Scripture: 1 Samuel 15: 1 – 3, 7 – 14, 20 – 31, 34 – 35 or pages 226 – 227 in The Children’s Golden Bible.
Target Age Group: 1st through 6th grade
Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.
Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.
Have the children open their Bibles to 1 Samuel 15 or page 226 in The Golden Children’s Bible.
(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)
- What instructions did God have Samuel give to Saul? To attack the Amalekites and to utterly destroy them – all of the people and all of the animals.
- Why did God want them to be totally destroyed? Because they would have influence the Israelites to worship idols and fall away from God.
- Did Saul obey? No. They defeated the Amalekites, but they kept the king and the best of the animals alive.
- How did Samuel know that Saul had disobeyed? He heard the sheep and the cattle.
- Did Saul repent of his sin and ask forgiveness? No he made excuses for himself.
- What excuse did Saul give? We saved the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord.
- What was Samuel’s answer? “to obey is better than to sacrifice” , God has rejected you as king.
- Have you ever made excuses for your disobedience? (“He started it…” , or “My dog ate my paper…” , etc.)
- What was Saul’s next excuse? I disobeyed because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.
- Did Samuel accept this excuse? No.
- Have you ever done something because your friend or you brother or sister pressured you into doing it? Does that excuse you from the blame? No. You are still responsible for your own actions.
- When Samuel turned to leave what did Saul do? He grabbed his robe and it tore.
- How did Samuel respond to that? “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours who is better than you.”
- Let’s pray and ask God to help us to always obey his instructions, and let’s ask for his forgiveness for times when we haven’t been obedient…
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse.
1 Samuel 15: 22 b “To obey is better than sacrifice”
Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Or have them color a color page related to the story. Color page #1 from Rachael Carman. An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
Share a video:
Try one of these great activity ideas from sermons4kids.
Have the children fill out these worksheets from Calvary Curriculum.
This lesson from Mission Bible Class has a great introduction idea.
This lesson from Kids Church has some great ideas.
This is a great lesson from Gloria Seekamp
Sing “Live a Pure Life” by the Donut Man.
Evaluate what the children have learned. While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.
Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.