Chapter 12: A King Makes Bad Choices / The Trials of a King
Timeless Truth: God is just . . . and forgiving.
Bible Basis: Psalm 51:1-12 5, 1 Chronicles 29:1-20, Psalm 23
Key Verse: “Wash away all of the evil things I've done. Make me pure from my sin” (Psalm 51:2).
The Story Chapter 12
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity will help your family understand the problem with sin (as you eat cookies). The Extra Mile exposes your family to two worship songs based on Psalm 51 and encourages you to get to know the Psalms.
Get the Point:
Preschool: God forgave David's sins. God forgives me when I'm sorry for doing wrong things.
Elementary: God forgave David's sins. God forgives me when I'm sorry for doing wrong things.
Middle School: David made huge mistakes. But when he asked God for forgiveness, David did it from the deepest part of his soul. God forgave David and used him in huge ways.
High School: David lived to the extreme. He messed up extremely bad, but also had a heart extremely committed to God. God loved and blessed David.
- King David was called a man after God’s heart, but made a huge mistake and tried to cover it up. Is hiding sins ever a good idea? Why?
- The prophet Nathan came to let David know that God knew about David’s sin. David was totally embarrassed and felt awful. Have you ever sinned and tried to hide it? What happened? (As a parent, if you have a story to tell about your childhood, please share it here.)
- Talk about what it feels like when you’re trying to hide something bad that you’ve done. How does it make you feel?
- What wrong actions do you battle with the most? (Stealing, lying, anger.)
- What’s the best thing to do when you mess up?
- God forgave David, but there were still consequences for his sin as David and Bathsheba’s first son died. Can you think of any consequences you’ve faced after doing something bad?
- Later, David’s son Absalom rebelled against him. Absalom was very proud of his hair, which ended up getting caught in a tree and led to his death (Can anyone say, “Pride comes before getting your hair stuck in a tree”?) Why is pride such a big deal to God?
- Are there any areas of pride that you need to look at in your life?
- Talk about some of David’s greatest accomplishments and mess-ups. What can you learn from his life?
You’ll need waxed paper, a tube of frosting, a rolling pin and sugar cookie dough for this activity. The slice-and-bake dough from the store will work or you can make dough the night before and have it chilling in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready, gather your family in the kitchen and ask: “Have you ever done something and then said, ‘I wish I could take that back’? David certainly did. Sometimes he did bonehead things and wished he could turn back time.”
Put out the waxed paper, tube of frosting and rolling pin. Ask for a volunteer. Have that family member try to get all the frosting out of the tube and onto the waxed paper. He can squeeze it, crush it and use the rolling pin on it. When he’s finished, say, “OK, now get all the frosting back in the tube.”
Just like it’s impossible to reverse time and take back sin, it’s impossible to get the frosting back in the tube. Talk about the importance of thinking before you act and trying to always follow God’s will and teaching with your words and actions. As you talk, take out the cookie dough. Roll and bake cookies, using the frosting to decorate them. Point out that God can use the mistakes in our life to make something sweet. God will always forgive when we honestly ask him for forgiveness. He wants us to serve him with our whole heart.
David did everything with gusto. He served God with passion, and when he messed up—he did it big time! After one especially painful mistake, David poured out his heart to God in Psalm 51.
Watch these two videos that feature songs based on Psalm 51.
“Create in Me a Clean Heart” by Keith Green
“Create in Me a Clean Heart” by Donnie McClurkin
- Are any specific lyrics especially meaningful to you?
- Have you ever journaled or written a poem about a time you’ve messed up? If it’s appropriate, share it with the family.
- How are these songs different?
Each person’s relationship with God is unique, because he knows our hearts. He knows what will work best to sculpt us to be more like him.
Get to know the Psalms better by reading the one that corresponds to today’s date. Go the extra mile by reading all the Psalms that are multiples of the date (example: 17, 34, 51, 68, 85, 102, 119 (watch out for this one!) and 136. Do this for an entire week as a family.
Chapter 11: From Shepherd to King
Timeless Truth: Total trust in God brings great courage.
Bible Basis: 1 Samuel 16-17; Psalm 59:1-5, 9-10 and 16; 2 Samuel 2:1-6
Key Verse: “I am coming against you in the name of the Lord who rules over all” (1 Samuel 17:45).
Resource: The Story: Teen Edition, The Story for Kids/Children/Little Ones: Chapter 11
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity will help your family understand how God’s hand helped guide David’s stone. The Extra Mile encourages your family to watch classic “David versus Goliath” moments.
Get the Point:
Preschool: David fought in God's strength. God gives me courage when I am afraid.
