David Forgave his Bad Enemies
Dear Lord, use this study to
help the children love and forgive others who wrong them,
Choose activities that fit the children’s ages and needs. Do them in any order you want.
1. Read or tell by memory how David forgave his enemy Saul (1 Samuel 24:1-22).
· Prepare ahead of an older child time to read or tell this story by memory.
· Before telling the story, ask the children to listen carefully to discover in what way David responded honorably to his enemies.
· After telling the story, ask the children:
What did the bad King Saul want to do to David?
What opportunity did David have, to kill his enemy king Saul?
Did David take revenge on his enemy?
Did David try by force to make himself king of Israel?
What kind of person did Saul say David was, after David spared his life?
Why did Saul
feel bad, after trying to kill David?
When David could have harmed King Saul, he spared his life.
2. Dramatize David forgiving Saul (1 Samuel chapter 24).
· Rehearse the drama to present it to the adults during the worship time.
· Let this practice be a teaching time for the children.
· If possible, let one or two men join the children and act as soldiers.
· If children can imagine what Saul, David, or the soldiers said, then do not limit what they say to what is written below. Let the children add in their own words what they think Saul or David said.
· Actors do not need to memorize lines: read them, as the aim is not to perform but to relive sacred events.
· Let older children help prepare younger ones.
After presenting the drama, let
children ask the adults questions about it.
· Older children (or men) play these parts:
Saul Wear a blanket or sheet as a ‘robe’.
David Prepare a sword made of wood or cardboard, and a piece of cloth the same color as Saul’s robe. Hide this cloth in your hand until you pretend to cut off a piece of Saul’s robe with the sword.
Younger children play these parts:
Saul’s soldiers (An adult or older child might also be a soldier of Saul or David.)
David and David’s
(Lead your soldiers near to where David is hiding,
soldiers: (Salute King
Saul and shout.) “Yes, Sir!”
Saul (Take off your robe and set it beside you. Sit facing away from the robe and close your eyes. Let your head tilt down as though asleep.)
soldiers (Some say) “David,
David (Walk quietly behind Saul, with your sword in hand.)
soldiers (Some say) “Kill
“No. I will not kill him.
soldiers (Some say) “Kill
(Pretend to cut off a piece of Saul’s robe.
“Is that you, David my son? Oh, I am sorry!”
3. Let older children create poems and songs about forgiving others.
4. Memory work.
Small children memorize Matthew 5:44:
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Older children memorize Galatians 5:22 & 23: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
5. Poem. Three children each recite a verse from Psalm 15, verses 1, 2 and 3.
6. Read about heaven in Revelation 7:9-17, where we will wear white robes.
Draw a robe like the one shown
here and let the children copy it.
Explain: The robe illustrates how God
wants to clothe us with his holiness and love.
7. Have an older child pray:
Dear Lord, you want us to be holy like you are, full of purity and love. Help us learn from David’s example the kind of persons you want us to be by the power of Your Spirit. Forgive us our sins and help us forgive other people as David did. Amen.
A more detailed drama to act out: Jesus told Peter how to forgive others: