Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Best Samuel Children's Sunday School Lessons

This post includes 4 children's Sunday School lessons on the prophet Samuel. Please see the next post for more on this prophet and King David.

Hannah Gives Samuel to God

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson on the birth of Samuel to teach kids about being generous toward God.

Needed: Bibles or a volunteer to play Hannah (you can read the Hannah script if you want rather than getting a volunteer), random items, playing cards or Go Fish cards, pennies

Intro Activity: How did God Make It? – Divide students into groups of two or three. Give each group an item from your home, from around the church, or from your classroom. Tell each group that they have to come up with the steps God used to make that item. Ask them to be as detailed as possible.

Two common steps, for example, would be that God created the raw materials to make the item and gave humans the intelligence and creativity to use those raw materials to make something new.

Give each group approximately 10 minutes to come up with an answer. Then, have each group share what they think. Discuss the steps as a class and see if you can name any other steps God used to make the item or if you can trace item back to God more directly.

Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and answer the questions before clarifying the teaching.)

Ask students, What is the one thing that you want most in the whole world? If you could have anything, what would it be?

Okay, now, I want you all to close your eyes and imagine that you got that thing, whatever it is that you wanted. Think about how happy you would be. Now, imagine how you would feel if God asked you to give that thing to Him instead of keeping it for yourself.

In the Bible, there was a woman who got exactly what she wanted but then, gave it back to God.

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

Hannah: Hi, everyone! My name is Hannah. It’s great to see all of you here today. I just love kids. In fact, that’s why I’m here. I want you to tell you about my little boy.

You see, I always loved children, but for a long time, I couldn’t have a baby. I was married to a very nice man named Elkanah, but my body couldn’t make children. My husband’s other wife, Penninah, had lots of children and she would always make fun of me because I didn’t have any. Yes, I said my husband, Elkanah, had another wife. Penninah and I were both his wives. A long time ago, men were allowed to have more than one wife, but now God said they’re not.

Anyway, I was so sad that I couldn’t have any children. Elkanah told me I shouldn’t be sad because he loved me so much, but I was sad. I loved Elkanah, but I also wanted children.

Whenever we went to church, I would pray for God to give me a baby. One time, I was sitting by myself, and I was praying and crying, and I said, “Mighty Lord, please look at how sad I am and give me a baby. If you will give me a baby, I will give him back to You so that he can serve You for his whole life.” I was praying and crying so hard that Eli, the priest, didn’t know what was wrong with me. He thought I was drunk and told me not to drink so much alcohol.

I told him I wasn’t bad like that and that I hadn’t been drinking. I was just so sad that I couldn’t have a baby. Then, he said, “Go ahead and go home, and God will give you a baby.”

A few days later, God did help me to get pregnant! I had a baby boy named Samuel. And when he was old enough, I did what I said I would do. I knew that God had given me a baby as I asked, so I gave him back to God. I brought my little boy to the church and gave him to Eli the priest so that Eli could teach Samuel how to serve God for his whole life.

(Have students thank Hannah for telling her story. Then, review what they head with the following discussion questions.)

Review Questions
What was the one thing that Hannah wanted most in the whole world (A baby.)

When Hannah had a baby, what did she name him? (Samuel.)

And what did Hannah do with Samuel when he was old enough? (She gave him to Eli the priest.)

Why did Hannah give Samuel to Eli instead of keeping him for herself? (She made a promise to God to give Samuel back to Him.)

What are some things that we can give to God? (Listen to student’s responses. Then, discuss the points below.)

As Christians, we believe that God owns everything. God owns your money and your clothes and your toys and your bed and your house and everything. God even owns you and your family.

When we get something, we know that it’s not really ours. It’s God’s, but He’s letting us use it. That’s why Hannah gave Samuel back to God. She knew that God gave Samuel to her, but that God still owned Samuel, just like He still owns all of us. When she gave Samuel back to God, she was thanking God for letting her have Samuel for a little while and was showing that she believed that Samuel really still belonged to God.

That’s why if God ever tells you to give something to Him, you have to give it to Him – even if it’s your most favorite thing. Because God owns everything. He gives us the things we have and lets us use them for a little while. But really, everything still belongs to Him.

When we give our offerings in church, we’re thanking God for the things He’s given us. But if God ever tells us to give everything back to Him, then we have to be willing to do that because everything was His in the first place, and He’s just letting us use it.

