Sometimes it’s hard to see what God wants to do through our lives in the midst of struggles, but King David certainly knew where to put his trust! This is the sixth lesson in the series teaching kids how God used ordinary people in the Old Testament to fulfill his plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. Kids will be encouraged by God’s desire to use them AND their families for his purposes. Also, a fun scratch craft will remind them to be “after God’s own heart!”
TARGET AGES: 9 – 13 Older Elementary. You may need to simplify this lesson when working with younger children.
CURRICULUM UNIT: This lesson is part of the Who was …. ? series on major Bible characters.
OBJECTIVE: To help the children understand that God had a special plan for King David’s family, and he has a special plan for our families too!
MAIN IDEA: David trusted God for protection and deliverance from enemies. David was “a man after God’s own heart,” and he held a pivotal role within the family line that God would one day use to provide salvation through Jesus Christ.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: 1 Samuel 15:20-26, 16:10-12, 31:1-6, 1 Chronicles 18:1-6, Psalm 21:1-7
Suggested MATERIAL(S): Magic Color Scratch Hearts (from Oriental Trading)
Introduction (5 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “God, thank you for having a special plan for each of us! Help us learn from David by choosing obedience to your specific will for each of our lives. Amen.”
ICEBREAKER REVIEW: Say, “Last week we learned about a woman who became the great-grandmother of King David. Who remembers her name (Ruth)? What happened in her life (famine, became a widower, left her country to live with Naomi, met Boaz, married Boaz and had a son)?” Emphasize that God loves to use families even though we are imperfect. We should strive to obey him no matter what obstacles we face.
Lesson (20 minutes)
- Tell the students that today’s lesson is about King David. Ask, “What do you know about King David?” List their answers on the board (such as his defeat over Goliath). Explain that David was the second king of Israel after King Saul had been rejected by God because he had consistently disobeyed God. Read 1 Samuel 15:20-26. Comment, “God then told the prophet Samuel that David would be the next king. Let’s read 1 Samuel 16:10-12.” Discuss how David served King Saul as an armor-bearer and musician before taking over the kingship (1 Samuel 16:21-23), but Saul was jealous of David’s favor and tried several times to kill him. However, Saul killed himself after being in battle with the Philistines, and David became king. Read 1 Samuel 31:1-6.
- Say, “David became king and was called, ‘a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14)’. He soon established himself as a wise leader both in his dealings with people and in battle.” Read 1 Chronicles 18:1-6 and Psalm 21:1-7. Discuss the various battles the Lord allowed David to win and David’s appropriate response (rejoicing in God’s strength and trusting only in him).
- Comment, “David was truly ‘a man after God’s own heart,’ but he still had trouble in his life.” Briefly discuss the adultery incident with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12). Also discuss the story involving his children Amnon, Tamar and Absalom (2 Samuel 13) and Absalom’s conspiracy to take over the throne (2 Samuel 15-18). Help the children understand that in spite of the family conflicts, God still chose to use David. Say, “David belonged to the tribe of Judah, the same tribe as Jesus! We can find comfort in the truth that God wants to use us for his good purposes even though we aren’t worthy of his blessings.” Explain why Jesus’ birth was so important, and share the gospel with the class to give the children an opportunity to believe in him.
A Kid After God’s Own Heart: Craft (15 minutes)
Purchase the Magic Color Scratch Hearts from Oriental Trading. Comment, “David was ‘a man after God’s own heart,’ which means he deliberately tried to please God through faithful obedience.” Explain to the children that they will be decorating hearts to remind them to also follow God with deliberate obedience. Show the children how to use the tools to scratch designs on their hearts. Encourage them to also write words (e.g. love, serve, obey) to remind them of the day’s lesson.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: David wasn’t perfect, but he desired to please and obey God. We learn from David’s life that mistakes are costly, but God mercifully uses us for his glory anyway!
CLOSING PRAYER: “Lord, thank you for David’s example of trust and obedience. Help us to be ‘after [your] own heart’ like David and serve you with all of our strength. Amen.”
Who was …. A Study on Bible Characters
This lesson is part of a 14 unit curriculum for older children (age 9 – 13) that introduces major characters in the Bible.