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14. The Bible's Big Story

25 lesson plans for children, young people and their leaders.

Lesson 14 The best times for Israel – David and Solomon Bible references – 1 Samuel 16-19, 31; 2 Samuel 7; 1 Kings chapters 1-8. Samuel tells Saul that God has rejected him as king because of his rebellion against God’s way. Saul wanted to avoid this. He grabbed hold of Samuel’s cloak as he was leaving. The cloak tore. (You could tear a piece of cloth in two as a visual aid). Samuel said: “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel away from you today”, 1 Samuel 15 verse 28. God was preparing another man to become king. This man will take the place of the disobedient Saul.

  • He was a “man after God’s own heart”, (7 below)

  • “the kind of man God wants” to be ruler of Israel, 1 Samuel 13 verse 14.

In some tribes men fight and kill to become the tribal chief. Or, local tradition may state that the oldest man becomes head of his village. In other places people vote, choosing the most popular person to lead them. God’s method was not like these.

Samuel, the judge / leader of God’s people, heard God speak to him. “Get some olive oil and go to Bethlehem, to a man named Jesse, because I have chosen one of his sons to be king”, 1 Samuel 16 verse 1. Jesse had eight sons. David was the youngest. At first, Samuel wanted to decide by looking at the shape and health of their bodies. God reminded him it was more important to think about the person’s heart, 16 verse 7. God chooses a person because of their ‘heart condition’, not because of mere ‘physical appearance’.

Stop and discuss (1) Ask the class to look up and to compare two verses in their Bibles.

The verses talk about Saul and David. Ask them to find an important difference between Saul and David. 1 Samuel 16 verse 14 and verse 18.

Listen and pretend (2) This story is from 1 Samuel chapters 16 and 17. God pointed out David as His chosen king. Samuel anointed David with the oil he had brought. (Ask students to pair with the person sitting next to them. Then let each one pretend to anoint the other with oil, to make them king – or queen!).

David was a shepherd. (In the same pairs, the students can pretend to look after and to defend their sheep). As a shepherd David learned how to care for and protect his sheep. God was going to use David later on to care for and protect God’s special people.

Saul was still the king. David waited for the right time before taking leadership responsibility for the nation. (In their pairs, the students can pretend to be patiently waiting). The right time is always God’s time. 7 New International Version of the Bible


David took a job carrying Saul’s weapons. (Students pretend to carry weapons). He played a musical instrument called a harp. Saul enjoyed listening to it. (Students pretend to play, or to listen to, good music). The Philistines come to attack Israel and king Saul. (Let the pairs join together into larger groups, some pretending to be Israelite, others Philistine, soldiers). The Philistine champion was a giant called Goliath. (A few students climb onto another’s shoulders to pretend to be giants). Goliath was nearly three metres tall. No Israelite soldier would fight Goliath. Everyone was afraid of him. (In their pairs, students hide away, pretending to be afraid of the giants). David heard about it. He was willing to fight Goliath. After a little while Saul let him do it. David took his sling. He picked five smooth stones from a stream. (In pairs, students pretend to choose small stones). He walked towards the giant. (Students pretend to walk). He put one stone into his sling. (Students pretend). David swung his sling around and around his head. (Students pretend – perhaps they can also sway backwards and forwards). The stone hit Goliath in the forehead. He fell to the ground, dead. (Pretend giant students carefully fall to the ground). David became the hero of Israel. (In pairs, students pretend to cheer and clap). God used David, the man He had prepared to lead His people.

The people were pleased. But Saul was jealous of David. (In pairs, students pretend to be jealous of each other). (pretending ends here). Stop and discuss (3) Ask students to read 1 Samuel chapter 19. Can they find how many times Saul tried to kill David, either by himself or by urging others to do it? As time went by three important things happened: 1. Samuel died, 1 Samuel 25 verse 1. 2. King Saul was badly wounded in a battle with the Philistines.

He died by killing himself with his own sword, 1 Samuel 31 verse 4. 3. David was made king over all Israel, 2 Samuel 5 verses 3-5. The Bible story of David is a long one. It goes from 1 Samuel 16 through to 1 Kings 2. Some of the story is told twice, see 1 Chronicles chapters 2-29.

Seventy three of the Psalms are noted as being ‘by David’ (see note 7 below)

Ask a good reader to read the first phrase of Acts chapter 13 verse 36:

“David served God’s purposes in his own time …”.

