Use this children’s sermon about David to teach children that God looks at our hearts, not our appearance.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 16
Needed: an empty cookie package and a trashcan with a clean liner with cookies inside it
Empty a package of cookies into a trashcan with a clean liner and put it out of sight. Keep the empty package (one that kids can’t see through) and offer it to kids as they come up for the Children’s Moment.
Say, Good morning! Who would like a cookie to start our time together today?
(Give one of the children the package. When they realize there’s nothing in it, continue.)
You thought there were cookies in there, didn’t you? It looked like there were cookies in the package, but there weren’t.
How about this, then? (Pull out the trashcan.) Since there weren’t any cookies in the package, I’ll give you anything you find in this trashcan.
(Give kids the trashcan and let them discover the cookies inside.)
The trashcan looked like there would be only gross things inside, but it had good cookies!
The empty cookie package and the trashcan show us that sometimes, things are different than they look.
In the Bible, God told the prophet Samuel to choose a new king for the people of Israel. God told Samuel to go to Jesse’s house and make one of his sons king. So, Samuel went to Jesse’s house and saw Jesse’s oldest son. He was big and strong and handsome. He looked like he would be a great king. So, Samuel thought that this must be the man God wanted him to make the next king.
But God said no. God said…
(Read 1 Samuel 16:7.)
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
The story ends with God choosing David, the youngest son, as the next king of Israel. David wasn’t handsome or big or strong. He wasn’t anything special on the outside. But He loved God, and that made Him special to God on the inside.
So, remember, just because something looks good on the outside, like this empty cookie package or a big, strong, handsome man, they might not be good on the inside. And just because something doesn’t look good on the outside like this trashcan or David who wasn’t big and strong and handsome, doesn’t mean they’re not good on the inside.
God doesn’t look at what’s on the outside. He looks at what’s on the inside. And we want God to see that we’re good on the inside, don’t we?
Father God, You said that You judge our hearts, not how we look. So, we pray that You’ll help us to have hearts that love You as David did. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this children’s sermon for Kindle or in print in my book, Children’s Sermons about Samuel and David.