Published: August 8, 2023
In this preschool Bible lesson, kids hear how God chose David to be the new king and discover that what’s inside our hearts matters most to God.
Preschool Bible Lesson: God Chooses David as King
Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:1-13
Bible Experience: Who Will Be King?
- bottle of oil (any kind of non-toxic oil is fine)
- random objects from around the room
For this preschool Bible lesson, have children begin sitting in a circle with you. Open your Bible to 1 Samuel 16, and show kids the words. Tell them the Bible is God’s special book.
Say: The Bible tells how David was chosen to be king of Israel. King Saul wasn’t a good king. He didn’t follow God. So God decided to make someone else king in Saul’s place.
God knew who he wanted to be king, and God sent Samuel to find that person. He told Samuel it would be one of Jesse’s sons, who lived near Bethlehem. God told Samuel to find Jesse. God would show Samuel which son would be the new king.
Play a quick game of I Spy with your group. Identify something small in the room you want children to find.
Say: I spy something [descriptor of the item, such as color, size, or shape].
Have children guess by going to an item and bringing it to you. After two or three incorrect guesses, give another descriptor of the item. Continue until someone guesses correctly. If time allows, play the game two or three times. When the game is over, have children sit in a circle again.
- How was our game like Samuel looking for God’s new king?
Say: When Samuel arrived in Bethlehem, Jesse introduced Samuel to his seven sons. When Samuel met the first son, Samuel thought he looked like the type of man who would make a good king.
- What do you think a king might look like?
Say: God told Samuel that Jesse’s first son wasn’t the king. God doesn’t care about what a person looks like on the outside; God cares about what a person is like in his or her heart.
- What do you think God wants us to be like in our hearts?
Say: Samuel went on to meet another of Jesse’s sons. He wasn’t the one God had chosen either. In fact, God didn’t choose any of the seven brothers.
Since Samuel hadn’t found the new king, he asked Jesse if these were all his children. Jesse said there was still one more son—the youngest, David—who was taking care of the sheep. Have children make sheep sounds. Samuel had Jesse get David. When Samuel met David, God told Samuel that David was his choice to be the new king. Davie was friends with God! David had the kinds of things in his heart God was looking for. So Samuel put oil on David’s head in front of David’s whole family to show that God had chosen David. Show kids the bottle of oil. From that day on, God’s Spirit was with David in a special way.
- Tell about a time someone chose you to do something special.
- What was it like for you to be chosen?
Say: God has special plans for you, too. We just need to listen and obey him to find out what those plans are.
Craft: What’s on the Inside
- craft foam
- washable markers
- heart stickers
- hole punch
Prior to this preschool Bible lesson, cut craft foam to resemble a crown and punch a hole at each end. You’ll need to make one crown for each child.
Say: What was inside David’s heart was more important to God than what David looked like on the outside. Let’s make something to remind us that God cares about our hearts, too.
Give each child a craft-foam crown. Set out markers, and let kids decorate the outside of their crowns in any way they choose. Then give kids each a heart sticker to put on the inside of their crowns. Help children each tie a piece of yarn through the holes at each end of their crown so the crowns fit on their heads. As children work, ask the following questions.
- Why do you think God cares more about who we are in our hearts than what we look like on the outside?
Say: When you wear your crown, remember that even though it looks great on the outside, the most important thing about it is the heart on the inside.
Game: What’s Inside?
- 3 or 4 lunch-size paper bags decorated with stickers or simple artwork
- a variety of items with different textures, such as a rock, cotton ball, rubber ball, wood block wrapped in satin fabric
Place one object in each bag and close the bag so children can’t see inside. Let children take turns reaching inside each bag and guessing what the objects are by feeling them but not looking at them. When kids are done guessing, show them the object in each bag.
Say: God told Samuel we see people based on how they look on the outside, but God knows what people are like in their hearts.
- What was it like feeling inside the bags?
- Explain whether the artwork on the outside of each bag helped you know what was inside the bag.
Say: The objects in the bags each felt different when you touched them. What our hearts are like is often different from what we look like on the outside.
Prayer: David’s Prayer
End this preschool Bible lesson with a prayer.
Say: In the Bible, David wrote a prayer asking God to look at his heart. That’s one way David made sure he had the good heart God wanted. Paraphrase Psalm 139:23-24 for kids, having them follow along as you do the motions in parentheses as you read each line.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; (place hands on heart)
Test me and know my worried thoughts. (touch index fingers to temples)
Point out anything in me that upsets you, (point to self; then point up)
And lead me along the path of life forever with you.” (walk in place)
After reading and acting out the verse, read through it again as a way for kids to pray. This time, allow time after reading for kids to pray quietly. Kids can ask God to help them make good choices and remind them that he cares about their hearts, not what’s on the outside.
Close the time by praying aloud, asking God to show everyone how to have a good heart in God’s sight.
This preschool Bible lesson comes from The Giant Book of Preschool Ideas for Children’s Ministry. This book has more than 175 ideas designed to help you introduce preschoolers to Jesus and the Bible—in relational, experiential, and fun ways. For even more Bible lessons, check out these posts!
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