Scriptures: 1 Samuel 17:1-51
Description: This lesson tells the story of David & Goliath and focuses on how we can defeat the “giants” in our lives.
Rhyme Time: Knocking down giants isn’t so tough.
God will help when things get rough!
Time: 30-45 minutes
o Computer, LCD projector and screen
o PowerPoint file – “God Gives Me Courage – Maps.ppt” (available on Lesson and Material Downloads page at http://www.teachthem.wordpress.com )
o Roll of wide masking tape
o Tape measure
o Thick black, red and green permanent markers
o Stilt blocks for Goliath character (made with three 2”x4”s)
o Tools for making stilts (saw, screws, drill)
o Costume for Goliath character (adult size)
o Costume for David character (child size)
o Sling for David.
o Five smooth stones.
o Harp for David.
o Shepherd’s staff for David.
o Bags of “food” for David.
o Armor for Saul
o Something (like a bean bag or a large pillow) to make a soft place for Goliath to land when he falls.
o Use the wide masking tape to tape off a 10-foot vertical bar against the tallest point in the room. (You may need to continue to tape across the ceiling if your room is shorter than 10 feet.) Then, use the tape measure and a black permanent marker to mark off and label each foot, one to ten. Use the red permanent marker to mark off and label Goliath’s height at 9.75 feet. Use the green permanent marker to mark off other heights for comparison. I recommend: Robert Pershing Wadlow – Tallest Man in the Guinness Book of World Records at 8’11”, Yao Ming – Tallest NBA player at 7’6”, Chewbacca – from Star Wars movies – 7’3”, Shaqille O’Neal – NBA player – 7’1”, Darth Vader – from Star Wars movies – 6’7”, Michael Jordan – NBA legend – 6’6”, The Rock – wrestler/actor – 6’5”, Abraham Lincoln – President of the U.S. – 6’4”.
o To make the stilt blocks, drill three 2”x4” boards together (so that you now have the equivalent of a 6”x4” board) and cut them into 12” lengths. . Screw a strap of belt to each one, and punch new holes through the leather so that the belt can be tied over Goliath’s feet.
o Make a costume for Goliath. You will need a shield, armor, spear, sword, helmet and shin guards (these can be made out of cardboard or cardboard tubing and painted). You might also want a tunic (shirt) and skirt to complete the look.
o Write Goliath’s lines on notecards. You will want him to say, “Choose a man to come and fight me!” and then later “Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks? Come here, and I’ll feed you to the birds of the air!”
o Ask a tall adult to be Goliath for you. Have him dress in the costume. Make sure he practices with the stilts. When he comes into the room, try to have him walk in where his legs will be obscured by a table or some other obstacle so that the kids won’t see the stilts. Give him his script on notecards.
o Ask some adults or some of the older kids to be ready to help you with a chant when the Israelites come out to battle. It’s the same chant as the football players used in the movie Remember the Titans, but you will exchange the word “Titans” with “Israelites.” All they will need to know is that they should echo whatever you chant and that they should do it loudly from wherever they are in the room.
o Make a costume for David. A simple body-length piece of fabric with a hole cut in the middle to fit over his head will work. He will need a belt to tie around his waste, and this can be a remnant from the fabric. Sandals would be a plus, but he could go barefoot. He will need a sling and five smooth stones. The sling should be a strap of something leather-like with a wider piece in the middle to hold the stones. It should be about 2 feet long when folded in half.
o Make harp for David. It can be a simple cardboard cutout with yarn or twine taped to one side to represent strings.
o Make a shepherd’s staff for David. It can be a long pole with a hook at the end.
o Fill a few grocery bags with food – something anachronistic might get a laugh (like Fruit Loops or Pop Tarts.)
o Make armor for Saul. You will need a shield, armor, spear, sword, helmet and shin guards (these can be made out of cardboard or cardboard tubing and painted). Make them big so that they look huge on a child.
o Write David’s lines on notecards, One should say, “I’ve killed the bear and the lion, and I’ll do the same to this Philistine.” Another should say, “You come against me with sword and spear, but I come in the name of the Lord! Today, the Lord will hand you over to me, and I will strike you down. Everyone will know that this battle belongs to the Lord.”
o Put the five smooth stones somewhere where David can pick them up later.
o Set up a soft landing place for Goliath to fall on.
