"I am Chosen!" is the message of this salvation Bible lesson for kids in our Identity Series. We'll take a look at David in 1 Samuel 16 where God chooses David as future king. He isn’t chosen because of what he looked like or even what he did, but because of his heart for God.
We will see how not only God chose David, but David chose God and we can too! Help kids understand how our identity is found through knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
This lesson took almost an hour using all activities with a group of thirty 3rd-6th graders.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 16
Focal verse: 1 Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Memory verse for the week: Psalm 139:14 HCSB
“I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.”
Central thought: “I am chosen & God desires for me to choose Him!”
Object Illustration: Trust Fall – faith demonstrated
White board, chalkboard or poster paper with marker or chalk to draw "Bridge Diagram"; two chairs for demonstration; copies of review catcher and scissors if using as a review activity.
This lesson took almost an hour using all activities with a group of thirty 3rd-6th graders.
Rec. Game with Tie-in: Any game in which students must be chosen for a team.
“The Line Up” – Have students get into groups of 8 (number of Jesse’s sons) and line themselves up as quickly as they can from tallest to shortest. Give a heart with Samuel 16:7 written on it to each of the shortest. Ask one of them to read it out loud to the class.
The people of Israel had wanted a king other than God; so God gave them what they wanted – a tall, handsome King named Saul. Now this is King Saul of the Old Testament, not Saul of the New Testament that became Paul! King Saul however did not love God with all his heart; he had become proud and his heart became hard.
This time God had chosen a king based on what He thought was important…not how the man looked or acted, but based on the man’s heart. God surprised everyone and actually chose a young boy!
Let’s open up our Bibles to the Old Testament to a book called 1 Samuel.
[ Bible tidbit: Show students how to use their table of contents to find a book of the Bible. Also tell them this book is found in the books of History (the history of Israel). This group of 7 books came after the first 5 books that were written by Moses. They can try to open their Bible to the middle and hopefully fall within or close to the book of Psalms and then turn back towards the front. Assure them that the more they use their Bibles, the more comfortable they will become in finding certain books, but it is A-OKAY to use the table of contents!]
Find chapter 16:1 of 1 Samuel and have someone stand and read verse 1. Ask the class to repeat the last sentence of verse 1 – “I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” God had chosen David.
Finish reading 1 Samuel 16:2-8 aloud to the class.
David was the youngest of the sons…he was number 8!
[Have everyone that is the youngest in their family stand up. Ask if they ever feel left out of some things because they are the youngest.]
God chose the youngest. He chose a boy. Most scholars believe David was only around twelve years old at this time! [For 6th grade, have all the twelve- year-olds stand up.]
Say “God doesn’t look at what we look like or what we do or even our age…what does He look at?” (Hopefully they will answer, “OUR HEART!”)
There is a verse in the New Testament that talks about David’s heart:
Acts 13:22 “After removing Saul, He made David their king. God testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse, a man after My own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'”
David’s heart wanted to follow God’s heart. The Bible talks about faith. Faith is the action of believing. It’s not just a belief in our head, but a deep belief in our heart…a knowing and trusting.
[Tell the following story of Charles Blondin in your own words:]
The amazing Charles Blondin story is that of the famous French tightrope walker crossing Niagara Falls.
It is a great story illustration of what true faith is.
Blondin's greatest fame came in June of 1859 when he attempted to become the first person to cross a tightrope stretched over a quarter of a mile across the mighty Niagara Falls. He walked across 160 feet above falls several times, each time with a different daring feat - once in a sack, on stilts, on a bicycle, in the dark, and once he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet! On one occasion though, he asked for the participation of a volunteer.A large crowd gathered and a buzz of excitement ran along both sides of the river bank. The crowd “Oooohed!” and “Aaaaahed!” as Blondin carefully walked across one dangerous step after another -- blindfolded and pushing a wheelbarrow. Upon reaching the other side, the crowd's applause was louder than the roar of the falls! Blondin suddenly stopped and addressed his audience: "Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?" The crowd enthusiastically shouted, "Yes, yes, yes. You are the greatest tightrope walker in the world. You can do anything!" "Okay," said Blondin, "Get in the wheelbarrow....." The Blondin story goes that no one did!
