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Bible: 1 Samuel 24
Background: David’s popularity was increasing (21:11) but King Saul continued to attempt to track him down in an attempt to kill him. David recognised that Saul was still God’s anointed king. He was unwilling to do anything to speed up his own accession to the throne.
Welcome each child by name and share out your refreshments. Talk about who has said hello to them this week. How do we greet one another?
You will need: music and the means to play it
Play the music. When the music stops, each child high-fives another child. By doing this, they are welcoming someone in the group. Continue until each child has greeted everyone else. Explain that one way to please God is to welcome others, especially anyone new to the group.
You will need: a parachute; two crowns; a scarf
If possible, go outside for the storytelling. If you don’t have a parachute, stand the children in a circle. Mark out the circumference with chalk or masking tape.
Choose two children to be Saul and David, standing either side of the parachute. Stand four children next to Saul to represent his soldiers. Everyone else is one of David’s soldiers, standing around David. Put a scarf round Saul’s neck and tell the following story.
King Saul was king of God’s people, the Israelites. Put a crown on Saul.
But Saul was not a good king. He was proud and jealous of others. He wasn’t kind to his people. He thought he knew better than God. King Saul chose to do things that did not please God. Everyone does a ‘thumbs down’ action.
So God chose David to be king. Put a crown on David’s head. Everyone does a ‘thumbs up’.
When Saul heard about this he was not happy. Saul looks angry.
Saul gathered all his soldiers together. They get closer to Saul.
When David heard about this, he ran away. His soldiers gathered around him. (David’s soldiers get closer to him.)
David’s men hid very quietly in a cave, right at the back. David’s soldiers hide under the parachute. They didn’t want Saul to know where they were.
Saul and his soldiers marched around in search of David and his soldiers. Saul and his soldiers march round the parachute.
But Saul had two problems. He didn’t know where David was hiding, and he needed the toilet!
Saul saw a cave close by; the cave where David was hiding. He slipped into the cave to do a wee. Saul slips under the other side of the parachute to David. He does not do a wee!
David’s soldiers jumped up and down with excitement when they saw Saul. “David,” they whispered loudly. “You can kill King Saul. He doesn’t know you’re here!” David’s soldiers move up and down.
But David knew that to kill the king was not the right thing to do. It was not what God wanted him to do. So all he did was slip up behind Saul and rip a piece off his scarf. Then he ran back to his soldiers. David acts this out but takes the whole scarf.
Saul left the cave without knowing what a lucky escape he’d had. He and his soldiers moved away from the cave. They move a few metres from the parachute. David and his soldiers also sneak out from the other side of the parachute.
David shouted out to Saul: “King Saul! King Saul!” David shouts this.
King Saul turned to see who was calling him.
Then David said: “King Saul, I don’t want to fight you. I’m not going to kill you. But I could have done. Look what I’ve got in my hand. David waves the scarf. God told me I would only become king at the right time. I want to do the right thing. I want to please God, so I didn’t kill you.”
Saul realised David was a better man than he was. He could see that David wanted to please God and do the right thing. So Saul went away. Saul and his soldiers walk away looking sad.
David’s soldiers shouted out: “Hurray for David!” They shout: “Hurray for David!”
Use these questions to chat about the story:
- Why did David’s soldiers want him to kill King Saul?
- Why didn’t David want to kill the king?
- Doing the right thing means doing what God wants. What can we do that means we are doing what God wants? (You could talk about welcoming each other or helping someone who needs help.)
You will need: paper; scissors; pencils; crayons
David had a choice and he chose to do the right thing; the choice which pleased God; to walk in the right way. Ask the children to draw around one of their shoes. Help them cut it out. Then they can draw themselves on their foot shape and decorate it. As you work, continue to chat about the right choices we could make this week.
David did the right thing and knew that God was with him. We can be sure that God is with us, helping us to do the right thing.
Form a long line of ‘soldiers’ and sing ‘Be bold, be strong’ or ‘We are marching in the light of God’. March as you sing.
As the children continue to stand in line, give them their foot shape to place beside them to form a long parallel line facing the same way as the children. Talk about choosing to walk in a way that pleases God and pray that he will help you all to choose to live in a way that pleases him. Ask that he will continue to walk with you.
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