Game: Go Fish! Tag – In this active version of Go Fish, you can choose 1-4 students to be your Dealers, depending on how large your group is. The Dealers divide the deck of cards either by suit (if you’re using traditional playing cards) or by characters (if you’re using Go Fish cards). They randomly pass out the cards to the other students.

The cardholders spread out in your playing area and when you say, “Go!” the Dealers have to chase down who has their cards. If a Dealer tags them, the Dealer has to ask for their specific cards back. They can say something like, “Give me back all the Hearts I gave you, please” or, “Give me back my sharks, please.” The Dealer can only request one thing or category at a time.

The cardholder then gives up the cards. If they have other cards that another Dealer gave them, they’re still in the game. Once they’re all out of cards, that cardholder is out.

The winner is the Dealer who re-collects all their cards first. If you’re playing with only one Dealer at a time, play a few rounds and time how long it takes each Dealer to re-collect their cards. The winner is the one who does so the fastest. The next Dealers are the last cardholders in the game.

After you play a round or two, remind students that when God gives us something and asks for it back, we have to give it to Him, just like we have to give our cards back to the Dealers when they ask for them.

Game: Give it Away – Divide students into two teams. Give one team a handful of pennies. Have them keep as much as they think they need, giving a rationale for each cent. Question their decision on what they need to keep their money for and what they don’t. You are trying to get them to see the difference between needs and wants.

Tell them to give away the rest, putting it into an offering plate. The leader takes some of that money, explaining that it’s for the church to pay its bills, and then gives the rest to the other team. Now, ask the second team to keep what they need from what they’ve been given by the first team. Again, they put their extra into the offering.

Then, the leader pulls out more money to give to the first team to reward them for their generosity. The more they gave away during their round, the more they receive as a reward from God. They are also given the offering from team two. This is how offering works and how God rewards us for it.

Play three rounds. At the beginning of each round, the money that the teams kept is “spent” on their necessities and recycles back into the leader’s supply.

Closing Prayer: God, You made everything. You own everything. Thank You for letting us use what You made. Help us to be greedy about what we have, but give us a heart that is willing to give You back anything You ask of us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Recommended Extras

Go Fish! – a very inexpensive card set that features great artwork

Hannah Dedicates Samuel – free coloring and activity pages

The Lord Rejects Eli and His Sons and Calls Samuel

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach students about the calling of Samuel and how God calls each of us.

Needed: Bibles, Don’t Say It! / Taboo cards (bought or homemade), a blindfold, drawing paper and crayons or colored pencils

Intro 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.)

Lesson: Ask students, What do your parents do when you do something bad? What kind of punishments do you get? (As the teacher, share some ways that your parents used to punish you.)

Would you like it if your parents never punished you but just let you do whatever you wanted?

Last time, we learned about Hannah and about how she wanted to have a baby. She prayed and prayed to God, and she said, “God, if you will give me a baby, I will give that baby back to You.” And one day, God gave Hannah a little boy. Does anyone remember what that little boy’s name was? (Samuel.)

And when Samuel was old enough, Hannah took Samuel to the priest, Eli, so that Samuel could live at the Tabernacle church and learn how to serve God.

Today, we’re going to learn about what happened next to Eli and Samuel.

(Read 1 Samuel 2:12-4:1 with your students or read the following story as a summary.)

Summary Story: Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phineas, were learning how to be priests, too, but they were very wicked men. When someone came to the Tabernacle church to sacrifice to God, Hophni and Phineas would take the best part of the person’s sacrifice even before the person had time to give it to God. They were basically stealing the offering from people, and stealing the offering from God.

The little boy Samuel was also learning how to be a priest. His parents, Hannah and Elkanah, would come to see him once a year, and Eli the priest would pray for Hannah to have more children since she had given Samuel to God. Then, Hannah and Elkanah would go home, and Samuel would keep living with Eli.

Eli heard about the wrong things his sons, Hophni and Phineas, were doing and he told them to stop, but they didn’t stop, and Eli didn’t do anything else to make them stop.

What do you think Eli should have done to make his sons stop doing the bad things they were doing? (He could have punished them. He could have not let them be priests anymore.)

Finally, a prophet from God came to Eli the priest, and said, “God says, ‘Eli, I chose Aaron to be My priest when Moses and Aaron brought the Israelites out of Egypt. He was your great-great-grandfather, and so now I have chosen you to be My priest. But now, you are disrespecting Me by not punishing your sons. You let them keep doing whatever they want. So now, you cannot be My priest anymore. I am going to choose a priest who will do the right things that I tell him to do. And I am going to kill your two sons, Hophni and Phineas, on the same day, and no one in your family will live long enough to be an old man.’”

