Being given a special job is very exciting! Children will learn through Solomon’s story that God rewards humility and obedience through unique callings and blessings. However, God does not stop disciplining us just because we have been obedient in the past – our sin has very real consequences. This lesson includes a popsicle stick craft which will remind the children that our bodies are God’s temple, so we should strive to do everything his way!
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 Solomon’s family, and he has a special plan for our families too!
MAIN IDEA: King Solomon was given the very special job of building God’s temple because he humbly asked God for wisdom. However, sinful decisions toward the end of his life brought consequences that would affect, but not eliminate, God’s promises for his family.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: 1 Kings 2:1-4, 1 Kings 3:5-9, 1 Kings 3:10-15, 1 Kings 6:1, 11-14,& 38, 1 Kings 11:1-6, 1 Kings 11:9-13
MATERIAL(S): paper, pencils, picture of the tabernacle, popsicle sticks, glue, red construction paper, safety scissors, markers
Introduction (10 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “Lord, help us be obedient to you so we can experience the fullness of your promises for our families. Amen.”
ICEBREAKER REVIEW: Pass out the paper and pencils. Then ask the following true/false questions about King David to see who remembers last week’s lesson!
- David was the oldest son in his family. (false – he was the youngest)
- He was from the tribe of Judah. (true)
- He was a musician. (true)
- David was best friends with King Saul. (false – Saul tried to kill him several times)
- He was also a warrior. (true)
- God decided to no longer use David because he committed adultery. (false)
- David was called “a man after God’s own word.” (false – “a man after God’s own heart”)
- King Saul was jealous of David. (true)
- David was known as a foolish leader. (false – he was known as a wise leader)
- His family never had any conflicts. (false – his children especially caused strife)
Consider bringing a prize for the child who answers the most questions correctly.
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Say, “Last week we talked about King David’s successes (the challenge of Goliath and other victories in battle, he was a ‘man after God’s own heart’) and difficulties caused by sin (adultery with Bathsheba, child rivalries – Amnon and Absalom).” Explain that today we are going to learn how God used David’s son, Solomon, to further His promises to the Hebrew people through the building of the temple.
- Look up the meaning of each child’s name ahead of time. Then share that Solomon’s name means “loved by the Lord” and he was one of David’s youngest sons. Also, his mother was Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:24-25)! Comment, “God had chosen Solomon among all his brothers (just like he had chosen David among all his brothers) to be the next king.” Read what David said to Solomon in 1 Kings 2:1-4. Ask, “What advice did David give to Solomon (be strong, obey God, be faithful, etc)? Was this wise advice?” Then read 1 Kings 3:5-9 and discuss Solomon’s dream and what he requested from God. Next, read God’s amazing response in 1 Kings 3:10-15. Say, “What does God’s response teach us about his love for Solomon and for us (that he will bless our obedience)? God was pleased with Solomon’s humble request for wisdom, so he was trusted with a very special task.”
- Show the picture of the tabernacle and remind the children that the Hebrew people had previously worshipped God and made sacrifices in the tabernacle, a temporary structure that could be moved. Then God gave Solomon the special job of building the permanent temple! Read 1 Kings 6:1, 11-14, 38. Say, “Building the temple was a huge honor! It meant that God would stay among the people ‘and not abandon them (vs13). However, even though Solomon was known for his wisdom, and built the temple, he too had sin in his life (just like Abraham, Moses, David, etc).” Read about Solomon’s many wives leading him astray in 1 Kings 11:1-6 and the consequences he faced because of his sin in 1 Kings 11:9-13. Say, “Even though we are believers, there are consequences for our sin. Consequences remind us that our actions affect others, and we especially need to remember that God takes disobedience very seriously.” Share the gospel with the class: God sent Jesus to die for our sins so we can receive salvation through his sacrifice.
We Are the Temple: Craft (15 minutes)
Explain that while Solomon built a physical temple for God, our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Help the children construct and glue simple house structures out of popsicle sticks to represent the temple (view example). Then cut out large hearts from the red construction paper. In the middle of each heart write “My body is God’s Temple.” Then carefully glue each popsicle house on top of a heart while ensuring that the words can be seen.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: Solomon made some good decisions, but he also made some very sinful decisions. We should strive to obey God because of his promises to us.
CLOSING PRAYER: “God, we thank you for loving us even when we sin against you. Please forgive us for our sins and continue enabling us to serve you. 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.[catlist id=2365 orderby=date order=asc]