This lesson is a continuation of Israel’s Kings. It is the conclusion to the study of David. Click here to see the lesson index.
The focus of this lesson is how David becomes king in God’s timing. The lesson is a reminder that God keeps His promises and as His followers we are to trust Him completely and follow Him faithfully as we wait for His promises to be fulfilled. This lesson can be adapted for individual ministry needs.
Bible Story: David Becomes King
Scripture: The lesson is based on events taken from 2 Samuel 1-2:1-5 and 2 Samuel 5, 7
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List: Construction paper for footprints, index cards, picture symbolizing heaven, Bibles, Pictures or flannel graphs depicting scenes for the lesson, crown
Optional: Skit of David versus Goliath or story of King David coloring pages
Learning Goal: Students will learn from David’s life to trust God to keep His promises and always seek His direction as they make decisions.
Learning Indicator: As students participate in the Footprint Activity they will be able to verbalize ways they can seek God’s direction in the decisions they have to make. Students will be able to demonstrate their comprehension of the lesson by answering review questions.
Learning Activity #1: Create 2 sets of footprints. Make one set out of brown construction paper and the other out of red. The brown footprints will demonstrate how we depart from God’s path by following our own wisdom without seeking God’s direction. The red footprints will demonstrate following God and His directions in our lives. The footprints will be placed on the floor of the classroom. On the opposite side of the room place a crown or another object to symbolize the time when believers go to heaven. The red footprints can be taped down heading in the direction of the symbol for heaven. The brown ones will be movable to demonstrate that a person can travel far away from God’s path but can return to that path by repenting of sin and turning back to Him. On index cards have decisions that people make (friends, sports, college, marriage, career, etc). As you lead the students through this activity have a student choose a card. As a class discuss what it would take to stay on the red footprints following God’s plan. (Walk with God daily by praying and spending time in His Word) What decisions would a person need to make to end up on the brown footprints? (Not seeking God about a decision. An example: Friends-choosing Godly friends that make wise decisions would keep us on God’s path. Choosing friends who use bad language, disobey authority etc. would take us off God’s path and put us on the brown path. When we are following God on His path we are to share the love of Jesus with the people who use bad language and disobey authority but we don’t choose them to be our friends who we spend all our time with.) If believers step off God’s path and go down their own path it’s not impossible to get back on the right path. Repenting of sin and turning back to God can get you back on His path for your life. The only way we can stay on God’s path is to seek His direction for the decisions we make and make sure that what we do is in agreement with what God’s word teaches us is true. (The Gospel can be included in this activity by adding a destination that is not heaven. The sign can be titled “Separated from God forever.” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9) If a person never believes in the Lord Jesus they will always be following the brown footprints that lead to a life separated from God forever.) (A simpler option is to use a hopscotch board made out of tape or squares on the floor. The vertical ones would represent God’s plan and the horizontal ones represent going our own ways.)
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (The Footprint Activity would be helpful to teach the meaning of this verse.)
Throughout the Bible God has made many promises. Whenever God makes promises He always keeps His promises. Often it takes many years for His promises to be fulfilled. Can you think of any promises God made in the Bible?
- When Adam and Eve sinned God promised to send a Savior. Genesis 3:15. How long did it take for this promise to be fulfilled? (thousands of years)
- God promised Noah that He was going to send a flood that would destroy mankind from the earth. (Genesis 6:13) How long did it take for this promise to be fulfilled? (Somewhere around 100 years Genesis 5:32, Genesis 7:6)
- God promised Abraham he would have a son and would become the father of many nations. (Genesis 12:2, 13:16, 16:10, 17:4) How long did it take for Abraham to receive God’s promise? 25 years (Genesis 12:4, 21:5)
These are just a few examples of God’s promises and how long it took for them to be fulfilled. When God says He is going to do something He is going to do it.
As we have been studying the life of David what did he know God had anointed him for? (To be the king over Israel) After David was anointed king did he immediately become the new king? (No) What did David do while he waited God’s timing to be king? (He was faithful in whatever task he had been given) Was David’s life easy while he waited to be king? (No) What made David’s life difficult while he waited for God’s promise to be fulfilled? (Saul was jealous and tried to have him killed)
Let’s turn in our Bible to 2 Samuel 1. If you had an enemy that had been trying to kill you for years how would you respond when you found out that he was dead? David had every reason to celebrate and rejoice when he learns of Saul’s death (2 Samuel 1:1-10). Saul had made his life extremely difficult. Let’s read how David responds to the news of Saul and Jonathan in 2 Samuel 1:11-12. David models grace and respect toward his enemy after he dies. David sings a song in honor of Saul and his close friend Jonathan 1 Samuel 1:17-27). From this song you would never know that Saul was David’s enemy.