Use the following script or modify to suit your needs:
o “We are going to talk about a story that happened in the land of Israel.”
o “You may not know where Israel is, so I’ve brought a map.” (Show map of the world, and point out places the kids might recognize. Then show the general area where Israel is located. When you advance the slide, it will magnify the Middle East and then put a circle around Israel. When you advance the next time, it will magnify Israel even more and outline it in red.)
o “This is a map of Israel.” (Show next slide in PowerPoint presentation.)
o “In our story today, the army of Israel was at war with the Philistines, as usual.” (Click PowerPoint slide to advance to next slide.)
o “All of the activity in the story will take place in this part of Israel.” (Click slide to show the red oval.)
o “The Philistines had set up camp in a town called Sochoh.” (Click to highlight Sochoh and bring in a Philistine soldier.)
o “The armies of Israel were close by in the Valley of Elam.” (Click to highlight the Valley of Elam and bring in an Israelite soldier.)
o “Israel was on one hill and the Philistines were on another.”
o “I said that they were at war, but there wasn’t much fighting going on.”
o “Neither side wanted to get into a huge battle that would kill most of their men, so the Philistines offered an alternative.”
o “They sent out their strongest warrior and offered to decide the winner of the war with a single battle the champions from each army.”
o “But the Philistine’s champion was no ordinary warrior.” (Click to bring out Goliath.)
o “His name was Goliath, and he was over nine feet tall – a giant!” (Point out the marked off masking tape you prepared earlier, and allow a few volunteers to come stand next to it in order to give it perspective. Read off the heights of a few of the famous people you chose to label on the tape.)
o “He was so big and strong that he could wear 125 lbs of armor, a helmet made of bronze, bronze shin guards (“greaves”), a bronze javelin and a huge spear that weighed over 30 lbs! Just the iron point of the spear weighed 15 lbs!” (Have your Goliath volunteer enter the room and say, ‘Choose a man to come and fight me!’ Have him wait for a few moments and then leave the room.)
o “Now, you would think that King Saul would jump up and run to fight Goliath.”
o “Saul was bigger and stronger than any other Israelite. He had the best armor and the best weapons, but he was afraid.”
o “When Goliath issued his challenge, Saul hid in his tent with the rest of the Israelites.”
o “Day after day, Goliath would come out and issue the challenge again.” (Have Goliath return and issue his challenge again, wait a few moments and then leave.)
o “Morning and evening for 40 days – that’s 80 times Goliath dared the Israelites to a fight!”
o “But no one was brave enough to go…at least….no one in the army was brave enough.”
o “Do you remember the shepherd boy named David? …the one that Samuel anointed to be the next king after Saul?”
o “Well, a lot had happened in his life since that time.”
o “After David’s anointing, he went back to shepherding his flock, but God had other plans for him.”
o “King Saul began to lose his mind after he disobeyed God and the Spirit of the Lord left him.”
o “The Bible says that he was tormented by a spirit, and he couldn’t find any relief from it.”
o “But one of his servants had once heard a boy named David play the harp, and he was so impressed that he thought of David when the king complained of his distress.” (Ask for volunteer to play David. Put his costume on him, and give him the harp and the shepherd’s staff.)
o “He suggested that King Saul call for the boy to come and play for him when he was feeling the worst, and Saul did.”
o “He sent a messenger to David’s father, Jesse, and asked for David to be sent with his harp.” (Have David set the shepherd’s staff down and go to another part of the room to pretend to visit Saul.)
o “You see, David was a wonderful musician. He wrote over 100 songs about his love for God and for His Word.” (Have David pretend to play the harp.)
o “They are published in the Bible in the book of Psalms so that we can still enjoy them today.”
o “David would play songs about his love for God whenever Saul was having trouble, and the beautiful sounds would calm Saul’s spirit.”
o “When Saul felt better, he would send David back to his father to watch the sheep, but whenever he wasn’t feeling well, he would call for David again.” (Lead David by the shoulders to another part of the room, and give him the shepherd’s staff.)
o “So, back to the story. David’s father asked David to go see his three oldest brothers, who were in the Israelite army, and see how they were doing. He sent him with a gift of food for their captain.”
o “David was excited to get a break from tending sheep, and he was thrilled to see what was going on in the war, so he left right away.” (Have David lay down his harp and pick up the bags of food.)
o “When he arrived at the Israelite camp, he dropped off the food that his father had sent with him as a gift, and he rushed to talk to the soldiers.” (Have David go to another part of the room and drop the food off – then rush to another part of the room.)
o “He arrived just as they were going out to their battle positions shouting their war cry to get themselves ready for battle.” (Lead the volunteers you spoke with earlier in the following chant. They should echo what you chant. If you know the movements from the movie, you might add those in, too.)