Do you think God should kill Hophni and Phineas for the wrong things they’re doing and not let Eli be a priest anymore? (It’s a very serious problem when God’s servants don’t act in the right ways, and God has the right to punish them and even kill them because He’s God.)

A little while later, while Samuel was sleeping one night…

Everyone, pretend that you’re sleeping.

While Samuel was sleeping one night, God called to him. “Samuel.”

Samuel woke up…

Everyone, wake up!

Samuel woke up, but he didn’t know it was God talking to him because God had never talked to him before. Instead, he thought it was Eli calling him. So, he got up and ran to where Eli was sleeping and said, “Here I am. You called for me.”

But Eli woke up and said, “No, I didn’t. Go back to bed.”

Samuel went back to bed, but he heard God calling him again. “Samuel.”

Samuel got up and went to Eli again, thinking it was Eli who was calling him. “Here I am,” Samuel said. “You called for me.”

“No, I didn’t,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.” This all happened one more time. Then, Eli realized that God was trying to talk to Samuel. Eli said, “Samuel, go back to bed, and if you hear someone calling for you again, stay there and say, ‘I’m listening, Lord.’”

Samuel went back to bed, and this time, when God called him, Samuel said, “I’m listening, Lord.”

What do you think God is going to say to Samuel?

Do you think You would want God to speak to You? Why or why not? (Explain that we don’t have to be afraid of God speaking to us if we’re doing the right things that He wants us to. God loves us!)

Then, God told Samuel that he was going to punish Eli and Eli’s sons because of all the wrong things they were doing and because Eli hadn’t punished them for it.

The next morning, Samuel didn’t want to tell Eli what God told him, but Eli made Samuel tell him. After that, God continued speaking to Samuel, and Samuel became a great prophet of God for all the people.

Review Questions
Why did God say He was going to punish Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phineas? (Because they were doing wrong things.)

Why did God say He was going to punish Eli? (Because Eli was letting his sons do the bad things and wasn’t punishing them to make them stop.)

So, God said Eli and his sons couldn’t be priests anymore. Instead, God chose Samuel to be the priest. God started talking to Samuel and making him a prophet. Why do you think God let Samuel be a priest and a prophet when He wouldn’t let Eli and sons be priests anymore? (Because Samuel was willing to listen to God. Samuel was doing the right things that God wanted him to do.)

Are you willing to listen to God and to do the right things that God wants you to? (Yes.)

Then, God can use you to do big things for Him, just like He used Samuel!

But do you think God will speak to you like He did Samuel? (It’s possible, but most people don’t hear God’s voice like that.)

What are some other ways God can speak to you? (Suggestions include in our spirits, through the Bible, through other people, through a church service, etc.)

Game: Listening for God – Pick one student to be Samuel. They wear a blindfold. Everyone else calls their name along with the teacher. “Samuel’s” job is to listen for the teacher’s voice and walk toward the teacher, blocking out all of the other voices. When the student makes it to the teacher, remove the blindfold and choose the next student to be “Samuel.” The first student is now the “voice of God.” Play as long as time allows or until every student has had a chance to play both roles.

Remind students that Samuel thought it was Eli calling him, but it was really God.

Craft: It’s God Calling! – Give students drawing paper and crayons or colored pencils. Ask them to write or draw some ways that God has spoken to them. It could be through reading the Bible, praying, being in church or Sunday School, singing a Christian song, etc. Ask them to depict how God spoke to them and what He said. The message could be in abstract terms, but help students think of some keywords or phrases to help them remember the experience.

Closing Prayer: God, we pray that You’ll help to always to You. We want to be like Samuel, not Hophni and Phineas. Help us to listen for the ways You’re speaking to us and to listen to You when You tell us something. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Recommended Extras

Superbook: Samuel and the Call of God – an animated video from the updated Superbook series, includes time-traveling children who learn lessons from the story

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

The Philistines Defeat Israel, but God Defeats Dagon

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson from the book of 1 Samuel to teach kids the power of the real God.

Needed: Bibles, pictures of various gods pasted to boxes or paper bags and one bag with no picture but a snack or other prize inside

Intro Game 1: What’s Under Box #? – Before class, print out pictures of various gods and paste one picture onto each box or paper bag. Leave one box or bag blank but put a snack or other prize inside to share with the group.

