David—God’s Chosen King




Scripture:  1 Samuel 16:1-13


Memory Verse:      “The LORD said, ‘People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.’” 1 Samuel 16:7 (CEV)




Objectives:     This workshop will help the children understand that God has created each of us for a purpose and has a plan for our lives.  The people God chooses for jobs sometimes surprise us.  The jobs God chooses for us sometime surprise us.  Even though the world may try to put us into its own categories (by looks or economic standing, etc), God knows best— God knows our hearts!  And God’s purpose will prevail.  Once God is ready to use us for service, God will give us what we need—God’s Spirit, if we do not already have it, and any additional gifts and talents that we may need. 



Welcome and Introductions:

  1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag.
  2. Tell the children that today they will hear a story about how God chose someone to do his work and then will use the puppets to understand more about how people are chosen for special jobs.


Bible Story:


Plan to spend about 10 minutes on the Bible story before doing the puppet show.  For the first two weeks of the lesson, you will need to read the story to the class.  After that you may still read the story or jump directly to the discussion.  The FaithQuest curriculum is based on the CEV Bible, so that version is included here. You can share some basic Bible facts before reading the story: the story comes from the Bible, the Bible is God’s Word, and the story is from the book of the Bible called 1 Samuel. 1 Samuel is a book of the Old Testament.  Samuel was a prophet of God. His job was to advise the King about God’s plans.


You might want to introduce the story like this: The people of Israel had God, but they also wanted a flesh and blood king that they could see. At the time of this story, Saul was the very first king of Israel.  God chose Saul and then helped him to win battles, but Saul began to think he did not need God.  He thought he was great, not God, and he stopped thinking that God deserved the credit or thanks for what Saul accomplished.  Samuel, who was God’s prophet and priest over Israel, loved God and realized how much we all need God.  He was sad that Saul no longer felt this way.  In this Bible story, God is telling Samuel that God had chosen a replacement for Saul.


From the CEV:

The LORD Chooses David To Be King
1One day he (the LORD) said, "Samuel, I've rejected Saul, and I refuse to let him be king any longer. Stop feeling sad about him. Put some olive oil in a small container and go visit a man named Jesse, who lives in Bethlehem. I've chosen one of his sons to be my king." 2Samuel answered, "If I do that, Saul will find out and have me killed."
"Take a calf with you," the LORD replied. "Tell everyone that you've come to offer it as a sacrifice to me, 3then invite Jesse to the sacrifice. When I show you which one of his sons I have chosen, pour the olive oil on his head." 4Samuel did what the LORD told him and went to Bethlehem. The town leaders went to meet him, but they were terribly afraid and asked, "Is this a friendly visit?"
5"Yes, it is!" Samuel answered. "I've come to offer a sacrifice to the LORD. Get yourselves ready to take part in the sacrifice and come with me." Samuel also invited Jesse and his sons to come to the sacrifice, and he got them ready to take part. 6When Jesse and his sons arrived, Samuel noticed Jesse's oldest son, Eliab. "He has to be the one the LORD has chosen," Samuel said to himself.
7But the LORD told him, "Samuel, don't think Eliab is the one just because he's tall and handsome. He isn't the one I've chosen. People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts."
8Jesse told his son Abinadab to go over to Samuel, but Samuel said, "No, the LORD hasn't chosen him."
9Next, Jesse sent his son Shammah to him, and Samuel said, "The LORD hasn't chosen him either."
10Jesse had all seven of his sons go over to Samuel. Finally, Samuel said, "Jesse, the LORD hasn't chosen any of these young men. 11Do you have any more sons?"
"Yes," Jesse answered. "My youngest son David is out taking care of the sheep."
"Send for him!" Samuel said. "We won't start the ceremony until he gets here."
12Jesse sent for David. He was a healthy, good-looking boy with a sparkle in his eyes. As soon as David came, the LORD told Samuel, "He's the one! Get up and pour the olive oil on his head." [5] 13Samuel poured the oil on David's head while his brothers watched. At that moment, the Spirit of the LORD took control of David and stayed with him from then on.
Samuel returned home to Ramah.



God chose Samuel, the prophet, to go anoint the new king.  Does anyone know what anointing is?  It is a ceremony where oil is poured over someone who is chosen.  Samuel uses olive oil. 


God sends Samuel to Bethlehem to find the new king, who turns out to be David.  What do we know about Bethlehem?  It is where Jesus was born.  Is this just a coincidence?  No, Jesus, our Savior, was to come from the hometown of David, which is Bethlehem. 


Does God’s choice seem to be the obvious or likely choice?  Many answers may be given, but the main idea is--No, the oldest sons, tallest sons, and the most important sons are not chosen.  God chose someone so unlikely that the father, Jesse, did not even ask him to come in from the pastures to be considered.  I wonder why God chose David?  Lots of answers, but God knew David’s heart and knew that he would try to follow God’s will his whole life and be a good ruler and shepherd over the people of Israel.  And David was a good king!


Can you think of other Bible stories where God chose an unlikely person to do God’s will? Most of the Bible story characters are unlikely – a poor teenage mother for Jesus, a poor Jewish carpenter to be the Savior, Paul the Apostle who persecuted Christians, a woman was the first to see the risen Jesus.



Note:  Normally in Praising Puppets, the children perform the puppets in 1 of several skits.  This rotation has one longer skit, designed to be pre-rehearsed and performed by adults or youth for the children attending this rotation. 


