David and Bathsheba

David_and_Nathan2_819487360

Scripture: 2 Samuel 11:1 – 3 and 14 – 27, 2 Samuel 12:1 – 14, or pages 254 – 255 in the The Golden Children’s Bible

Note to the teacher:  This is a difficult lesson to teach due to it’s frankness about David’s adultery with Bathsheba.  For younger children focus on Nathan’s story about the rich and poor men and their sheep.  I acted it out with clothespin people and cotton balls for sheep.

Marilynn Ross talks about teaching children this difficult story and has a wonderful paraphrase here.

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.

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Bible Lesson:
Have the children open their Bibles to II Samuel 11 or page 254 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.)

Discussion:

  • Where were the king’s men and the Israelite army in the Spring? Off to war with the Ammonites.
  • Where was David? In Jerusalem.
  • Do you think it was unusual that he would be at the palace instead of with his army?
  • Who did David see from the roof of his palace? A beautiful woman named Bathsheba.
  • Who was Bathsheba married to? Uriah the Hittite
  • Did David care that Bathsheba was married? No. He sent for her anyway and had a love affair with her.
  • What did David instruct Joab to do?  To put Uriah in the front line where the fighting was the fiercest so that he would be killed in battle.
  • Did that happen? Yes, Uriah was killed.
  • How did David react to the news of Uriah’s death? He told Joab not to be upset. “the sword devours one as well as another.”  He thought that he wasn’t really responsible because Uriah was killed in battle – just like any other soldier.
  • But, was David really responsible?  Yes.  He had put Uriah in the front line.
  • How did Uriah’s wife react to his death?  She was very sad and mourned for him.
  • What happened to Bathsheba after that?  She married King David and they had a son.
  • Was God pleased or displeased with David? Displeased.
  • How did God help David to realize his sin? He sent Nathan to him to tell him a story.
  • The story was about a rich man and a poor man.  How many sheep did the rich man have? a large number
  • How many sheep did the poor man have? One lamb that had become part of his family.
  • When a traveler came to visit the rich man what did he feed him?  The poor man’s sheep!
  • Have you ever been selfish like that rich man?  Maybe you ate all of the cookies before your brother or sister could have any.  Or maybe you insisted that everyone had to play the game you wanted to play and wouldn’t play what everyone else wanted to play… Can you think of some other examples of selfishness?
  • Did David think that it was fair that the rich man took the poor man’s sheep? No.
  • What punishment did he think that the rich man should have?  Death. He should repay the poor man 4 times over.
  • Who did Nathan say that the rich man was?  David. God had given him the throne and many riches and whichever wife he wanted, but David had taken the life of Uriah so that he could have his wife.
  • What did he say would happen to David’s family? There would always be fighting in his family
  • What did David say about this? “I have sinned against the Lord.”
  • Are you surprised that David, a man after God’s own heart, would do such a thing?
  • Everybody sins.  Even our parents sin and our pastor sins sometimes – just like we do. Nobody but Jesus is perfect.  But, if we are sorry for our sins and ask for forgiveness, He will forgive us. 
  • Did God forgive David?  Yes.
  • Why do you think God forgave David – but not Saul?  Saul wasn’t sorry and didn’t change his ways. He just made excuses for himself.  But, David was sorry and asked God to give him a clean heart.
  • Will God forgive you for your sins?  Yes, if we confess that we have sinned.
  • God forgave David, but was there still a consequence for his sin?  Yes.  His son would die. Our own sins have consequences, too. It’s better not to sin in the first place, isn’t it.
  • Let’s pray and ask God to forgive us for our sins and to give us clean hearts…

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During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…

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Memorize the verse.

Psalm 51:10 (KJV) “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

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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 What’s in the Bible? (Scroll down.) An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles.  The pages are reproducible.

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Video #1   (for 5-6th grade children)

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Share this children’s sermon from sermons4kids.  Don’t forget the great activities at the bottom of the page!

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Ministry to Children has a good lesson for this story.

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Here are some great object lessons:

#1 – “Sin Revealed” from Kids Sunday School Place

#2 – “Don’t Sin” from Kids Sunday School Place

#3 – “God’s Special Flashlight” from e-how

#4 – “A Heart For Jesus” from Kids Sunday School Place

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This lesson from Mission Bible Class has a paraphrase of the story and some activities below.

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Have the children fill in this word search from squidoo   or this worksheet.

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Here are some great activity ideas from ehow.com

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Play the “Throw Away Your Sins” game from Kids Sunday School Place

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Have the children make a big book from Lambsongs called “How to Get to Heaven” . (Scroll down)

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Sing “D to the A”   by Crossroads Kids Club.

or “Create In Me a Clean Heart”   or this version.

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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 hard copy Parents’ Page.

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