resource covers - younger children

Background: Strategically, David wanted to create a city as a power base. He wanted to return the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. This was a challenge. The family who finally housed it were so blessed by God that David’s enthusiasm to bring the chest to Jerusalem became more intense. Eventually, he considered building a temple for God but this task fell to his son, Solomon. Through David’s political strategies he encountered God.


Circle time

10 minutes

You will need: items to create a den

As you begin, invite children to sit together in a circle and welcome parents to join you for this time, if appropriate. Talk about special places where the children feel they belong. Make a den – decorate it, label it and create a barrier / password to prevent anyone uninvited to enter. Encourage as many imaginative suggestions as possible! Finish your circle time inside your den.


Game: a strong tower

5 minutes

You will need: toy bricks

Divide into two equal-aged groups with an equal number of bricks. Race against the clock to see who can build the tallest tower, which remains standing!


Bible story

10 minutes

You will need: toy bricks; a small chair or medium-sized box; a small box as the covenant box, decorated with shiny paper; tambourines or drums

David had become king. King Saul was dead. David was 30 years old when he became king. He ruled as king for 40 years.

He wanted to have a capital city, to be the centre of his kingdom. (If older children are

 present, find out what world capital cities they can name and talk about their significance.) He wanted to make this a special place, special for him and special for God. He tried to do this in three ways…

Part one

He chose Jerusalem, which was on top of a hill. I wonder why it might be a good idea to live in a town on a hill if you have enemies living near you. (Build a tower of bricks on top of the chair or box.)

The people who lived in Jerusalem thought no one could ever attack them. They locked the city gates. No one could get in and no one could get out. Their water came through an underground water tunnel. They had food and drink to last them a long time.

David’s army walked round and round the town looking for ways to get in. (Encourage everyone to walk round the chair.) They couldn’t see any way in. But David was a great fighter. He thought there must be a way to get in. Their water must come from somewhere. At last he found the entrance to the underground water tunnel. “This is the way we must go,” he told his soldiers.

Some of the soldiers waded through the stream of water that ran into the city. They got very wet as they climbed up into the city. Once there, they burst into the main street and defeated the people who lived there. That’s how David made Jerusalem his special city. It would be difficult for his enemies to get into the city because he now knew how to guard the water tunnel entrance.

Part two

King David also wanted to make Jerusalem a special place for God. He wanted to call it ‘The city of God’. God’s people had a sacred chest, which helped them to worship God. It reminded them of how much God had cared for them long ago. (Show them the decorated box). But the sacred chest had been captured by the Philistines, enemy of God’s people. King David wanted to capture the sacred chest to bring it to Jerusalem.

There were many challenges in capturing the sacred chest. But at last they succeeded and brought it back to Jerusalem. King David went in front of it singing and praising God as it was carried up the hill and into the city. They put the sacred chest into a specially made tent. (Invite the children to carry the sacred chest, singing loudly, playing tambourines or drums as they bring it into the city.) David was so happy because now God was in his city in a special way.

Part three

David built a palace in Jerusalem. It was a grand building. He wanted to live in his city. But then he thought maybe he ought to build a proper place where God can live - a temple! Where was he going to put it? What would it

 look like? (Ask for suggestions.) David never asked God what he wanted!

But God wanted David to know what he thought. One night he spoke to Nathan, a man of God and gave him a message to tell David: “David, I have never lived in a house. The sacred chest has been kept in a tent which can move around. I don’t live in one place. I never wanted to live in a building. I don’t want you to build a temple. But your son, Solomon, can build a temple in Jerusalem after you have died.”

David never built a place for God to live. He built his city of Jerusalem to be a special place for himself but no temple. (Point to the tower of bricks.) God was there, but God is not in just one place. Jerusalem was eventually destroyed and had to be rebuilt. God was not destroyed for God is everywhere.


Chatting together

5 minutes


  • What made Jerusalem, known as the city of God, a special place?
  • I wonder what you would have done to make Jerusalem a special place…
  • Why did God not want to live in one place? What did King David discover about God in this story?


Creative reflection and prayer

10 minutes

You will need: toy bricks; paper; pens

Wonder with the children about what they think about God from this story! What have they discovered about him? If God is not in just one place, where is he?

Why do we have church buildings? Why do we decorate churches? Could we meet to worship God outside a building?

Take the bricks and ask some children to build the room where you currently are. Hold out your hands to God – thank you God that his are here with you.

Encourage the children to take the bricks to build into other places (outdoors and indoors) where they go during the week. Alternatively they can draw these places. When each place has been created, they should say: “Thank you God that you are here with us.”