms and spin each around.
Leg 5: Hop in step together.

Play again if time permits but make students choose a new partner.


Closing Prayer: God, help us to have a loving heart that even loves our enemies. When someone does something wrong to us, help us to do something good for them. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.


Recommended Extras

Superbook: David and Saul – an animated video from the updated Superbook series, includes time-traveling children who learn lessons from the story

David Spares Saul’s Life – free coloring and activity pages




David and Nabal – Abigail Makes David Feel Better

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson about David to teach children how to minister to others.


Needed: Bibles, random items, drawing paper, and crayons or colored pencils


Intro Game: Pacifying David – Choose something around your room. Tell students that you’re going to play a game of tag. The only way to make you stop chasing them is for them to bring you what you want. Give them a clue as to the item’s color or shape.

When one of the students brings you the item, you stop. That student is now It, and they must choose a new item. Have them whisper what it is to you so that you can referee the game. If none of the students bring you what you want before you tag them all, simply choose the last student in the game to be It for the next round.


Lesson: So far, we’ve learned about how God told Samuel to make Saul the first king of Israel. But after Saul had been king of Israel for a long time, he started to do things that God didn’t want him to do. God told Saul that he couldn’t be king anymore and God told Samuel to choose David to be the next king.

Saul didn’t know that David had been picked to be the next king, but soon, Saul started to get jealous of David because all the Israelites liked David more than Saul. King Saul even tried to kill David, so David had to run away into the desert.

Today, we’re going to learn about what happened to David one day while he was in the desert.

(Read 1 Samuel 25 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)


Summary Story: There was a very rich man named Nabal living in the desert. He had a thousand goats and 3,000 sheep. David and the men in his army were hungry from running from King Saul, so David sent a messenger to ask Nabal to give David and his army some food.

If you were a rich man like Nabal and David asked you some for some food, would you give it to him?

God likes it when we help other people, especially when they’re hungry.

But Nabal said that he would not give any food to David and his army. The messengers came back to David and told him that Nabal wouldn’t give them any food.

How do you think you would feel if you were David and Nabal said he wouldn’t give you any food?

David was angry that Nabal wouldn’t give him any food. He was so angry, he said, “I’m going to go kill Nabal!”

Do you think David should kill Nabal just because Nabal wouldn’t give him any food? (No.)

God doesn’t like us to lose our temper and hurt people. It’s not nice when people are mean to us, but God wants us to forgive them and not hurt them back.

So, David was doing the wrong thing. He was going to kill Nabal. But then, Nabal’s wife came to see David. Her name was Abigail. Abigail said, “David, please forgive Nabal. He was mean not to give you some food. Look, I brought some food for you and your army. Please don’t kill Nabal.”

Then, David was happy, and he said, “Abigail, thank you. I didn’t want to kill Nabal. I just lost my temper. Now that you were nice and brought us some food, that makes me feel better. I won’t hurt Nabal.”

When Abigail went home, Nabal was drunk from alcohol, and she didn’t tell him that she had taken food to David and his army. The next morning, though, she did tell Nabal. Nabal was angry with Abigail for taking David some food. Nabal was still a mean man.

But then, God made Nabal have a heart attack, and he died.

Why do you think God made Nabal have a heart attack? (God made Nabal have a heart attack to punish him for being mean.)

After Nabal died, Abigail went and married David.


Review Questions
What was the good thing that Abigail did in this story? (She was nice and brought David some food.)

David was very angry with Nabal, but when Abigail brought David the food, that helped him to feel better, and she helped him not to do the wrong thing by killing Nabal. When we see someone who is angry or upset, what can we do to make them feel better? (Talk to them, give them a hug, do nice things for them, etc.)

God was happy with Abigail because she helped David to feel better and helped keep David from doing the wrong thing. God will be happy with us too if we try to make people feel better whenever we can.


Craft: Helping Others Feel Better – Give students drawing paper and crayons or colored pencils. Ask them to draw two sets of pictures or comic strips. The first is something someone could do to make them feel better when they’re angry or upset. The second is something they could do for someone else who is angry or upset. When they’re finished, have each student share both of their drawings.