Tell students that you’re going to ask for volunteers to come up. You’re going to ask them a question, and if they get the answer right, they’ll be able to choose one of the boxes or bags. Each of the boxes or bags represent a different god. There might be a prize in the box or bag that they choose.

The questions will be about what they’ve learned about the story of Samuel so far. Questions could include the following:

1. What was Samuel’s mother’s name? (Hannah)

2. What did Hannah do with Samuel after he was born? (She gave him back to God.)

3. Who did Samuel live with? (Eli the priest)

4. When was the first time God talked to Samuel? (One night when Samuel was sleeping, God woke him up.)

5. Why didn’t God want Eli’s sons to be priests? (They weren’t listening to God.)

If a student answers correctly, let them choose a box or bag. If they don’t answer correctly, have them sit down and repeat the question for the next volunteer. If the next volunteer doesn’t know the answer, review the information with the class and move onto the next question.

When students open all the boxes or bags and discover that only the blank one had anything in it, explain that the blank one represents the God of Israel. We don’t know what God looks like, so we can’t make a picture of Him. In fact, one of the Ten Commandments is that we should never try to make a picture of God.

But God is the only real God, so He’s the only that can give us anything good. That’s why only His box/bag had a prize in it.

Intro Game 2: Manipulating God? part 1 – Have the students sit in a circle and throw one of their shoes in the middle of the circle. Choose one student to be It. They pick a shoe and tell the owner to do something to get their shoe back. They can choose a simple task or something silly – anything appropriate for your play area. When the student completes the task, they get their shoe back and then, become It for the next student.

Lesson: Ask students, How many gods are there? (Only one.)

God is the only God that there is, and God tells us that we are only allowed to worship Him. Why do you think God doesn’t want us to worship other gods? (Because God knows that those other gods aren’t real and that it won’t do us any good to worship them.)

Well, last time we learned a little more about Samuel and Eli and Eli’s sons. Does anyone remember what God said to Eli about his sons? (God said that He was going to kill Eli’s sons because they were doing wrong things and Eli wasn’t doing anything to stop them.)

But Samuel was doing the right things, and so God made Samuel a priest and a prophet.

Today, we’re going to read what happened to Eli and his sons and we’re going to see God fighting against the fake god, Dagon.

(Read 1 Samuel 4:2-7:2 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)

Summary Story: A little later, the Israelites went to war against the Philistines. The Israelites were losing the war very badly. In one day, the Philistines killed over 4,000 Israelite soldiers. The leaders of Israel couldn’t figure out why they were losing. Then, they decided to send someone to the Tabernacle church to bring the Ark of the Covenant out to the battlefield. “Then, God will be fighting for us,” they said, “and we will win.”

What was the Ark of the Covenant?

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, so the Israelites thought that if they brought the Ark out to the battle, God would come too and fight for them.

Eli the priest sent his sons, Hophni and Phineas, with the Ark since they were priests too.

The Israelite soldiers were glad when Hophni and Phineas brought the Ark of the Covenant to them. They thought they would win the war for sure, and they started yelling because they were so happy.

The Philistines heard them yelling about how the Ark of the Covenant was with them now, and the Philistines were afraid. They knew that God was the one who sent the plagues on Egypt and brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. They said, “We can’t defeat the Israelites’ God.”

But the next day, Israel and the Philistines started fighting again.

Who do you think is going to win this time?

The Philistines won again. Even though the Israelites had the Ark of the Covenant with them, God wasn’t helping them win the war. During the battle, Hophni and Phineas died, just like God wanted them to as a punishment for their sins, and the Philistines stole the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites.

After the battle, one of the Israelite soldiers ran to the Tabernacle church and told Eli the priest what had happened. When Eli heard that his two sons were dead and that the Ark of the Covenant had been stolen, he fell backward out of his chair and died.

Meanwhile, the Philistines took the Ark of the Covenant and put in their temple.

Do you think the Philistines worshipped God in their temple?

The Philistines’ temple was for the fake god, Dagon. They put the Ark of the Covenant right beside their statue to the fake god, Dagon.

But the next morning, the statue of Dagon had fallen down. The Philistines put the statue back up, but the next morning, the same thing happened again. And this time, Dagon’s head and hands were broken off!