If you decide to perform for the children, you can combine various student parts to use fewer puppets.  Also, each player can perform two puppets.  Post the scripts on the back of the stage so that the players can read, hands-free.  The teacher and narrator can be the same person, and can be a puppet or can be a human next to the puppet stage (like Fran with Kukla & Ollie or Mr. Rogers with his puppets).


Alternatively, you can have the whole class participate in this skit—the teacher part is much longer than the other parts, then there are 12 other parts (11 students and 1 narrator).  If you plan to do this, make about 15 copies of the script.


Questions following the skit:


After the skit has been performed, use questions to reinforce the concepts we are teaching about God and God’s knowledge of our hearts and what we are suited to do.  Some possible discussion questions follow.


·       What did you think of the students’ ideas about how to pick the best speller? encourage discussion by prompts about best-dressed, smartest, best-behaved etc.  

·       How did they act when they found out whom the best speller was? encourage discussion, look for idea of surprised.   

·       How did this remind you of when David was chosen as the king?  Not the person everyone would have chosen, seemed unlikely choice, father had not even asked him to come in from the pasture to be considered. 

·       Do you think the teacher often know who is best at things in school?  God is even more special than your teachers, because God knows things that no other human being knows about each of us.

·       Do you think God knows what we’re best at?  Did you know that God has designed each of us for some special purpose?  Do you wonder what your purpose is?  You can pray to God and ask help to know what God’s purpose is for you.

·       Was the teacher right about Ben?  Yes.  Was God right about David?  Not covered in this Bible passage, but David was a good king, and he was a man after God’s heart all of his life. 


·       How might the teacher have helped Ben to get ready for the spelling bee?  spelling books, list of words that might be used, exercises, a homework pass the night before. 

·       In the Bible story, after David is anointed, God helps David get ready to be the king.  What does God do to help him?  “The Spirit of the LORD took control of David and stayed with him from then on.” (1 Sam 16:13b)  God gives many people his Spirit to help them do God’s work. 

·       Do you know how the Spirit can help you too?  Knowing God’s will, helps you obey God, understand right from wrong, helps you pray, teaches you about the Bible and many other things!  Do you know how to ask God to give you the Holy Spirit?  Tell God you know that you need God’s help, that God is responsible for the good you do, that you want to serve God. God will give you the Holy Spirit to do God’s work.




Ask whether there are any questions. 



Reflection Time:

  1. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journal sheets and pencils/markers.  Tell the younger children to draw a picture of Samuel anointing David.  Tell the older children to practice their memory verse by writing it three times.  They can draw pictures when they finish. 




Prayer:  Close with a simple prayer about God, giving thanks that God knows the heart of each one of us, that God has a purpose for each of us.  Ask God, in the name of Jesus, to reveal that purpose to each one of us.


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help clean up as they wait for their parents to arrive. 


Teacher preparation in advance:


1.     Pray about preparing and performing this lesson. 

2.     Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

3.     Make the appropriate copies of the script.  If you are planning to perform, select players and rehearse the play.  Time this.  You can post copies of the script on the stage so players can refer to it.

4.     Practice reading the Bible story.  Time this also. 

5.     Make copies of the memory verse or plan to post it in the room for reflection time.

6.     Prepare a closing prayer.

7.     Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located. You can bring a CD or taped music for background music while you are gathering, along with meditative music for reflection time.




1. Copies of the script.

2. Copies of the memory verse



Notes supplied for curriculum writers' Bible study in May 2003.






Teacher:  “Good morning.  Today I have some exciting news for you.  The school is going to have a spelling bee for our grade.  Each class will choose one speller to represent the class.  This speller will compete against the other spellers from the other classes in our grade.  Whoever wins the spelling bee will win an outdoor ice cream party for their class.”


Class:  (lots of excited talking)


Teacher: “The most important thing is that we choose the best speller in the class to represent us.  Do I have any suggestions or volunteers?”


Student 1:  “I’ll do it.”


Class:  (no’s and yes’s to this)


Student 2:  “I think Marjory should do it.  She seems like the smartest girl in the class.”


Class:  (excited discussion)


Student 3:  “No, I think Rick should do it.  He seems like the smartest boy.”


Class:  (excited discussion)


Student 4:  “What about Kimberly?  She is the best behaved.  She knows all the rules.”


Student 5:  “How about Fred?  He’s the best dressed.  The judges will like the way he always wears a shirt with a collar.”


Student 6:  “Clothes don’t matter.  But Beth has really shiny hair.”


Student 7:  “Hair is not important to spelling.  Maybe we should vote.  My parents always get to vote to choose people.”


Teacher:  “You all have some interesting ideas.  But first let’s decide on how we’re going to pick the best speller.”


Student 8:  “What about your ideas, Teacher?  Who do you think is the best speller? 


Teacher:  “You’re asking me for my opinion?  Why would you ask me?”


Student 9:  “You know who has the best spelling grades.”


Teacher:  “Good point.  Let me look in my grade book. (looking through grade book.)  Well, actually, the best speller in the class is Ben.”


Student 10: “Ben? He never says anything in class.  I didn’t know he was a good speller.”


Class:  (All turning to look at quiet puppet.  Lots of excitement and disbelief phrases—“Me neither.”  “Wow!”  “Who’d have thought of Ben?”) 


Teacher:  “Ben, will you represent our class?”


Ben:  (quietly) “Yes.”


Narrator:  “Ben did represent the class.  And he won.  One of the reasons he won was that he was the best speller in the class.  The other reason that he won was that the other classes chose their spellers from the best-dressed, the most popular, the most confident and the seemingly smartest child in the class.  No other class thought to ask its teacher--who actually knew who the best speller was.”