Game: Pacifying David – Play the intro game again, this time reminding students that David let go of his anger once Abigail brought him the food that he wanted.


Closing Prayer: God, we pray that you’ll help us to keep our anger control and to help other people when they feel angry or upset. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.




Saul Visits a Witch and David Becomes King

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids about what happens when we die.


Needed: Bibles, soft balls or paper wads


Intro Activity: Acting It Out – Divide students into groups of two or three. Give them a few minutes to think of their skit. Then, have each group act out what they think happens when someone dies.


Lesson: So far, we’ve learned about how God told Samuel to make Saul the first king of Israel. But after Saul had been king of Israel for a long time, he started to do things that God didn’t want him to do. God told Saul that he couldn’t be king anymore and God told Samuel to choose David to be the next king.

Today, we’re going to learn about what happened next to Saul and David.

(Read 1 Samuel 28-2 Samuel 2 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)


Summary Story: Again, the Philistine army attacked Israel. The Philistines were Israel’s worst enemy. King Saul was an old man by now, and he was especially afraid of the Philistines this time.

There was a law in Israel that no one should try to be a witch or talk to ghosts because it was against God’s rules to do that.

Why do you think God doesn’t want anyone to try to be a witch and use magic?

People can’t do real magic. When someone does magic, they’re either doing a trick to make you think they’re doing magic or the devil and his demons are making something happen to make it look like the person is doing magic. The devil and the demons can do some things, but God doesn’t want us to have anything to do with the devil. If we want something to happen, God wants us to ask Him. God can do miracles if He wants to, so He wants us to pray to Him instead of trying to use magic.

But even though it was against God’s rules, Saul went to go see a witch anyway. He wore different clothes so that the witch wouldn’t know he was the king and he went and asked her to bring Samuel’s ghost back from the grave so that he could talk to Samuel about the war with the Philistines.

Do you think the witch can bring Samuel’s ghost back from the grave? Are ghosts real?

Ghosts are real in a sense. We all have spirits. Another name for our spirit could be a ghost. But witches can’t bring ghosts back from the grave. When we die, our spirits go to Heaven or Hell and witches can’t make our spirits come back from Heaven or back from Hell. Our spirits stay where they are – either in Heaven or Hell – unless God moves them somewhere else.

We know that when Jesus comes back, He’ll bring our spirits back with Him and put them back into our new, resurrected bodies.

But this time, when the witch tried to bring Samuel’s ghost back from the grave, it came up! If the witch couldn’t make Samuel’s spirit come back, who did? (God.)

God let Samuel’s spirit come back to talk to Saul one more time.

Samuel’s spirit said, “Saul, why did you wake my spirit up from the grave?”

Saul said, “Samuel, I’m afraid of the Philistines. What should I do?”

Samuel answered, “You can’t do anything. I told you when I was alive that God wasn’t going to let you be king anymore because of the bad things you did. Now, the Philistines are going to defeat you, and someone else will be the king of Israel instead of you.”

When Saul heard this, he fell down on the ground because he was so afraid, and Samuel’s spirit went back into the ground.

The next day, the Israelites fought against the Philistines, but the Philistines won. David’s best friend and Saul’s son, Jonathan, died in the battle. Saul was shot with arrows, but he wasn’t dead yet. He told one of his soldiers to kill him because he knew he was going to die and because the arrows hurt him so bad.

Do you think the soldier should kill King Saul?

What could the soldier do instead of killing him? (He could try to help King Saul get better and not die.)

The soldier was too afraid to kill King Saul, so Saul took his own sword and stabbed himself with it. But he still wasn’t dead, so he asked another soldier to kill him, and this one did.

Three days later, that soldier went and found David and told him what happened. David asked why the soldier didn’t try to help King Saul instead of killing him. And David killed the soldier because he had done the wrong thing. The soldier should have tried to help King Saul get better instead of killing him.

Then, David became the king of Israel because God had chosen him to be the next king after Saul.


Review Questions
Why did God say that Saul couldn’t be king anymore? (Because Saul had done wrong things and wasn’t listening to God.)

