After Saul failed to follow God’s directions, God sent Samuel to anoint a new king. Samuel was led to the house of Jesse where he was presented Jesse’s eldest sons. God did not pick any of Jesse’s eldest sons to be the new King. Instead he picked David, the smallest of all his sons. Today preschoolers will learn that God doesn’t care how we look as long as we have a heart that loves him.
Lesson Title: David is Chosen as King
Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 16:1-13
Target Age Group: Preschool
Learning Context: Children’s Church
Target Time Frame: 1 ½ hour
Learning Aim: God doesn’t care how we look.
- Small Crown (toy or cut out of yellow paper)
- White Balloons
- Red Paper
- Small Fasteners
- Dress Up Clothes, Hats, and/or Shoes
- Optional King David coloring page
Have everyone in the class line up from tallest to shortest.
Say, Whenever God went looking for a king everyone expected him to pick the biggest, tallest, and strongest person. Instead, He picked the smallest person. Who is the tallest in our group? Who is the smallest? God cares about what’s inside, not how we look. Let’s listen to a story about how God picked King David.
Open your Bible to 1 Samuel 16:1-13.
Say, A long time ago Israel had a king named Saul. God picked Saul to be king. Saul was tall and handsome and everyone loved him. After Saul was king for 40 years he made a mistake and did not follow God’s instructions. God decided that it was time for a new king.
God sent his priest, Samuel to go and look for the new king. God told Samuel to go to the house of Jesse in Bethlehem. There he would find the new king.
Jesse showed Samuel all of his sons. They expected God to pick the oldest and strongest son to be king but instead God picked Jesse’s youngest son, David. David was just a boy but he would be king someday. Samuel anointed David. Everyone was surprised at the choice but God told Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
Are You the King
You will play a version of Doggie, Doggie Who Has Your Bone but with a crown. Have all of the kids sit in a straight line. Call one child to the front and have them close their eyes or look the other way. Give one child a small crown (can be cut out of yellow paper) to hide. The child in front will then try to guess who has the crown by going up to one child and saying, Are You the King? They may keep guessing until they get it right. Make sure each child has a turn at being the guesser.
Say, Samuel expected God to pick the biggest and strongest man to be king but instead He picked David, a small Shepherd boy. God looks at what’s on the inside not what’s on the outside.
David the Shepherd
Blow up several balloons. Use white balloons if you can. Draw a large circle on the ground. Turn on a fan to gently blow the balloons around the room. The kids will now be shepherds and will try to keep the sheep (balloons) in the circle.
Say, Before David was king he was a Shepherd. That means that he took care of his father’s sheep. It wasn’t an easy job to do!
God Sees the Heart Craft
Cut 2 hearts out of red construction paper for each child. Fasten the hearts together with a small fastener. On the inside write the main Bible passage, 1 Samuel 16:7, ‘God Looks at the Heart.’ Let the kids decorate it.
Say, Whenever we see someone we judge them by how they look. We say, ‘she has curly hair,’ ‘he is very tall,’ or ‘she always smiles,’ but God sees our heart when He looks at us. He wants us to be good people. He cares about how we think and the good things that we do, not how we look.
Play Dress Up
Provide dress up clothes and hats. Let the kids dress up and play for a while. As they play say, It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside. God looks at what is on the inside.
Closing the Lesson
Say, God looks at your heart, not your outward appearance. He notices the things that we do that show that we love Him and that we love others. How can you show that you love God and that you love your friends and family?
Let each child share something that they can do to show love. Examples would be, praying for others, giving hugs, and helping others. Once each child has said something that they can do to show love close in prayer.
For more lesson ideas don’t miss our series of Sunday School lessons on the Kings of Israel.