This is a game that simulates the time when Saul chased David around the mountain and almost caught him. It also references when David crept up on Saul in the cave and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe.
o Bandanas, handkerchiefs or large scraps of cloth (2 – in different colors)
o 1 Samuel 23:24-28
o 1 Samuel 24:1-22
o Read the Scriptures, and be prepared to summarize the stories.
o Mark or highlight the Scriptures in the Bible if you want to read them during the lesson.
o Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
- “King Saul didn’t like David at all!”
- “He was afraid that the people in his kingdom liked David so much that it would make it easy for David to become king instead of him.”
- “So King Saul chased David throughout the wilderness of Israel.”
- “One time, King Saul got information about where David was hiding, and he took his army to try and kill him.” (Summarize or have a volunteer read 1 Samuel 23:24-28.)
- “Thank goodness the Philistines attacked! Otherwise, King Saul might have caught David on the mountain!”
- “There is another story in the next chapter that tells about a time when King Saul was close to catching David but didn’t know it.” (Summarize 1 Samuel 24:1-22.)
- “This is a pretty funny story, because David was in the same cave where King Saul went to use the restroom!”
- “David was able to sneak up on King Saul when he was doing his business and cut off a piece of his robe.”
- “A king’s robe represented his right to be king.”
- “When David called to King Saul from the cave and showed him the piece of robe, it was like David was saying, ‘I could be the king now if I wanted to, but I don’t want to be king until God makes me king.’”
- “So, let’s play a game about these two stories.”
- “It’s called ‘Round the Mountain,’ and it’s played with two teams.” (Divide the group into two (roughly) evenly sized teams, and give each one a bandana, handkerchief or strip of cloth. You can also divide the groups up between kids and adults if that works better in your context.)
- “This group will be King Saul’s army, and this group will be David’s army.” (Make these designations randomly. However, if you have adults playing, they should be King Saul’s group, since they are the “bad guys.”)
- “Each group should line up, single-file (one behind another).”
- “The last person in line should tuck the cloth in the back of your waistband, like a tail.”
- “This cloth represents your ‘robe,’ and most of it has to be showing so that the other team has a chance to grab it.” (Make sure that the ‘robe” is showing clearly with just a corner tucked in.)
- “The person at the front of the line is either King Saul or David, depending on the team.”
- “The goal of the game is to capture the other army’s ‘robe’ as you pretend to run around the mountain.”
- “Only King Saul or David can grab the robe from the other team’s army.”
- “Everyone else in the line has to put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them.”
- “If your hands come off that person’s shoulders, you have to stop until you get your hands back on their shoulders.”
- “When I say ‘GO!’ King Saul and David will try to grab the other army’s ‘robe’ while the armies of each team try to keep it away from them.”
- “If your ‘robe’ falls out, but no one has grabbed it, you can try to put it back in.”
- “The first team to capture the ‘robe’ wins!”
- “Any questions?”
- Play several rounds, and let them switch between playing King Saul’s and David’s armies if they want. When they finish, debrief with the following questions:
- Do you think God sent the Philistine army so that David and his men could get away from King Saul? Why or why not?
- Why didn’t David kill Saul when he had a chance in the cave?
- Do you think David made the right choice? Why or why not?
- Review the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the main message of the lesson.
King Saul chased, and David ran
Because he trusted in God’s plan.
Source: Michael Kientz