Why did David kill the soldier who killed Saul? (Because it was wrong for the soldier to kill Saul even if Saul wanted him to. We’re not allowed to kill ourselves or ask other people to kill us. The soldier should have tried to help Saul get better instead.)


Game: Resurrection Tag! – Divide students into two teams and play a game of freeze tag. When students get tagged, they freeze in place. They are Dead. Every few seconds, the leader runs through the playing field, pretending to be Jesus. When Jesus runs through, the Dead are unfrozen.

Perform this action a few times and then, switch which team is chasing the other.


Game: Taking Our Place – Play a game of dodgeball with soft play balls or paper wads. When one team starts to accumulate a lot of players in the “Out” zone, run in and say that you’ll take their place being out. They can get back in the game. Do the same for the other team. Keep doing it as long as time allows.

Then, explain that just like you were taking the place of people who were out, Jesus took our place on the cross. He took our punishment so that we could be forgiven for our sins. He even took our place in Hell when He died and went there for three days so that when we die, we don’t have to go to Hell. Our spirits can go to Heaven instead.

An alternative is a game of two-team tag. Take the place of students who are tagged and out of the game.


Closing Prayer: Jesus, we thank You for coming to take our place on the cross and in Hell so that our spirits can go to Heaven when we die. Help us to trust in You all of our days. Amen.




Good Idea or Bad Idea? Uzzah Catches the Ark

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids how to make the best decisions.


Needed: picture of Adam and Eve in the Garden, a piece of fruit, picture of the Ark of the Covenant, cookies or different levels of prizes


Into Game: Good vs. Best – For this game show type game, you’ll call on volunteers to come up and answer a question about the Bible (choose questions you think kids will know). If they get the answer right, give them a cookie or other small prize. Then, tell them that they can take their one cookie or prize and sit down or they can try to answer another question. If they get the second question right, they’ll get a second cookie or an even better prize. If they get it wrong, they lose their cookie or prize they earned from answering the first question.

When everyone who wants to has had a chance to play, ask, Was it a difficult choice deciding if you were going to try to answer the second question? Why or why not?

Sometimes, we need to make difficult decisions, and we have to think about what the best choice is.


Lesson: Ask students, How many of you remember the story of Adam and Eve?

(Show your picture of Adam and Eve in the Garden.) Adam and Eve were the first man and woman that God created.

Where did they live when God created them? (In the Garden of Eden)

And what did God tell them not to do? (God told them not to eat fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.)

But Adam and Eve saw that the fruit looked good (show children your fruit) and they wanted to eat it. God told them not to eat it, but they wanted to eat it, so what should they have done?

Was it a good idea for them to eat the fruit or was it a bad idea for them to eat the fruit? (It was a bad idea because God knows what's best and He told them not to eat the fruit.)

Well, how about this one?

(Read 1 Chronicles 13:1-11 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)

When David became King of Israel, he wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to the city where he lived. Does anyone know what the Ark of the Covenant was?

(Show your picture of the Ark.) The Ark was a special chest inside the Tabernacle church that held the tablets that God wrote the Ten Commandments on, some manna bread that God gave the Israelites to eat in the desert, and Aaron’s - the first priest’s- staff that God made to start growing flowers again even though it was a dead stick and not connected to the tree anymore. God’s Presence rested on top of the Ark.

The Ark of the Covenant was so holy, so special, that God told everyone not to touch it. It was kind of like how God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit. God told people not to touch the Ark of the Covenant. They could only carry it by its poles, not touch the actual chest.

So, King David wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to the city where he lives. But while the men were carrying the Ark of the Covenant, it started to fall, so one of the men, a man named Uzzah, reached out and touched it to catch it from falling.

Now, God had said not to touch the Ark of the Covenant, but Uzzah thought that he should touch it to keep it from falling. What do you think Uzzah should have done? Was it a good idea for him to touch the Ark of the Covenant or a bad idea for him to touch the Ark of the Covenant?

This is a hard one, but it was a bad idea because God knows what's best and He told people not to touch the Ark. If it was going to fall, God could have caught it Himself. He didn't need Uzzah to catch it.

So, do you remember what happened to Adam and Eve after they ate the fruit God told them not to eat?