In the New Testament, Jesus is often called, “Son of David”. Matthew chapter 1 verse1 begins, “This is the list of the ancestors of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David, who was a descendant of Abraham”. Ask a good reader to read Acts chapter 7 verse 46: 7 Examples are Psalms3,4,5,6, and 7. See footnotes in the Good News Bible.


“David won God’s favour and asked God to allow him to provide a dwelling place

for the God of Jacob”.

Up until this time, the worship of God was enjoyed in a tent. God’s Covenant Box was kept in the ‘Tent of the Lord’s Presence’, Exodus 33 verse 7. This was where the people met with God – it was also called ‘the tent of meeting’. God’s people were nomads (this means they moved from place to place rather than living in one place).(note 7 below). Some of the herding (note 8) tribes in Sudan live like this today. Now that they were settling into Canaan they built more permanent homes for themselves. Although God can be worshipped anywhere, King David thought that there should also be a more permanent building for the community worship of God.

Stop and discuss (4) Ask the students to look up 2 Samuel chapter 7 in their Bibles.

They could work in small groups if you choose. From verses 5 to 16, God remindsDavid – through Nathan the prophet

– that He is working out His plan through Israel.

1. Ask the students to count how many timesGod says, “I”, in those verses? It was God Who brought David from being a shepherd boy to being a king.

It was the Lord Almighty Who defeated Israel’s enemies in battle.

It was God Who settled them in the land He chose for them.

God keeps His promises. Now God promisedDavid something else.

2. Ask the students what it was that God promised David?

(There are seven things altogether). David ruled with God’s blessing. He was very happy. Ask three students to read 2 Samuel 22 verses 2-4; and two others to read Psalm 18 verses 2-3. (If you know a song based on these words, you could sing it with your class. It is a good way to memorise parts of the Bible).See note 9 below. Stop and discuss (5) Ask students to find this description of David’s rule as king from Psalm 78 verse 72: “David t c o_ t w u d

a l t w s ”. David made Solomon the king who would follow him, 1 Kings 1 verse 30. God gave Solomon very great wisdom– some of which is written for us in the Bible’s book of Proverbs, 1 Kings 4 verses 29,30; and Proverbs 1 verses 1-7.10 Solomon did build the temple of the Lord, 1 Kings 6 verse 1. He started to build 480 years after the miracle of God bringing this people out of Egypt. It was in Jerusalem. It took seven years to build, verse 38. God’s Covenant Box was soon put inside an inner room – the Most Holy Place of the Temple, 1 Kings 8 verse 6.

Notes: 7 MacMillan SchoolDictionary (Oxford:Bloomsbury) 2004, p.495 8 Tribes “where animals and herds move as groups together”. 9 You may need to look at these verses in the New International Version or the Authorised Version (King James) of the Bible. 10 See especially Proverbs 10 verse 1 to 22 verse 16; and 25 verse 1 to 29 verse 27.


God’s people were in God’s place just as He promised them.

God’s words to them were in the centre of their lives.

Solomon’s prayer at the dedication begins: “Lord God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below! You keep Your covenant with Your people and show them Your love when they live in wholehearted obedience to You”, 1 Kings 8 verse 23.

Stop and learn (6) Ask the students to learn this Bible verse. Perhaps you could write it in chalk on a board. Ask the students to read it two or three times. Then rub out some of the words. The students keep reading the whole text, (as if all the words were still there). You rub out more words, and more words, until the board is empty.

Which students can volunteer to say the text from their memories?

Answers to ‘Stop and discuss’

1. “the Lord’s spirit left Saul”,

but people who knew David could see “the Lord is with him”.

3. verse 1, verse 10, verse 11, verses 14-15,

verses 19-21 (three attempts), and verses 22-24.(eight times in all).

4. 1. twenty times!

2. 1. God will make David very famous, verse 9,

2. God will keep him safe, verse 11,

3. God will make one of David’s sons king, after David dies, verse 12,

4. That son will build God’s temple, verse 13,

5. God will be like a father to David’s son, verse 14,

6. God will never stop supporting him, verse 15,

7. God will make David’s kingdom last forever

– his family will never stop ruling the kingdom, verse 16.

5. “David took care of them with unselfish devotion and led them with skill”.

(Other versions read “with integrity of heart”).



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