power of grace: David, The
1. David on Trial-(Supplies: Bibles.) If you have more than 10 kids in your group, form two groups for this activity, with each group following the same instructions. Explain that group members are going to play the role of a jury that must decide how to sentence the defendant in the case of State vs. King David of Israel. Have the jury sit together and prepare to hear “witnesses.”
Begin by reviewing the story of David.
Say: David was a shepherd, the youngest son in his family, and was chosen by God to be the king of Israel. David served King Saul of Israel as a musician and soldier, and his success in battle made him popular with the public. Saul became jealous and tried to kill David, but David always escaped. When Saul died in battle, the people named David king of Israel. Now as you listen to these witnesses, you must evaluate the king’s behavior and determine an appropriate sentence.
Call a volunteer to stand in front of the jury as the first witness, and ask the witness to read aloud 2 Samuel 11: 1-4. Then ask: What’s your response to King David’s behavior?
Ask a second witness to stand in front of the jury and read aloud 2 Samuel 11:513. Then -ask: What was King David hoping to accomplish? Do you think this is the appropriate action for King David to take? Why or why not?
Have another witness stand in front of the jury and read aloud 2 Samuel 11 @ 14-17. Then ask the jury to discuss the following question and determine an appropriate sentence: Now what’s your response to King David’s behavior, especially considering that he was not only a political leader, but also a religious leader?
After a couple of minutes of discussion, ask the jurors to describe their sentence. If they haven’t decided upon a sentence, ask them to name the options they’re considering.
Then say: Let’s see what happened next. Ask a volunteer to read aloud 2 Samuel 11:26-12:6. Then ask: What sentence did David unknowingly pronounce upon himself? What’s your reaction to that sentence?
Say: Now let’s see what God’s reaction was to King David’s behavior. Ask a volunteer to read aloud 2 Samuel 12:7-17. Then ask: Was this a fair sentence? Explain. Did David think this was a fair sentence? Explain. What did it mean to David that the Lord took away his sin? Does unconditional love mean we don’t face the natural consequences of our sin or that we aren’t disciplined when we sin? Explain. What message do you think it would have sent to Israel if God had not responded to David’s sin? Did God’s response fit your definition of unconditional love? Why or why not?
Say: Now I’d like you to examine David’s response to God’s sentence by reading psalms he wrote. Have kids form three groups, and ask each group to read one of the following psalms: Psalms 32; 51; and 103. After groups have read, ask them to summarize the message for the rest of the groups. Then ask: How did David feel about his sin? about God’s response to his sin? Do you think David felt loved unconditionally by God? Explain. How did Gods love affect David’s life?
Have kids summarize what they’ve learned about God’s unconditional love through David’s experiences.
Copyright Group Publishing, Inc. Jan/Feb 2000
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