o Everywhere we go (Everywhere we go)
o People wanna know (People wanna know)
o Who we are (Who we are)
o So we tell them (So we tell them)
o We Are The Israelites! (We Are The Israelites!)
o The Mighty, mighty Israelites! (The Mighty, mighty Israelites!)
o “But just as soon as they finished their chant, out came Goliath, issuing his daily challenge.” (Have Goliath come out and issue his challenge. He should stay this time.)
o “And just like every other day, all the Israelites ran back to their tents.” (Have all your volunteers sit down or run somewhere in the room to indicate their fear.)
o “You might ask, why were they shouting a war cry when for 40 days, they had been hiding in their tents?”
o “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘they were shoutin’ on the outside, but they were shakin’ on the inside.’”
o “They hoped that all the shouting would give them courage to fight, but the only fighting this army was doing was in the lunch line.”
o “So, Goliath issues his challenge, everyone runs for their tents, and David is left alone.” (Tell your David to sniff his underarms just in case that’s the problem.)
o “David couldn’t believe it! God’s army was running from someone who didn’t even believe in God?”
o “He started asking questions. ‘What will the king do for the person who kills the giant?’”
o “They told him that Saul would make him a prince and give him his daughter in marriage and never charge him taxes again.”
o “When Saul heard that David was asking about Goliath, he called for him.”
o “Imagine Saul’s surprise when he realized that it was David, the boy who would occasionally come to play harp for him?”
o “Saul looked at David and said, ‘What are you thinking!?’” (Playfully knock David on the head.)
o “’That giant is going to skewer you with that spear of his and roast you like a marshmallow!’”
o “But David said…” (Give David the first notecard, and have him say, ‘I’ve killed the bear and the lion, and I’ll do the same to this Philistine.’)
o “’Okey-dokey….but at least take my armor.’” (Help David get suited up in the armor for Saul.)
o “David tried it on, but it just didn’t fit.”
o “You see, David wasn’t ready to be king yet. He still had some growing to do.”
o “So David made a very wise decision. He decided to put his trust in God rather than a set of armor.” (Help David get out of the armor.)
o “He decided to just be himself rather than trying to someone else.”
o “Goliath had strength, size, training, armor and deadly weapons.”
o “His armor alone weighed more than David’s whole body.”
o “But David had God on his side, and God plus one is always a majority!”
o “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘All you need is God + one.’”
o “David took his shepherd’s staff and went to the stream. He chose five smooth stones and started toward Goliath.” (Have David pick up five smooth stones.)
o “Goliath saw that he was just a boy and hated him.”
o “He saw David’s shepherd’s staff and said…” (Have Goliath say the words on the second note card, “Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks? Come here, and I’ll feed you to the birds of the air!”)
o “Then David said…” (Show David the second notecard, and have him say, “You come against me with sword and spear, but I come in the name of the Lord! Today, the Lord will hand you over to me, and I will strike you down. Everyone will know that this battle belongs to the Lord.”)
o “Goliath was ticked! He started to move closer to David.” (Have Goliath stomp around to signify he’s coming for David.)
o “David ran (not walked) toward the battle line.” (Have David run in place.)
o “He reached into his bag, drew out a stone and put it in his sling.” (Have David pretend to do this and then swing the sling around his head.)
o “He slung it at Goliath, and it struck him in the forehead – one of the few places where he didn’t have armor – and he fell down dead.” (Have David release the sling, and have Goliath pretend to get hit in the head and fall over (preferably onto something soft).)
o “David ran and stood over the giant (OPTIONAL – and cut off his head).”
o “All the Philistines realized that God was on the side of Israel, and they ran for their lives.”
o “The Israelites chased them as far as Gath, Goliath’s home town.” (Allow all your volunteers to take a seat.)
o “So, who really won the battle? – God, of course!”
o “All of Israel had God on their side, but only a shepherd boy trusted God enough to take the risk to fight the giant.”
o “Here’s something else to think about. If the armor had fit, and David had gone to fight Goliath wearing it, people might have said, ‘Of course he won. He had on the king’s armor.’”
o “When God joins someone in battle, He ties both hands behind His back, He stacks the deck against Himself, He takes away all excuses. He wants to make sure that the odds are in favor of the enemy.”
o “Then, when God’s man or woman wins, God gets the glory….not David, not Saul, not ‘Goliath was having a bad hair day’….God gets the glory!”
o “God will use you in the same way if you trust him!”
o “The sooner you trust Him, the sooner He will give you the victory against the giants in your life!”
o “How many of you are going to trust God with the next problem in your life?” (Review the Rhyme Time for the day.)
o “Let God help you with those giants!”