Use this King David Sunday School lesson to teach children about how God judges us for who we are on the inside.
Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and answer the questions before clarifying the teaching.)
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.)
Well, the Bible tells us that Saul was thirty years old when he became king and he ruled over Israel for forty-two 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 was fighting against the Philistines, he asked Samuel to come 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.
Then 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 sheeps?”
Then said, “We took them from the Amalekites so 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 to not 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.
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.”
So 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 will 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. Then he said, “God has chosen you to be the next king.” And God’s Holy Spirit came down on David.
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, “God doesn’t look a person’s looks, but at a person’s” what? (Heart.)
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