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.
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 next to Saul and David.
(Read 1 Samuel 28-2 Samuel 2 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)
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, but 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.
Samuel’s ghost came up from the grave and he 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?”
And 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.
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.)
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