Use this children’s Sunday School lesson about David to teach children how to minister to others.
Needed: Bibles, random items, drawing paper, and crayons or colored pencils
Intro Game: Pacifying David
Choose something around your room. Tell students that you’re going to play a game of tag. The only way to make you stop chasing them is for them to bring you what you want. Give them a clue as to the item’s color or shape.
When one of the students brings you the item, you stop. That student is now It, and they must choose a new item. Have them whisper what it is to you so that you can referee the game. If none of the students bring you what you want before you tag them all, simply choose the last student in the game to be It for the next round.
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.
Saul didn’t know that David had been picked to be the next king, but soon, Saul started to get jealous of David because all the Israelites liked David more than Saul. King Saul even tried to kill David, so David had to run away into the desert.
Today, we’re going to learn about what happened to David one day while he was in the desert.
(Read 1 Samuel 25 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)
There was a very rich man named Nabal living in the desert. He had a thousand goats and 3,000 sheep. David and the men in his army were hungry from running from King Saul, so David sent a messenger to ask Nabal to give David and his army some food.
If you were a rich man like Nabal and David asked you some for some food, would you give it to him?
God likes it when we help other people, especially when they’re hungry.
But Nabal said that he would not give any food to David and his army. The messengers came back to David and told him that Nabal wouldn’t give them any food.
How do you think you would feel if you were David and Nabal said he wouldn’t give you any food?
David was angry that Nabal wouldn’t give him any food. He was so angry, he said, “I’m going to go kill Nabal!”
Do you think David should kill Nabal just because Nabal wouldn’t give him any food? (No.)
God doesn’t like us to lose our temper and hurt people. It’s not nice when people are mean to us, but God wants us to forgive them and not hurt them back.
So, David was doing the wrong thing. He was going to kill Nabal. But then, Nabal’s wife came to see David. Her name was Abigail. Abigail said, “David, please forgive Nabal. He was mean not to give you some food. Look, I brought some food for you and your army. Please don’t kill Nabal.”
Then, David was happy, and he said, “Abigail, thank you. I didn’t want to kill Nabal. I just lost my temper. Now that you were nice and brought us some food, that makes me feel better. I won’t hurt Nabal.”
When Abigail went home, Nabal was drunk from alcohol, and she didn’t tell him that she had taken food to David and his army. The next morning, though, she did tell Nabal. Nabal was angry with Abigail for taking David some food. Nabal was still a mean man.
But then, God made Nabal have a heart attack, and he died.
Why do you think God made Nabal have a heart attack? (God made Nabal have a heart attack to punish him for being mean.)
After Nabal died, Abigail went and married David.
What was the good thing that Abigail did in this story? (She was nice and brought David some food.)
David was very angry with Nabal, but when Abigail brought David the food, that helped him to feel better, and she helped him not to do the wrong thing by killing Nabal. When we see someone who is angry or upset, what can we do to make them feel better? (Talk to them, give them a hug, do nice things for them, etc.)
God was happy with Abigail because she helped David to feel better and helped keep David from doing the wrong thing. God will be happy with us too if we try to make people feel better whenever we can.
Craft: Helping Others Feel Better
Give students drawing paper and crayons or colored pencils. Ask them to draw two sets of pictures or comic strips. The first is something someone could do to make them feel better when they’re angry or upset. The second is something they could do for someone else who is angry or upset. When they’re finished, have each student share both of their drawings.
Game: Pacifying David
Play the intro game again, this time reminding students that David let go of his anger once Abigail brought him the food that he wanted.
God, we pray that you’ll help us to keep our anger control and to help other people when they feel angry or upset. 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.