Elementary: David fought in God’s strength. God gives me courage when I am afraid.
Middle/High School: David relied on God’s strength, not his own.
- Goliath’s enormous size (about 7 feet tall) and strength intimidated Israel’s army. Why wasn’t David afraid of this big bully?
- Would you have been afraid?
- Are there any bullies at school that scare you? What’s the best way to treat a bully? (Note: The correct answer isn’t to hit him in the head with a rock.)
- Saul thought David should fight Goliath in the traditional way and dressed David in his armor. Why was that a problem?
- How did David show faith by facing Goliath wearing his regular clothes and using rocks as a weapon?
Note: Young readers will enjoy hearing this story in the Jesus Storybook Bible on page 122.
- In King Saul’s eyes, Goliath was a massive, immovable force. What are the Goliath’s in your life? In other words, what areas of your life do you need God’s power to help you overcome?
- Are there any things in your life that mock God? Maybe you’re focused more on video games than God. Perhaps it’s the music you listen to.
- How can you defeat these Goliaths?
- What’s the main lesson you walk away from after reading about David’s faith and trust in God?
How could a teenager defeat the greatest warrior of his era? Two words: God’s power. David trusted God to give him the strength to defeat Goliath. He knew he couldn’t defeat the ultimate soldier in his own power; David needed supernatural power, not to mention great aim.
Goliath was decked out in more than 125 pounds of armor. David probably weighed just a little more than that. Goliath had a 15-pound spear. David had five smooth stones. Odds were David would end up as a shish kabob. Instead Goliath ended up on his back.
Have your family practice its aim by playing this game. Collect eight to ten 2-liter plastic bottles. Put a couple of inches of water in the bottom of each bottle for stability and set them up as bowling pins. If you’re playing the game inside, take turns throwing a pillow at the pins. Each person gets one throw. Count how many pins are knocked down. If you play outside, take turns kicking a soccer ball at the pins. Play several rounds, keep a running score and declare a winner.
When you’re finished, talk about the difficulty of knocking down the pins. Now think how difficult it would’ve been for David to sling a stone into Goliath’s forehead. According to historians, military equipment was pretty advanced at this time. Goliath most likely wore a helmet with a thin slit or visor. The giant probably underestimated David and didn’t lower his visor or failed to wear a helmet. With God’s help, David made a perfect shot to give Israel the victory. Ask:
- Do you think people still underestimate God’s power today?
- What are some ways to show God’s power to the people around you?
The contents of the Bible often make their way into the fabric of society. Nearly everyone knows the Golden Rule, which can be found in Luke 6:31. This week’s story also has made it into the English lexicon, especially when it comes to sports. Announcers love to talk about a “David versus Goliath” scenario as an underdog team faces a seemingly unbeatable opponent. The NCAA men’s basketball tournament, better known as March Madness, is famous for its upsets. Watch videos of two of the most well-known David-like victories.
The 1985 finals featured Georgetown and Villanova. Georgetown came into the game ranked No. 1 as the defending National Champion. Villanova was just an eight-seed and had already lost to Georgetown twice during the season. But the Wildcats shot an amazing 78.6 percent from the floor—missing just five shots all game—to win 66-64. Watch highlights of the game by searching YouTube.com for the 10:08 video called “1985 NCAA Championship - Georgetown vs Villanova.”
Perhaps an even more unlikely victory came in the 1983 finals when North Carolina State beat No. 1 Houston. With the game tied at 52-52, the Wolfpack wound down the clock and saw Dereck Whittenburg launch a shot into the air. Check it out by searching YouTube.com for the 5:28 video called “Team of Destiny.”
After watching these two videos, talk about what it took for a “David” to beat a “Goliath.” Ask members of your family if they still believe God gives Davids the ability to do the impossible today.
Advent is almost here and we as a church will be joining churches across Queensland on a Journey to Joy.
A suite of resources has been created by a collaborative team from across the Qld Synod of the Uniting Church to help congregations, communities, and families celebrate Advent together intergenerationally. We will be using the worship resources for the four Sundays of Advent and Christmas Day.
There are also five weeks of materials that have been designed for Families, singles, couples, and groups in congregations and the community which contain discussion questions on the weekly themes, Reflections on Characters of the nativity, challenges, and links to additional resources, including videos and songs, to help young and old to engage and go further in their discipleship journey this advent.
Printed materials will be available this and next week for you to collect and start to use in your homes and small groups. Materials are also available online at https://emmanueluca.org.au/dig-in-at-home.
We would love for you to use and share these with family and friends, and people you are relationship with, in the community as we all Journey to Joy this Christmas.