They were punished. They had to leave the Garden of Eden and life became a lot harder, and they eventually died because they didn't listen to God.

And because Uzzah didn't listen to God - he touched the Ark of the Covenant when God told him not to - God killed Uzzah as a punishment.

We need to remember to always listen to God. Even if you think something is a good idea like Adam and Eve thought it was a good idea to eat the fruit and Uzzah thought it was a good idea to touch the Ark, listen to God first.


Game: Telephone – Remind students that we need to listen to God and do what He says exactly. So, in this game, you have to listen to the person next to you and repeat what they say exactly. Have students sit in a line or in a circle. You’ll whisper a message to the first student, and they’ll pass it on. See how close the message is to what you said when it gets to the end. The goal is to have the message stay as close to the original all the way through.


Game: Alex and Alicia – Help students apply the lesson by giving advice to two fictitious students.

Story #1: Alex’s Brother. One day, Alex’s little brother Arthur was running around the house. Suddenly, Arthur tripped and fell. As he was falling, he knocked over a picture of the boy’s grandma. As Alex heard the glass break, he knew Arthur was going to get in trouble. Arthur wasn’t supposed to run in the house to begin with, and now he had broken something. He felt bad that Arthur was going to get in trouble and thought about lying about it and saying that he knocked the picture over.

What should Alex do in this situation?

(Alex is being nice to his brother by trying to keep him out of trouble, but Alex should tell the truth. God’s rule is that people should tell the truth and God will be happy with Alex for not lying.)


Story #2: Alicia’s Tough Decision. One day on their way to school, Alicia’s friend Samantha messed up her own hair on purpose. “Doesn’t my hair look cool now?” Samantha asked Alicia. Alicia didn’t think Samantha’s hair looked cool. She thought it looked silly, but she didn’t want to hurt Samantha’s feelings.

What should Alicia do in this situation?

(Alicia is being nice by not wanting to hurt her friend’s feelings, but she should tell Samantha the truth. God’s rule is the people should tell the truth, and God will be happy with Alicia for not lying.)


Closing Prayer: Father God, we thank You for giving us Your rules. We pray that You will always help us to remember Your rules and to make the best choices in our life. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.


Recommended Extras

The Ark is Brought Home – free coloring and activity pages




David and Bathsheba – David Does Wrong and is Punished by God

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson about the story of David and Bathsheba to teach kids about God’s punishments and forgiveness.


Needed: Bibles, soft balls or paper wads, Don’t Say It / Taboo cards


Game: Uriah Dodge Ball – Divide your play area in half and divide the students into two teams. Give each team an equal number of soft balls or paper wads to throw. They have to stay on their side of the play area. The trick is that they can only target one member of the opposite at a time. All the players throw at that one person until they’re out. Then, they decide who to target next. The first team to get all the members of the opposite team out first wins.


Lesson: Ask students, If you break a rule at home, do you ever get punished?

If you say you’re sorry for breaking the rule, do your parents forgive you, or do they just stay mad at you?

Usually, our parents forgive us for the wrong things we do. But just because they forgive us, that doesn’t mean that we get out of our punishment. Even if our parents forgive us, we usually still have to be punished too.

So far, we’ve learned about how Saul, the first king of Israel, died, and about how David, the person God chose to be the second king of Israel, took over. Saul did some wrong things when he was king, so God chose David to be the next king. God knew that David was someone who always did the right things that God wanted him to.

But today, we’re going to learn about how David did some things that were very wrong and had to be punished by God.

(Read 2 Samuel 11-12 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)


Summary Story: One day during the spring, when it was nice outside, King David went up on the roof of his palace to walk around for a little while. While he was up there, he looked down and accidentally saw a woman taking a bath in her house. David thought the woman was very pretty, so he sent one of his servants to find out who she was.

The servant came back and said, “She is Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife. Uriah is in the army, and he’s out fighting our enemies with the rest of the Israelite warriors.”

David heard that the woman, Bathsheba, was married, but he thought she was so pretty that he didn’t care if she was married or not. David ordered his servants to bring Bathsheba to the palace. Then, even though David knew she was married to someone else, David slept with Bathsheba and made her pregnant.