(Later in August of 1859, his manager, Harry Colcord, did ride on Blondin's back across the Falls.)
Ask, “Who had faith? (Harry Colcord) Who had belief? (people in the crowd)
Have a student ahead of time agree to do the following: have them come to the front and stand with their back facing you. Ask them if they trust you to catch them as they fall back. Have them say, “Yes.” Ask the class if they think the person really trusts you…how do they know? (They don’t for sure.) Next have the student fall back as you catch them. Now ask the class if they think the student trusts you…how do they know? (Because they saw they trusted you when they fell back and let you catch them.) That is faith. It is one thing to say we believe; it is another to act on that belief.
Romans 10:9-10 says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; or with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
God has chosen each one of us. He created us and loves us. But something in us separates us from Him and His love…something called sin. Sin is anything against God; it’s basically when we put ourselves in God’s place and think and act like we know better than He does. It may be doing things we know we shouldn’t do or it may be not doing something we know God wants us to do, but we don’t want to. We choose what we want over what God says is right.
The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that we have ALL sinned. Think about it. Have you ever done anything that you know was wrong; something you did because YOU wanted to even though you knew it was wrong and would not please God? How about a lie? How about disobeying your mom or dad? How about being mean to someone else or talking bad about them or even “thinking” wrong thoughts?! Those may seem like little things, but sin is sin; it is against God, no matter how “big” or “small” we may think it is. Sin separates us from God because He is perfect. He is holy and righteous (He is ALWAYS right!).
Have one student (preferably smaller than yourself!) stand on a chair on one side of the room representing “us”; have another chair on the other side representing “God in Heaven”. Tell them that between the two is a huge chasm representing sin so the student cannot just walk across the floor to the other chair. At the same time draw a visual of this illustration on the board as follows:
Wow…sounds kind of hopeless on our own, doesn’t it?
There is hope though!
We all probably know John 3:16 …let’s say it together.
It says God so loved the world.! Who do you think the world is? Yes, us! God so loved each of us; in other words, He chose us even while we were doing wrong. (Romans 5:8) God chose to send His Son, Jesus, to die in our place because the Bible in Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death”; there is a consequence to sin, a punishment. That’s not only our body dying, but it also means separation from God in a place called Hell forever. It’s separation from everything good, because God is good. It’s separation from love, because God is love. Get the idea? The price for sin is NOT good; it is not fun!
Jesus came and paid for our sin when He died on the cross. It goes on to say, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Finish the bridge illustration by drawing a cross between and label it “Jesus”:
Also…walk over to the student on the chair and allow him/her to get on your back and carry them over to the other chair.
Jesus said in John 10:10, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except by Me.” Jesus died and took our punishment for sin; He is the only One Who can carry us to God the Father in Heaven.
God has chosen to make a way for us to be forgiven so that we can have eternal life with Him in a place called Heaven. It is not automatic though. He gives us a choice.
Have students follow directions and choose one or the other of each choice. [depending on time more can be added, but end with Life or Death:]
Would you choose…
(stand for) (remain sitting for)
In each of these, you had to make a choice. Not making a choice (staying where you were) was still making a choice.
John 3:17-18, the verse right after John 3:16 talks about this.
"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Jesus didn’t come to tell us we are bad and leave us to die, but because He died on the cross in our place and overcame death and still lives, He gives us a choice of life and not death.
We have a choice to trust God with our life here and now on this earth and also with our forever life. When we say YES to Jesus and choose Him as our Lord and Savior, He will come into our lives and be with us now and forever!
Ephesians 3:17 says, “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong.”
What God saw different in David’s heart was a deep belief and trust in God. David had chosen to trust God; it was an act of His will. He decided He wanted God more than anything else.
