Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and answer the questions before clarifying the teaching.)
So far, we 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 giant, Goliath, and kill him, even though David was only a young teenager. God helped David beat Goliath with just a sling and a stone, and Israel won the war against the Philistines.
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 David one day while he was in the desert.
(Read 1 Samuel 25 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)
There was a very rich man named Nabal living in the desert. He had a thousand goats and three thousand 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. 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 him 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 try to make people feel better whenever we can.
Find more Sunday School lesson ideas on our Free Children Sunday School Lesson Helps page.