For the next few weeks we will learn trust in God from the life of David. David trusted God as a shepherd, giant fighter, in hiding, and in the palace. We can learn much from David’s life, and so can your child.
Today’s story is about David’s reliance on God in the early years of life. We will see in the weeks to come that David continued to trust the Lord throughout his life. Talk with your child about times that he or she has trusted you as a parent to take care of and protect him or her.
Say: “In our true story from the Bible today we will learn about how a shepherd boy could trust God so much that he was able to do amazing things. Listen for what this young shepherd could do with God’s help.”Open your Bible to 1 Samuel 16 and tell the story.
Getting to know God more helps us trust Him more. In quiet moment, our alone times, we can spend reading our Bible and praying more so we can know Him more.
David Was a Shepherd Boy
(1 Samuel 16:6-12; 17:12-15, 34-36)
Long ago, during the days of King Saul and the prophet Samuel, there lived a young boy named David. David lived in Bethlehem with his father, Jesse, and his seven older brothers. Three of his brothers were soldiers in Saul’s army. David, however, stayed home and helped his father. One of David’s jobs was to care for the sheep. Men who did this were called shepherds. A shepherd moved his sheep from place to place so the animals always would have green grass and fresh water. On nights when the flock was far from the shepherd’s home, the shepherd would sleep on the hillside to watch over it. Probably there were many nights when David looked at the stars and the moon and thought about the beautiful world God had made. He may have learned to play his harp on the hill, and he probably wrote many songs as he watched the sheep.
Serving as a shepherd boy, David learnt a lot about how God watches over us like a shepherd watches his sheep. He learned to trust God in everything. He even wrote a song about God being our shepherd (Psalms 23). In those precious times alone with sheep, David prayed a lot to God and got to know Him more. Ho grew to trust God so much that he was able to do great things!
For example, one time a lion carried off one of David’s sheep. David ran after it, caught it, and killed it! He had confidence that God would give him the strength to rescue the sheep. Another time a bear came and stole one of his sheep. David ran after a bear and killed it too! A day came when he killed a great big giant that every other person was afraid of!
- What was the shepherd boy’s name? (David)
- What animals did he kill to protect his sheep? (A lion and a bear)
- Why was he able to kill the lion and the bear? (He trusted God to protect him)
- What things today could make us afraid? Can we trust God to protect us even with these things? (For example, darkness, tests and exams, sickness and disease, a bully, loss of a loved one, etc.)
Tell about some times that you might have been frightened but were comforted by specific scriptures.
Make a Lion’s Head
- Make a collage lion head, using paper or ropes or fabric. Simply draw the outline of a lion’s head (it doesn’t have to be perfect) and let the children have fun sticking pieces of yarn or paper strips to make the mane. This is sure to keep them busy – and perhaps quiet!
- Use whatever you have around the house with a round shape (paper plate, construction paper, etc.) Cut the edges into strips and curl them just a bit for the lion’s mane. Glue on wiggly eyes or just draw the eyes. Color or glue on a fabric nose and mouth.
Psalm 23 (reduce the number of verses depending on the age of the child)
- Write down the words of the verse to be memorized on different pieces of paper. If learning the entire chapter, make it sentences. Have the children fix up the pieces as a jigsaw puzzle.
- Take turns as a family reciting the verse(s) morning and evening.
- If learning the entire chapter, have the children draw a picture to represent each verse, and write the verse beneath it. Show them the pictures in order to remind them – or paste it by their bedside.
Family game night:Herding Sheep.
Put the family into teams.
Use a rope/line made with tape to demarcate one end of the room.
Blow up some balloons and draw sheep face on them
Each participant holds a rod made of rolled-up paper.
The aim of the game is to herd as many sheep as possible from one end of the room to the other end that is demarcated. To make it more difficult for the adults, allow the children try to blow the balloon away from them. The team with the most balloons in at the end of the timed period wins.
Alternatively, in the absence of balloons, roll up paper into balls, or simply use balls of cotton wool, and try to blow the paper balls into the demarcated area using a straw.