Do you and I respond with the character that David did towards his enemy? (Proverbs 24:17, Obadiah 1:12, 15) God can enable us to love our enemies and not rejoice over them when they face punishment.
David suffered many years of difficulties while waiting for God’s timing to become king and now Saul was dead. Human understanding would make David think now was his time to become king. David could have gathered Israel together and declared that he was the new king because God had anointed him when he was a young shepherd boy. David did not do that. Let’s read 2 Samuel 2:1. David is a good example of someone who puts our memory verse for today into practice. David asked God’s direction before he made any decision. God answered David and gave him clear directions.
It wasn’t time for David to be king over all of Israel. Israel was made up of 12 tribes or families. For now it David would be king over one tribe, the tribe of Judah. David didn’t lean on his own understanding and by allowing God to direct his paths he was right where he was supposed to be.
Let’s flip over to 2 Samuel 5. In your spare time you can read the events that took place before David became king over all Israel (2 Samuel 2:8-4:12). God was working out things in His timing and finally it was time for God’s promise for David to be king over Israel to take place. Let’s read 2 Samuel 5:1-3. (Choose a volunteer to be David and have another student place the crown on his head. The class cheers and thanks God for their king.)
(2 Samuel 5:6-12) After David became king over all Israel he built his palace in Jerusalem and lived there. Because God was with David in all his plans others could see that David was becoming more and more powerful.
As believers the more we obey God’s directions in our life the more His Holy Spirit has power in our life. People will see that we live powerful lives for God because we aren’t controlled by our sinful natures.
After David became king he still faced difficulties. As Israel’s King he led his armies to fight against their enemies. Before he fought a battle he would ask God for his instructions. 2 Samuel 5:18-19, 22-25. God told David what to do and he obeyed God’s directions. The result was that David won the battles over his enemies.
(2 Samuel 7) God gave David a time of peace as he ruled as king over Israel. David was relaxing in his palace one evening and he began to think about how he lived in a big beautiful palace and the place where God was worshiped was a tent (Tabernacle). That bothered David and he wanted to build a beautiful place for God’s people to go and worship Him. David spoke about his desire to a prophet named Nathan.
Later that night God spoke to Nathan about David’s desire to build a beautiful place for God. God told Nathan that David would not be the one who would build a house for His name but his son would (2 Samuel 7:12-13). When God spoke to Nathan about David He made some special promises for David. One of the promises would not take place in David’s lifetime but would happen in the future. Let’s read about this future promise God made in 2 Samuel 7:16. God was promising David that a King would be born from his family who would reign forever.
When David heard what God told Nathan he responded by worshiping Him. 2 Samuel 7:18-29 records David’s response to God. David was honored that the God of the universe would promise that someone from his family would reign as king forever. David knew that God would keep His promises and one day that King reign. (2 Samuel 7:28-29)
David didn’t live to see the day that God’s promise would be fulfilled. Even though David never lived to see that promise fulfilled he fully trusted that God would keep his promise. Thousands of years after David’s death a King was born. Does anyone know who that King is? (Jesus) The first part of God’s promise has taken place for David and even now we as His followers are waiting for that day when Jesus will come back to earth and reign as King of kings forever and ever.
David teaches us to trust God’s promises and faithfully obey Him every day. Although David did not live a life free of mistakes God calls him ‘a man after His own heart’ (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22) David repented of his sins before God and God forgave him.
We can live as men, women, boys and girls after God’s own heart as well. That doesn’t mean we will be perfect. It means that as we live our lives following God’s plan for us when we sin against Him we quickly repent. When we repent God forgives us (1 John 1:9) and we continue following after God and desire to know His heart.
If you have never believed in the Lord Jesus as the Savior for your sins you can repent (turn away from your sins) and believe in Him today. Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for sin we deserved. He was buried and three days later He rose again. You can be saved today and start following God’s perfect plan for your life.
Close in prayer.
- Who always keeps His promises? (God)
- What promise was David waiting for God to fulfill? (To become king over Israel)
- True or False David rejoiced and threw a party when he heard Saul was dead. (False)
- What did David do before making any decision? (Asked God for instructions)
- Where did David rule as king first? (Over the tribe of Judah)
- Where did David build his palace? (Jerusalem)
- What did David want to do for God? (Build Him a beautiful house)
- What promises did God give to David? (His son would build His House, and someone from his family would reign forever as king)
- What promise are you waiting for God to fulfill? How will you live your life as you wait?