Theme: David trusted God to take down the giant Goliath
Scripture: 1 Samuel 17
Main Point: Clap! God wins the battle for us!
Supplies: A uniformed member of the military, train table, green and tan army men, Ken doll, slingshot, 5 smooth stones
Teachers: Take this lesson, study it, and make it your own. Allow the truths of the Scripture to sink into your own heart. Know what you are saying and say it with confidence. Repeat the main point over and over again.
Main Point: Clap! God wins the battle for us! (Have the kids clap after the clap part.) Repeat this over and over again. Get the kids to say it with you. This should be the one thing that the kids remember from the day.
I. Introduce It – Military Strategy Talk
II. Explain It – The story of God defeating Goliath through David.
III. Connect It – This is where you apply the story and connect it to Jesus. Just as David was the victorious representative for the people of Israel, Jesus can be our victorious representative today.
Invite a member of the military to come and introduce today’s lesson. Have this man come in and give the kids the “situation room debrief.” He’s to explain the military situation between the Israelites and the Philistines. Use green and tan army men to set up the train table with the two armies facing each other with a big gap representing the valley in between them. Make sure that the soldier has the Ken doll to put in the middle of the table at the right time.
Soldier enters with authority and in a hurry. Use the train table to point to what you are talking about. Alright, you ragamuffins! We’ve got quite the situation on our hands. Here it is. The Philistines are assembled on the other side of the Valley of Elah. We’re assembled on this side of the Valley of Elah. There’s a battle line right down the middle of the valley and we are kind of stuck here.
Now, the Philistines have this behemoth of a secret weapon – his name is Goliath. Take out the Ken Doll and put him in the middle of the table. Now, there is no way to get around this guy. He’s huge! He’s got to be at least 8 feet tall. He’s got the most high tech gear. He’s well armored, and he seems really brave.
Here’s the deal. There’s going to be one fight to settle this entire battle—our best guy versus their secret weapon, Goliath. Whoever wins, wins the battle for their whole army! If we win, then the Philistines will be our slaves, but if they win, we have to be their slaves.
It seems like a hopeless battle. We’ve been here for 40 days, and nobody has had the courage to go out and fight Goliath yet. We need a hero to win this battle! Soldier exits, teacher thanks the soldier for visiting.
Go over the main point of the day with the kids. Have them repeat it until they remember it: Clap! God wins the battle for us!
The memory verse for the day says it this way:
Psalm 47:1a, 2 – Clap your hands, all you nations… How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth! ”
Thank you captain! So, that’s the situation in today’s story. The Philistines are on one side of the valley and the Israelites are on the other. They’re posed for war, but are at a stalemate. The Philistines have the giant Goliath on their side, and there are no Israelites with enough courage to go and fight him. The Israelites think that they need someone as big as Goliath to win this battle, but they’ve forgotten one important detail: Clap! God wins the battle for us! (Have the kids repeat this until they remember it.)
Now there was at least one Israelite who did remember this truth. Does anybody know his name? It was David. Yesterday we learned that David, although he was good looking, was the one of least likely people that God would call to be a king. Today, we’re going to learn that God also used David in other great ways.
All of David’s brothers were fighting in the battle, but David had to stay back at the house and take care of the sheep. One day, David’s dad asked him to take his brothers some lunch at the battleground. David arrived at the battleground just when Goliath was stepping out to tease the Israelite army again. When the Israelite army saw him, they ran back a few steps in fear! Just then, little David started to feel a little courageous. He said, “Who is this Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
So little David walked up to King Saul, who was a big manly man, and said, “Don’t be afraid because of this Philistine, I’ll go and fight him!”
King Saul responded, “You’re not going to go fight him! You’re just a boy. He’s been a warrior for his entire life.”
Then David told King Saul about the times that the Lord had given him strength to protect his sheep against wild animals like lions and bears. David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine!”
David knew something that Saul did not: God wins the battle for us!
Saul decided to give courageous little David a chance. So Saul started loading David up in all his armor. Saul put his tunic on David. Saul put his coat of armor on David. Saul put his helmet on David. And Saul gave David his sword. But remember, Saul was a manly man and David was a little guy. All this gear was too big for David! Can you imagine how silly David looked in Saul’s clothes!
David felt so awkward in King Saul’s army that he decided not to wear it. Instead, he put his clothes back on and grabbed his staff, his slingshot and 5 smooth stones (show the kids the slingshot and stones). And little David went to fight what would be a hopeless battle, unless God won the battle for him.
As David walked up to Goliath, the giant just laughed at him. The huge man teased David because he was so small and didn’t have the right weapons to fight a warrior such as himself. Goliath said, “Come here and I’ll feed you to the animals.”
That’s when David said something amazing, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head… All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give all of you into our hands.” Try to memorize this passage of Scripture so you can say it passionately. David is basically saying, God will win the battle for me!
Just as he finished saying this, David pulled a rock out of his pouch and shot it at the giant’s head! The stone sunk into his forehead and prideful Goliath fell down on his face. Then he ran up to Goliath, took the warrior’s own sword, and killed him with it.
When the Philistines saw that Goliath was dead, they turned and ran away from the Israelites as fast as they could! They were supposed to be the Israelites slaves now, but they ran away before that could happen.
David won the battle for all the Israelites! He was their representative. But God was the one who gave him the courage and the ability to take down Goliath. Clap! God wins the battle for us!
The main thing you need to remember from this lesson is what? Allow the kids a chance to respond. That’s right, Clap! God wins the battle for us!
How does God win the battle for us? He gives us a representative.
Who was the representative in this story? David, right? David fought Goliath for all the people of Israel. Because David won, everybody won. David was Israel’s representative.
David was Israel’s representative. Jesus can be our representative.
The Bible says that we’re all hopeless when left to ourselves. Everybody in here has sinned in one way or another. We’ve fallen short of God’s glory. Maybe it was just a little sin, but it was still a sin. Maybe you told a little lie. Or maybe you hated your brother or sister. Maybe you weren’t completely obedient to your parents one time. Whatever it is, all of us have sinned against God and because of that sin, we deserve to be punished by God.
But Jesus lived the perfect life that you could never live! And he got that punishment that you deserve! That’s why he died on the cross. Jesus died to save sinners by being their representative. Just like David was Israel’s representative.
When we believe in Jesus he becomes our representative. God loves us like he loves Jesus. This is the only way for us to win the battle over sin! This is the only way for us to know God. Clap! God wins the battle for us!
Who here wants to be like David? Who wants to be courageous like him? Everybody, right? You can’t be courageous like David unless God is fighting for you! When you believe in Jesus and he saves you, he can give you courage to do the right thing no matter what, because He is our perfect representative.
David didn’t win because he was so great, but God won the battle for him. We can’t have a relationship with God because we’re so great, but God has to save us.
Some of you need to trust Jesus for the first time because that is the only way to win the battle against sin. Clap! God wins the battle for us!
Resources Consulted: ESV Study Bible, Tim Keller – “The Hero of Heroes”, Marty Machowski – Gospel Story Bible and Long Story Short. “The Young Hero and the Horrible Giant,” Sally Lloyd Jones – Jesus Storybook Bible
If you enjoy this Elementary Bible lesson, please take time to download the full VBS 2012 Elementary Curriculum, which includes four more Bible lessons by Fletcher Lang.