What have you chosen? You may have already said “Yes!” to Jesus…best choice you’ve ever made! Or you may feel something like a “tug” in your heart right now or this week. It’s like a deep knowing that it is time; realizing you want and need God in your life right now.
Any adult here would love to talk to you and answer any questions you may have, or you can stop and talk to God yourself and just tell him you realize you’ve done wrong against Him and need His forgiveness. You want to trust Him with your life now and forever and live for Him and follow & obey Him. God promises when we come to Him in faith trusting Him to save us, He will do just that. So take time to thank Him for saving you! But it’s also important that you tell someone about your choice today! Share that INCREDIBLE news!
But then you may not be quite ready. Don’t just go through the motions because a friend does or you think others expect you to. Remember…it’s not about the outward appearance or actions; God sees our heart. If this is you, keep seeking God, keep learning and asking questions. We can do that at church or home reading our Bible. Hey, we have all been in your shoes and are here to help!
Okay…last thing before we go.
We’ve already said that David was probably around the age of twelve when God had chosen him to be king. David didn’t take over the throne that day, but God was preparing him and using him as a boy!
Where was David when Samuel came to Jesse’s house? (out tending the sheep)
If you opened your Bible to the middle, it would open close to the Book of Psalms or Songs.
Many of these were written by David (like Psalm 139 we’re looking at this week!), and several of them he wrote while he was out tending the sheep as a young boy! That tells us that David spent time alone with God out there in the pastures. He spent time praying and worshiping and even thinking about Bible verses. God used all that to help David become the “incredible” king who could shepherd the people of Israel.
David could also play the harp. God used David’s talent to help King Saul feel better. While spending so much time in the palace, David became King Saul’s son’s best friend. I bet he learned a few things about how to be a king or not be a king there! Did you know God can use your talents and abilities right now to be “Incredible” for Him?!
Yesterday we looked at how unique and special God made each one of us… we are ONE in a MINION!
God also has made us unique and special in the talents we have and things we can do for Him:
Have everyone that:
ex: Be an example in Christ-like sportsmanship. Pray for my teammates.
ex: Play or sing at a nursing home or in worship at church.
ex: In taking care of my pet, God can teach me to also be gentle with others; learn to be responsible; care for others; take care of His creations…
God has given each of us unique abilities that can be used to be incredible for Him!
Remember the Bible story about David fighting Goliath (the guy who was over 9 feet tall!) That was pretty INCREDIBLE, and David was only a young teenager, probably about 15 years old! God can use us right now…whatever age we are!
David was INCREDIBLE because of what God did in him. We can be too! Having a heart for God is an incredible thing!
(Ask students to bow their heads and close their eyes; this helps us not focus on what’s around us.)
Something I haven’t told you yet is that David was chosen by God to be a part of Jesus’ family; David was His 23rd great grandfather! David was an ordinary boy, the youngest kid in his own family. He probably didn’t think he was special at all, but God did. And God thinks each of you are pretty special too! He chooses to invite each of us to be adopted into His family.
Let’s take time to thank God for a few things:
1) Thank God that He has chosen you and loves you just the way you are (freckles, warts and all!)
2) Thank God that He has made a way for us to choose life because of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection! Ask Him to keep teaching you about Himself and how much He loves you!
3) Ask God to show you how He can use you in incredible ways right now…not just when you’re older and grown up, but right now as an eight year old, a nine year old, a ten year old, an eleven year old, a twelve year old or whatever age you may be. Thank Him for the talents and abilities He has given you to serve Him in incredible ways…even the ability to smile at someone or speak a kind word. Thank Him for the ways you can help others right now.
Dear Father, thank you that truly You have a plan and purpose in each of our lives. Thank you for showing us Yourself through Jesus, Your Son. Help us today to remember David and how You used him and prepared him as a young boy to be incredible for You. Help each of us follow you and love you with a heart like David’s. Thank You, that You have chosen us and created us to be INCREDIBLE! In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
Sometimes Bible lessons for kids can finish early; therefore we have included some lesson extenders!
Previous lesson in series - "I am Incredible - I am Created!"