Scripture: 1 Samuel 16 or pages 228 – 229 in The Golden Children’s 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 16 or page 228 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.)
- Samuel was sent to find the next King. Who’s family was he sent to? Jesse. (Remind them of the story of Ruth and Boaz. Their son Obed was the father of Jesse.)
- Who was the final King to come from Jesse’s line? Jesus
- Where did Jesse live? Bethlehem
- Samuel went to Bethlehem with a heifer to sacrifice it to the Lord so that Saul wouldn’t know that he was looking for a new king. What do you think might have happened to him if Saul found out that he was anointing a new king? Saul might have had him imprisoned or killed.
- What was Samuel’s criteria for choosing a king? Tall and good looking.
- What was God’s criteria for the next king? A good heart.
- Have you ever heard the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”? What does that mean? You can’t tell if someone is a good or a bad person by their looks.
- What should you be more concerned about – your hair and clothes or your character? Your character.
- What should you be more concerned about when you pick your friends – how they look or dress or their character? Their character.
- How many of Jesse’s sons passed before Samuel that weren’t chosen? Seven.
- Where was David? Tending the sheep.
- Why didn’t Jesse have him come before Samuel with the other brothers? Because David was still a boy. He didn’t think Samuel would want to see a boy.
- But, who did God choose to be king? David!
- Do you ever think that God might choose you to do something special for Him? (Let them ponder that for a few moments.) He might if you have a heart for the Lord like David did.
- Samuel anointed David with oil to show that he would be the next king, but David wouldn’t be king right away. It would happen in God’s timing several years later.
- David was also a foreshadowing of Jesus – our perfect heavenly King. How were David and Jesus like each other? David was a shepherd of sheep, and Jesus is our shepherd. Jesus came from David’s family and both were born in Bethlehem. David was the king of Israel. Jesus is the King of all.
- What did God give David to help him be a good king? His Spirit
- What happened to Saul? The Spirit of the Lord left him.
- Saul would thereafter be troubled by an “injurious” spirit. So, what did his attendants suggest that he do? Have someone come and play the harp for him.
- Who did one of the servants suggest? David.
- Did David please Saul? Yes. He asked Jesse to let him stay there with him.
- Let’s pray and ask the Lord to help us to have a heart for God like David did. And let’s thank him for Jesus – our King and Saviour…
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse.
“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b
Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Color page #1 Color page #2 from What’s in the Bible. Or have them color a color page related to the story. An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
Show a video:
Video #4 (first part of movie)
This is a very cute class activity from Teach Them.
(For the download of the heart X-Ray slides click on the “Lesson and Materials Downloads” link in the right column. Then scroll down to “God Chooses Me” for the three downloads there.)
Younger children may enjoy this story and accompanying worksheet from Jesus Without Language
You might open the class with this object lesson from sermons4kids
This lesson from Ministry to Children has a great introductory story.
Have the children make the booklet “Choosing a King” from Lambsongs. (Scroll Down)
Sing “Shepherd Boy” by Ray Boltz. You can get it at itunes.
“Shepherd Boy” lyrics
One by one Jesse’s sons
Stood before the prophet
Their father knew a king
Would soon be found
And each one passed
Except the last
No one thought to call him
Surely he would never
Wear a crown
But when others see a shepherd boy
God may see a king
Even though your life seems filled
With ordinary things
In just a moment He can touch you
And everything will change
When others see a shepherd boy
God may see a king
One by one problems come
And dreams get shattered
And sometimes it’s hard
But things like chance
They don’t really matter
Our Father holds tomorrow
In His hands
Well it wasn’t the oldest
It wasn’t the strongest
Chosen on that day
And yet the giants fell
And nations trembled
When they stood in his way
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.