Why do you think the statue of the fake god, Dagon, kept falling over? (God was making it fall over to show that He is real and that He is stronger than the fake god, Dagon.)

And God made the Philistines in that city very sick. The leaders of the city sent the Ark to another Philistine city, but the people in that city got sick too. Finally, the Philistines decided that they had to send the Ark of the Covenant back to Israel. They also sent a lot of gold to Israel to apologize for stealing the Ark. When the Ark of the Covenant was back in Israel, God healed the Philistines from their disease.

Review Questions
Why did Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phineas die? (God killed them because of the bad things they were doing.)

Why did the statue of the fake god, Dagon, keep falling over? (God was making it fall over to show that He is real and that He is stronger than the fake god, Dagon.)

Why did God make the Philistines get sick? (Because they stole the Ark of the Covenant from Israel.)

And what happened when the Philistines returned the Ark of the Covenant? (God healed the Philistines from their disease.)

So remember, there is only real God and He has the power to punish people who do the wrong things, just like He punished Hophni and Phineas and the Philistines. But if we do the right things, then God won’t have to punish us.

Game: Manipulating God? part two – Tell students that you’re going to play the intro game again, but that you’re going to be It the whole time and that you’re not going to tell them what they have to do to get their shoe back. They have to make something up, and then, you’ll decide to give their shoe back or not.

Randomly give some kids’ shoe back and refuse to give others’ back. When you refuse, put the shoe back in the pile and choose another.

When every student has had a chance to get their shoe back, ask, Why did I choose to give some of your shoes back but kept the others?

I was showing you that even though you were doing things, you couldn’t make me give your shoe back. I could decide to give your shoe back or not based on whether I wanted to give it back or not.

In the same way, we can’t make God do something. The Israelites thought they could make God fight for them if they brought the Ark of the Covenant to the battle. But people can’t make God do anything. God chooses what He wants to do. We can pray and ask God to do things, but He doesn’t have to do them. Nothing we do can make God do anything. We can’t control God. God is in control.

Now, I choose to give the rest of you back your shoes.

Closing Prayer: Lord, we pray that You’ll help us to follow You and do the right things. We know that You are the real God and that You are worth giving our love and obedience to. Amen.

Recommended Extras

The Ark of God is Captured and The Ark Returned to Israel– free coloring and activity pages

Saul Becomes King

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids about how Israel chose their first king, and how God is the true King.

Needed: Bibles, flashlight, craft foam or construction paper, scissors, glue or tape, markers or crayons, stickers or jewel decorations

Intro Game: Storytelling Sequence – Kids sit in a circle, each telling one sentence of a story. Tell them that the story has to involve a king. When it’s their turn to make up a sentence, they hold the flashlight under their chin so that it lights up their face as if they were at a campfire telling ghost stories. (It’s really to show whose turn it is!)

Let the students tell 2-3 stories about a king. Then, tell them that you’re going to tell them a true story about Israel’s first king.

Lesson: So far, we’ve learned about how Hannah wanted a baby and told God that she would give her baby back to Him if God would give her a son. That son was named Samuel, and when Samuel was old enough, Hannah gave Samuel to Eli the priest so that Samuel could learn how to serve God.

But God wasn’t happy with Eli the priest or Eli’s sons because Eli’s sons were doing bad things and Eli wasn’t doing anything to stop them. So, when the Philistines attacked Israel, God made it so that Eli’s sons died as a punishment. And when Eli heard that his sons had died, he fell over and died too.

(Read 1 Samuel 7:3-12:25 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)

Summary Story: After that, Samuel became the leader of Israel. God had spoken to him when he was younger and made him a prophet. Samuel was the one who led Israel in their war against the Philistines, and God helped Samuel and the Israelites win against the Philistines.

Samuel was the leader of Israel for a long time, but when he had sons, his sons were evil like Eli’s sons had been evil. Samuel’s sons could not be Israel’s leaders after Samuel died because they were so bad. So, the people came to Samuel and asked him to make someone king.

Israel had never had a king before. They only had leaders, like Moses and the judges and Samuel. Samuel asked God if Israel could have a king and God said that they could. But God warned them that the king would not always be good. Sometimes, the king would be a bad king and do bad things to the people. He also told them always to remember that God is their real King.

So, Samuel told the people that he would make whoever God chose the king.