Do you think David should have slept with Bathsheba? (No.)

Why not? (Because she was already married to Uriah.)

One of God’s rules is that we’re not supposed to sleep with anyone that we’re not married to.

When David found out that Bathsheba was pregnant and going to have a baby, he got scared and thought that everyone would find out the wrong thing he had done. He had the army commander send Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, home from the war.

When Uriah came home, David told him, “Take a break from the war. Go see your wife and sleep with her.” David wanted Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba because he wanted to trick Uriah and make Uriah think that he had made Bathsheba pregnant instead of David.

But Uriah said he wouldn’t sleep with Bathsheba. Uriah said, “It wouldn’t be fair for me to take a break from the war and go see my wife when the rest of the army doesn’t get to take a break and see their wives.”

So, because Uriah wouldn’t go sleep with Bathsheba, David knew that Uriah would never believe he had made Bathsheba pregnant himself. If the baby was born and Uriah knew that he wasn’t the father, he would tell everyone the wrong thing that David had done.

So, David got another plan. He sent Uriah back to the war, and he sent a letter to the army commander, ordering the army commander to send Uriah up against the toughest enemies and not to help him.

Why do you think David would want Uriah to fight the toughest enemies without any help? (David wanted Uriah to be killed.)

And Uriah was killed. He died in battle. Then, David married Bathsheba, and they had a baby son. But God was very angry about the wrong things David had done.

What wrong things did David do in this story? (He slept with Bathsheba when she was already married, he tried to trick Uriah, and then, he made it so that Uriah would be killed in the war.)

Then, Nathan the prophet came to David and said, “God says, ‘I protected you when King Saul was trying to kill you, and I made you the second king of Israel. Why did you do all these wrong things? Now, I am going to punish you by killing your new son.”

David, “I have sinned. I’m sorry.”

And Nathan said, “God forgives you. But He is still going to punish you by killing your son.”

Do you think it was good for David to say he was sorry for the wrong things he had done? (Yes.)

God likes it when we say we’re sorry and He always forgives us for our wrong things. But just because God forgives us, doesn’t mean that He won’t punish us. David still had to be punished for what he did.

So, David and Bathsheba’s baby son became very sick, and a week later, he died.

Where do you think that baby’s spirit went when he died? Did he go to Heaven or to Hell?

The baby went to Heaven because the baby hadn’t done anything wrong and because God takes every baby to Heaven.

David was very sad that his baby son had died, but he knew that it was a punishment from God for all the wrong things he had done.

A little while later, he and Bathsheba had another son, and because Bathsheba was David’s wife this time, God let this new son live. His name was Solomon, and he grew up to be the wisest king Israel ever had.


Game: Don’t Say It! – Divide students into two teams. In this Taboo-like game, teammates take turns trying to get their teams to guess the main word on their card without using four obvious words listed on the card. For example, a team member might need to get their teammates to guess “cow,” but they can’t say “moo,” “milk,” “dairy,” or “steak.” You can purchase the Don’t Say It! game or write your own game cards.

If the team member does say one of the words they’re not allowed to say, they’re out of the game. If they get their teammates to guess the word, they get a point for their team and continue their turn until they’ve scored up to three points. If they say a word they shouldn’t or after they’ve earned three points for their turn, play passes to the second team.

Play until each student on each team has had a chance to be the clue giver. Then, tally up all the points minus how many team members got out. The winner is the team with the most points.

When the game is over, ask, Why did I make some of you sit out the rest of the game? (Listen to their answers and explain that it was because they broke the rule of the game. Even though the rule of a game isn’t a big deal, we have to learn that if we break the rules, there are consequences. If we break serious rules at home or in school, we get punished. If we break God’s rules, He can punish us. There are consequences to breaking the rules. Even if we say we’re sorry, we still have to take consequences sometimes.)


Game: Uriah Dodge Ball – Play the intro game again. This time, explain that David wanted all his enemies to gang up on Uriah.


Closing Prayer: God, we know that Your punishments are just and that You always forgive us when we ask You to. But we pray that You’ll always help us to do the right things so that You don’t have to punish us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.


Recommended Extras


Don’t Say It! –like the game Taboo but for kids



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