This is a very simple idea to introduce topics such as “King David”, “Christmas”, “The Good Shepherd” and several more. All you need is some plain biscuits, icing sugar and some sweets for decoration.
This is a brilliant activity to use when covering themes such as “making mistakes”, “God’s plan for my life”, “Starting again”, “Being shaped in God’s image”. You’ll need enough Play Dough (or similar) for each child to have a blob.
David vs Absalom
(Props you might want to use: long-haired wig, crown)
David had a lot of sons – in fact he had 19 sons in total! And one of his sons was called Absalom – and Absalom was the trickiest son of them all! The Bible also tells us that no-one in all the land was as handsome as Absalom – he had no defects and long, flowing hair and he was well-liked.
Now, Absalom sometimes made some bad decisions and, from time to time, he fell out with his father, David – and, it seems, that Absalom did not think much of his dad. He spent time out and about in the city and, whenever anyone wanted to complain about something, Absalom used to say that the king didn’t want to listen to them! “If I was king”, he would have said, “I would listen to you…”
Yes, Absalom wanted to be king in the place of his dad! And, one day, Absalom gathered his men and prepared to attack and take the crown for himself!
But David hadn’t been king for so long for no reason – he found out about Absalom’s plot and he and his men went on the run! Yes, once again, David was forced to hide out from someone who was trying to kill him! David still had friends in the city who were loyal to him and, whenever Absalom made plans against his father, David’s friends gave Absalom bad advice and sent warnings to David.
Then, one day, the battle was on – David and his men put on their armour and prepared to go out and fight against Absalom but, just before they went out to fight, David’s men asked David to stay at home – they didn’t want the king to be in danger. David really wanted to fight but he agreed with his men.
So the battle was on in a nearby forest and Absalom was doing well in the fight – he pranced around on his horse until… uh-oh! His hair got caught in a tree! He was stuck! There was no-where for him to go, there was no-one to help him… and then David’s men came closer and closer with their spears and… they killed him! Absalom was gone.
David was told about the news – and how do you think he reacted? He cried and cried. He was so sad. Even though Absalom had hurt David, David still loved him.
That reminds me about how God thinks about us – we make mistakes and sometimes we don’t love God the way that we should but He never stops loving us. Never.
David lived for many years after that and died, an old man, in Jerusalem. One of his sons, Solomon, took over from him and was a wise and good king for the most of his reign, but Israel never had as good a king as David ever again… until a baby was born in Bethlehem almost one thousand years later…
This story is told using a StoryBox or a StorySack – various items are placed inside the box or sack and, as they’re removed, you tell the next part of the story. Once you’ve told the story, replace the items and ask a child to retell the story, using the items as a prompt.
The items you’ll need are:
A smiley face, an angry face, a bottle of oil/cup, heart-shape, loud speaker (or make your own with a cone of card), a crown, a broken crown, measuring tape, sheep
The king of God’s people was a man called Saul (CROWN) but Saul had not led as he was supposed to – he had turned away from following God with his whole heart and God decided that another would become king (BROKEN CROWN).
Samuel was God’s prophet (LOUD SPEAKER) – that means he told them people what God wanted them to know – God told Samuel that it was his job to anoint the new king. That just means that he went to meet the new king and was to pour oil over his head, to show that he was special and set apart (BOTTLE OF OIL).
Now, Samuel knew that if Saul heard that Samuel was anointing new kings, he would be furious (ANGRY FACE), so God told him that all Samuel had to do was meet the family of a man called Jesse and make a sacrifice to the Lord with them. I will show you what to do when you get there, said God.
When Samuel met Jesse he saw that Jesse had seven strapping sons! (MEASURING TAPE, showing their height and breadth) Aha! Thought Samuel – one of these guys must be the man God wants to be the new king.
But God spoke to Samuel, as He so often did – don’t look at their looks, Samuel. People always look at the outside, but I look at people’s hearts! (HEART SHAPE)
So, one by one, Jesse’s big, tough sons walked past Samuel and, one by one, God said, “no, not this one – this isn’t my new king”
Finally, all seven sons had walked past and God had said no to them all! Samuel asked Jesse – are these all your sons?!
Well… no, there’s one more – the youngest, David. I didn’t think you’d want to meet him – he’s out watching the sheep. (SHEEP TOY)
Get him, Samuel said so they did – and along came David. Young, handsome and God said, “This one!” So Samuel anointed him and David was God’s chosen king… but it wasn’t as easy as that, because Saul was still between David and the throne and he wasn’t going to give it up easily…
From the @childrensworker Instagram account: a couple of hands-on ways to talk about fears and sins with children, and to reassure them that God, through Jesus is bigger than them all and is our ever-present help.
The Battle is the Lord’s