Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids about how God helped David defeat Goliath and how He can help us in every situation.
Needed: Bibles, a simple musical instrument such as a toy drum or toy keyboard, balls, socks, bucket or trashcan
Intro Game 1: Soothing the King
Tell kids to line up one side of your play area. You stand at the other end with a toy musical instrument behind you. Tell them that you’re King Saul. When you say, “Go!” the kids will try to run past you to play the musical instrument. If you tag any of them before they can play the musical instrument, they’re out. Once one of them does play the instrument, the round is over.
Students who are still in the game return to the other side of the play area, and you signal the new round to begin. The last student in the game becomes the new King Saul.
Intro Game 2: Challenge!
Choose one thing that you’re good at and that you have a high chance of beating the kids at. It could be running a race or finding random books in the Bible or any other short activity you can think of. Show kids a snack or prize and tell them that you’ll give it to them if they can defeat you in your challenge. You’ll let them challenge you one by one, and if any of them wins, the group gets the snack or prize.
When one of them wins or once they’ve all tried, explain that today’s story is about someone answering a challenge. Then, give them the snack or prize.
So far, we’ve learned about how God told Samuel to make Saul the first king of Israel. But after Saul had been king of Israel for a long time, he started to do things that God didn’t want him to do. God told Saul that he couldn’t be king anymore and God told Samuel to choose David to be the next king.
Today, we’re going to learn about what happened next to Saul and David.
(Read 1 Samuel 16:14-17:58 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)
God’s Holy Spirit left King Saul because Saul had sinned against God. From then on, King Saul would often become angry or sad. No one could make him feel better, so his servants had the idea that maybe listening to some music would make Saul feel better.
Saul decided to try it. Everyone knew that David played music very well, so King Saul called for David to come to live in the palace with him. King Saul didn’t know that God and Samuel had chosen David to be the next king.
Whenever Saul was in a bad mood, David would play music on his instrument and make Saul feel better for a little while.
A little while after that, though, the Philistines came and attacked Israel again. King Saul and his army went to fight the Israelites, and David went back to his father’s house because he was still too young to fight.
The Philistines didn’t attack the Israelite army, though. Instead, they sent out their best fighter, a man named Goliath. Goliath was the tallest man there was back then. He was nine and a half feet tall. He was huge. Every day, he would come out of his tent with all of his armor on and holding a long spear, and he would say, “I challenge you, Israelites. Send out one man to fight me. If he wins, all of us Philistines will be your slaves. But if I win, then all of the Israelites have to be our slaves.”
But none of the Israelites were brave enough to go fight Goliath. He was just too big and scary. Every day, for 40 days, he would come out and challenge the Israelites, “Send out one man to fight me,” but no one ever did.
Until one day, David’s father sent David to take some food to his brothers in the army. While David was there, he heard Goliath saying this. David asked, “Why doesn’t someone go fight him? We can win. We have God on our side.”
But no one would go fight Goliath. So, David asked, “What will I get if I go fight him?”
The men in the army said, “If someone goes to fight Goliath and wins, King Saul will give him a lot of money and will also let him marry his daughter, the princess.”
Then, David said, “I’ll go fight Goliath. I’m not afraid.”
When King Saul heard what David was saying, he said, “David, you can’t go fight Goliath. You’re just a teenager, and he’s a grown man. He’s a warrior.”
But David said, “King Saul, I am a shepherd. Whenever a lion or a bear tries to steal one of my sheep, I fight the lion or bear, and I kill them. I rescue my sheep from them. I will kill this Philistine, Goliath, just like I killed all of those lions and bears. I’m not afraid. God helped me fight the lions, and the bears and God will help me fight Goliath too.”
So, Saul gave his permission for David to go fight Goliath, but he made David wear some armor first.
David tried on the armor and the helmet, and he practiced using a sword. But he couldn’t move very well. The armor was too big for him. He took it off and said, “I can’t go fight like this.”
Then, David took his shepherd’s staff and his sling. He picked smooth stones out of the river and put them in his bag. Then, he went out to fight Goliath.
Goliath looked at David and laughed. “You’re only a boy,” Goliath said, “and you don’t even have a sword, just a stick for a staff. Come here so I can kill you. I’ll let the birds and animals eat your dead body.”
But David answered, “You want to fight me with your sword, but I will fight you in the power of God. God will help me win, and then, I will cut off your head.”
Goliath ran at David, swinging his sword. But David took out his sling, put one of his rocks into it, and swung it over his head. The rock flew out and hit Goliath right between the eyes.
Goliath fell down dead, and David ran up and took Goliath’s sword. He cut off Goliath’s head with his own sword.
Seeing that Goliath had lost, the soldiers in the Philistine army all tried to run away, but the Israelite army chased them and beat them. And David kept Goliath’s sword for himself.
What did David do to make Saul feel better when he was in a bad mood? (He played music for him.)
Do you think God wants us to help people feel better when they’re in a bad mood? (Yes.)
What are some things you can do to help make somebody feel better when they’re sad or angry about something? (Suggestions could include talking to them, giving them a hug, doing something nice for them, etc.)
Why wasn’t David afraid of Goliath? (David knew that God would help him beat Goliath.)
Do you think God can help you when you’re afraid? (Yes.)
God is always with us, and He can always help us to be brave when we’re nervous or afraid. Remember, God is stronger than everything. If He can help David defeat Goliath with only a single stone, He can help us with anything.
Game: Sling Shot
Put a soft ball in a sock and give a “sling” to each student. Put a bucket or garbage can a few feet away. Tell students that they have to swing the sock over their head and then, sling it to try to get it in the bucket. They let the sock loose along with the ball inside it.
After everyone has thrown, students retrieve their sock slings and start round two. Each time their sock lands in the bucket, they get a point. The student with the most points at the end wins. Play as long as time permits or interest continues.
Remind students that God helped David beat the huge Goliath with only a single stone.
God, thank You for this lesson about David. Help us to remember that You can help us in every situation. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Samuel and David: Children Sunday School Lessons on the Boy Prophet and the Shepherd King.