Once Saul realized that he had lost his favor with God and that David would be king he sought to destroy David. One night Saul set up camp with his army. All of his men slept around him to protect him, but they all fell asleep. David came into the camp and realized that this was his chance to get rid of Saul for good. But that’s not what happened. David knew that God wanted him to love his enemy so he forgave Saul and in return Saul promised to let David live in peace. Today preschoolers will learn that God wants them to love their enemies.
Lesson Title: David Spares Saul’s Life
Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 26:5-25
Target Age Group: Preschool
Learning Context: Children’s Church
Target Time Frame: 1 ½ hour
Learning Aim: Love your enemies.
- Broom Stick, Paper Towel Tube, or Pool Noodle (Something to be a pretend spear)
- Paper or Styrofoam Cups
- Foam Hearts
- Craft Sticks
- Ribbon (optional)
Open your Bible to 1 Samuel 26:5-25
Say, A long time ago Saul was the king of Israel, but Saul made a mistake and God decided that He should pick someone else to be king. God picked David to be Israel’s king whenever he was still a small boy. This made Saul angry. Saul wanted to hurt David so David had to run away and hide.
One night while Saul and all of his men were sleeping David and Abishai found Saul’s camp. They walked into the camp and saw Saul sleeping with spear and a jug of water beside him. Abishai wanted to hurt Saul, but David knew that this was an opportunity to forgive Saul and make things right.
David took Saul’s spear and jug and left the camp. Then he called to Saul. David told Saul that he was sorry. Saul knew that David could have hurt him but didn’t. Saul forgave David and said that he would not try to hurt David again. Now Saul and David were able to live in peace. They learned that God wants them to love their enemies.
God wants you to love your enemies as well. Whenever someone isn’t nice to you, you should be nice to them anyway.
Sneak Like David
Pick one child (or teacher) to sit at the table and put their head down like they are sleeping like Saul. Place a spear (any broomstick, paper towel tube, pool noodle, etc. will work) and a jug (paper cup is fine) by the person. The rest of the class will pretend to be David and his men. They will tip toe to Saul and pick up the spear and jug and then run to the other side of the room and yell for Saul to wake up. If they make any noise at all then Saul can wake up and catch them. If this happens then David and his men will have to start over.
Say, David snuck into Saul’s camp and proved that he was going to be nice to Saul even though he could have hurt Saul. If Saul had caught David, he would have been very angry. I want you all to sneak up to Saul and take his spear and jug. Whenever you get back to the other side of the room, tell Saul that you forgive him, just like David did.
Give each child a large plastic or Styrofoam cup, this is their water jug. Challenge them to walk around the room while balancing it on their head or the back of their hand. Do not put water in it. They will have to walk carefully like David did in Saul’s camp.
Say, What would happen if you were walking with your water jug and someone made the cup fall or took it away from you? That would make you mad, right? Saul was mad at David because God picked David to be king. David could have hurt Saul while he was sleeping but he chose to forgive him instead. If someone does something mean to you, like knock your cup out of your hand you should always try to make peace and forgive them anyway. God wants us to love our enemies.
Love Your Enemies Craft
In our story Saul had a spear to protect himself with. Our class will make a heart wand to remind them to love their enemies. Buy foam hearts or cut foam into heart shapes. Glue 2 hearts together on the end of a large craft stick. Add ribbons to decorate the wand if desired.
Say, Saul had to spear to protect himself with. Spears hurt people. Whenever you play with your heart wand remember that God wants us to love our enemies like David did. Loving others is always better than hating them.
Act Out the Story
Assign children to be David, Abishai, Saul, and Saul’s Army and act out the story using the Bible story above. Make sure to emphasize that David forgave Saul and loved his enemy.
Say, You did a great job acting out our story today! Has there been a time when someone was mean to you and decided to love them anyway? Tell us about it!
Give the kids a chance to share their stories if they have them.
Closing the Lesson
Say, God picked David to be Israel’s king because He knew that David would try to do the right thing. David loved his enemies by forgiving Saul.
Close in prayer, asking God to help each child love their enemies.