Bible Lesson: Israel rejects God and requests a king (1 Sam. 8-10)

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This lesson continues a Bible study from 1 Samuel.  In this lesson students will discover that only God can satisfy every need they have.  This was created for older students.

Bible Story:  Israel rejects God and requests a king
Scripture: 1 Samuel 8-10
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
Image Credits:  Sweet Publishing and Distant Shores Media

Supply List:  Bibles, decorative fruit, activity pages, pens/pencils,
Learning Goal:  Students will learn that only God can satisfy every need we have.
Learning Activity #1:  Activity pages
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse:  Isaiah 43:15 “I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King.”

Bible Lesson:  Israel rejects God and requests a king (1 Samuel 8-10)

(Introduction to Bible lesson-Have some fake items (decorative fruit, toy phone, etc.) Take one of the items out of a bag and say, “If I am starving how can this banana help me? (It can’t help me. It has no nutritional value and wasn’t made to eat; it’s only for decorative purposes.) What if all of your friends had a fake banana packed in their lunch every day? Would you beg your mother not to pack a real banana but a fake one so that you can be like all your friends? That would be silly because we know that when we are hungry we need to eat real food. This is a silly example of how someone might choose to be like everyone else rather than choose wisely.)
Let’s turn in our Bibles to 1 Samuel 8 and see what God’s people the Israelites wanted so they could be like the other countries living around them.
Let’s review what we know about the Israelites? Who are the Israelites? (God’s chosen people, Jews, Abraham’s descendants) What makes the Israelites special or different than all the other people in the world? (They were chosen by God and given His promises and laws, the Savior of the world would be born from their family, God showed His power to the world through His people when He rescued the Israelites from Egypt, led them to the Promised Land and gave them the land that the people of Canaan used to live in) God promised His people blessings if they obeyed Him and punishment if they disobeyed. Were the Israelites obedient or disobedient? (Most of the time they were disobedient)
We studied Judges and discovered a continuous cycle of sin and God’s deliverance of His people. Currently in our study Samuel is the judge God has placed as the leader of His people. Samuel began to serve the Lord as a young boy and has faithfully led God’s people. Let’s read 1 Samuel 8:1-5. What age is Samuel? (Old) Describe his sons (Did not walk in their father’s way, accepted bribes and perverted justice). What request did the Israelites make? (Give us a king to lead us, such as all the nations have)
Read 1 Samuel 8:6-8. How did Samuel feel about this request? (He was displeased) The NASB says “The thing was displeasing (or evil) in the sight of Samuel” Why was it evil for God’s people to request a king? (They were rejecting God who was their King)
Remember my silly banana story? Why would anyone request to have a fake banana that can not satisfy hunger when they could eat a real banana? Why would God’s people want a human king when they had the King of Heaven? Isaiah 43:15 “I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King.” In Exodus 19:5-6 God told Moses “Now if you obey Me fully and keep My covenant, then out of all nations you will be My treasured possession. Although the whole earth is Mine, you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
(If time permits have students read Scriptures they have looked up in advance and read: Ps. 47:7-9; Ps 74:12; Jer. 10:10)
God told Samuel to warn them of what life with a human king would be like. Read 1 Samuel 8:18-20. God told Samuel to listen to the people and give them a king.
God is sovereign. That means He is in control of all things. He was Israel’s perfect King and allowed them to request a human king. In their wickedness of a request for a human king God would send a perfect King who would be born many years later.
In 2 Samuel 9 we find out who is chosen to be the human king over Israel. A man named Saul who was from the tribe of Benjamin had been sent out by his father to look for some donkeys that had gotten away. Saul took one of his father’s servants and went looking for the donkeys. They searched and searched for the donkeys but could not find them. Saul was concerned that because it was taking so long to find the donkeys that his father would no longer be worried about his donkeys but would be concerned that something had happened to Saul and his servant. He decided it would be a good idea to go home. His servant suggested they stop and ask Samuel to help them find the donkeys.
Meanwhile, as Saul and his servant are searching for donkeys God is talking to Samuel about Saul. Let’s read 1 Samuel 9:15-17. Samuel tells Saul that the donkeys he has been looking for have been found. Saul and his servant joined Samuel for a meal. After the meal Samuel and Saul talked on the roof of his house. The next day when Saul was preparing to go back home, Samuel told Saul to send his servant to go on ahead of them so Samuel could share God’s message alone with Saul.
Read 1 Samuel 10:1. Samuel told Saul everything that would happen to him on his way home. Once Saul got home he was to wait 7 days for further instructions from Samuel.
When Saul went home everything happened just as Samuel said. Saul’s uncle asked him about the donkeys when he got home. Saul told his uncle what Samuel said about the donkeys but kept the message about being a king to himself.
Read 1 Samuel 10:17-19. God was Israel’s king but they rejected Him. God used their rejection of Him to prepare to send them His perfect King.
When it was time for Samuel to introduce Saul from the tribe of Benjamin he could not be found. He was hiding. Let’s find out where he was hiding in 1 Samuel 10:22. Why do you think Saul was hiding?
When Samuel presented Saul to the Israelites they were pleased and said, “Long live the king!”
We are going to stop here and next week we will continue our study of Israel’s kings. Each week when we study God’s word it’s important that we do something with what we learned. James 1:22 says “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
If we walk away with just a Bible story we learned and do nothing about the message God has for our hearts we are only hearers of His Word. He wants us to be hearers and doers. What lesson can we learn from the passage of Scripture we looked at this morning? (Allow responses and write on the board if you can) Here are some lessons: God is the only One who can satisfy our needs. God’s people are set apart so others can see Jesus and we should not try to look like people who do not believe in Jesus. When we want anyone or anything other than God we are rejecting Him.
One or many of these lessons may be very helpful to you at this time in your life. When we close in prayer we will take a few minutes to be silent so you can talk to God about the lesson He taught you this morning and ask for His help to put your trust in Him and His word. (Pray)
Review Questions:
1. Who was the judge in our story? (Samuel)
2. Why did the elders of Israel tell Samuel they wanted a king? (He was old, his sons aren’t like him and the other people have kings)
3. How did Samuel feel about their request? (Displeased)
4. Who were they really rejecting? (God)
5. What are some facts we learned about Saul? (Tribe of Benjamin, a head taller than men, went searching for his father’s donkeys)
6. Where was Saul when Samuel was going to present him to the Israelites? (Hiding in the baggage)
7. How was God going to use Israel’s request for a king in His future plan? He was going to send a perfect King.
8. What new thing did you learn from the lesson?
9. What are some ways that we choose to trust other people or things instead of God?

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