Meanwhile, a man named Saul was out looking for his father’s lost donkeys. Saul and his servant looked around all the country for the lost donkeys and couldn’t find them. After they had been looking for a long time, Saul said to the servant, “Let’s go home. My father has probably forgotten about the lost donkeys by now and is probably starting to worry about us.”

But the servant said, “Samuel the prophet lives in this town. Let’s go see him, and maybe he can tell us where the donkeys went.”

Samuel was in the town, getting ready for the holiday feast. The day before, God had told Samuel that Saul was going to come to see him today and that Samuel should make Saul king. So, when Samuel saw Saul and his servant coming toward him, God said, “Samuel, this is the man I told you about. Make him king over Israel.”

Saul had never seen Samuel before, so Saul asked him, “Can you tell me where the prophet is?”

“I am the prophet,” Samuel said. “Stay and eat with me at the feast because I have something to tell you in the morning. And don’t worry about your father’s donkeys. Someone else already found them and took them home.”

Then, Samuel gave Saul the biggest piece of meat at the feast. The next morning, Samuel said, “Tell your servant to walk up the road a little ways so that I can tell you a secret message from God.” When the servant had left, Samuel poured olive oil all over Saul’s head and kissed him on the cheek. He said, “God has made you king over all of Israel.”

Saul didn’t believe it. He didn’t know what to think! So, to prove that Samuel knew what he was talking about, Samuel said, “When you leave here, you’ll meet two men. They’ll tell you that your father’s donkeys have been found and that your father is worried about you now. When you go a little further, you’ll meet three men. They’ll be carrying baby goats, some loaves of bread, and some wine. They’ll ask you if you want some bread, and you’ll take it. Then, when you go a little further, you’ll see a group of prophets, all making music and prophesying from God. When you see them, God’s Holy Spirit will come down on you, and you will suddenly start prophesying too.”

Then, Saul left Samuel and everything happened just like Samuel had said, but Saul didn’t tell anyone what Samuel had told him about him being king, not even his own family.

A week later, Samuel called all the Israelites together and told them that God had chosen Saul to be king. Then, everyone looked around for Saul, but they couldn’t find him. Samuel said, “He is hiding over by the wagons.” Then, the people ran and pulled him out in front of everyone. Saul was taller than everyone there. Samuel said again, “This is your king.”

And all the people yelled, “Long live the king!”

Then, Samuel explained all the rules of the king and sent the people home. Saul went home too because he didn’t have a palace or a castle or anything to live in yet.

A little while later, the Ammonites attacked one of the Israelite towns. The Ammonites told the Israelites in the town, “Surrender to us and let us poke out one of each of your eyes, and we’ll let you live.”

Do you think you would want someone to poke out one of your eyes? (No.)

The Israelites in the town didn’t want to have one of their eyes poked out either, so they sent a messenger to King Saul to tell him what was happening. When Saul heard the news, God’s Holy Spirit came down on him again, and he called all the Israelites together.

Saul’s army had over 300,000 men in it. During the night, they broke into the Ammonites’ camp and killed them, rescuing the Israelite town.

After that, everyone was glad that God and Samuel had made Saul king. All the people thought that Saul would be a good king and they had a celebration for him.

Craft: Crowns for a King – Give students craft foam or construction paper and let them cut out and decorate a crown with markers, stickers, faux jewels, or whatever you like.

Remind students that Saul was the first king of Israel, but that God is the real King.

Game: Good and Faithful Servant – Tell the students that you’re going to play a game in which you’re the King, and they’re your servants. You’re going to name something you want, and they have 15 seconds to bring you what you asked for.

Anything that meets your criteria counts. If a student can’t bring you what you asked for within 15 seconds, they’re out. Items you already have in front of you count if they can apply it to meet the new criteria. The last one in the game wins and becomes the King for the next round.

Some ideas of what to ask for include:

Something of a certain color
Something of a certain shape
Something that reminds you of the Bible
Something that reminds you of Jesus
Something you would use for a certain purpose

Part of the fun could be naming criteria that a lot of items meet and then narrowing it down to criteria that only a few items in your area meet.

Play 2-3 rounds and then explain that they were all good servants because they all tried to bring you what you asked for. Even though some of them couldn’t find what you wanted, none of them said they wouldn’t do it. They all tried.

Closing Prayer: Lord, thank You for giving the Israelites a king. And thank You for giving us good leaders too. But we know that You are our true King, so help us to serve You the best we can. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Recommended Extras

Samuel Anoints Saul and Saul is Made King– free coloring and activity pages

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