David & Jonathan - Lesson Set

David and Jonathan

Workshops in this lesson set :

  • Computers: tell the story with a PowerPoint
  • Drama: Enact a purchased script of a TV talk show where people talk about their personal lives
  • Games: Play a Jeopardy-type game
  • Movies: Watch Children’s Heroes of the Bible: The Story of David from Vision Video
  • Science: Science experiments to illustrate the bond of friendship through molecule bonds
  • Storytelling: hear the story of David and Jonathan’s friendship from the perspective of a “silent” observer at the palace—a member of the housekeeping staff

Scripture Reference: 
I Samuel 17:57-20:42;
Core of the story is I Samuel 17:57-18:16, 19:9-12, and 20:1-42
For supplemental information:
I Samuel 13:1-3—Jonathan’s victory
I Samuel 23:15-18—David and Jonathan’s last meeting
I Samuel 31 and II Samuel 1—The death of Saul & Jonathan

Memory Verse: 

“Some friends don’t help, but a true friend
is closer than your own family.” Proverbs 18:24 (CEV)

Bible Background


What's going on here?
David, the son of Jesse of Bethlehem, comes to the attention of King Saul when David, with a slingshot, kills the mighty Philistine giant Goliath (I Samuel 7:55-59). David is brought into the king’s household, and entertains the king with his music—especially on the harp. David develops a very close friendship with King Saul’s eldest son, Jonathan. Sadly, King Saul seemed to be mentally unstable. Saul became suspicious of David, resenting David’s successes, his popularity with the people, and his friendship with Jonathan. Ultimately, he decided to kill David. Jonathan got put in the middle between obedience to his father, and devotion to his dear friend.

This story reaches its climax the second time that David runs away from Saul in order to protect his own life (I Samuel 19:9-12). He contacts Jonathan for advice, and together they devise a plan to determine if Saul really intends to kill David, or not. They also come up with a signal for Jonathan to relay the information to David. At a banquet for the New Moon Festival, Saul was very explicit about his intentions to kill David (20:30-34). Jonathan gave his friend the agreed-upon signal that he must run for his life, and they say good-bye to one another.

Why is this story important?
First of all, this story is one of the most powerful stories in the Bible about human friendship—a good way to begin our theme this year, “Best Friends/Blessed Friends.” These two young men remained faithful to each other, seeking each other’s best interests.
Secondly, this story shows two young men acting with integrity and faith in God in what is a terribly unjust situation. David had always been loyal to King Saul, despite the king’s distrust of him. Jonathan also was faithful to David, even though as the eldest son of the King it would have been in his interests to dispose of anyone seen as a threat to the throne. He helped David escape, but then returned to faithful service to his father, until they died together in battle.
Finally, this story is important because David went on to become the greatest king in Israel’s history. The New Testament sees his kingship as a precursor to Christ’s eternal reign. This story gives us some background about David. We also later see David’s integrity and faithfulness to Jonathan’s memory as he protects and provides for Jonathan’s disabled son, Mephibosheth (see II Samuel 4:4 and II Samuel 9:1-13).

A lesson set from Augustana Lutheran Church

St. James, MN


A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.




Original Post

David and Jonathan

Computer Workshop

Grades k-3

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Uses a Power Point presentation to tell the story.

Scripture Reference: 

I Samuel 17:57-20:42;
Core of the story is I Samuel 17:57-18:16, 19:9-12, and 20:1-42
For supplemental information:
I Samuel 13:1-3—Jonathan’s victory
I Samuel 23:15-18—David and Jonathan’s last meeting
I Samuel 31 and II Samuel 1—The death of Saul & Jonathan

Memory Verse:
Proverbs 18:24 (CEV), “Some friends don’t help, but a true friend is closer than your own family.”

Lesson Objectives:

  • To remind the children of the story of David/Goliath and David/Saul and add Jonathan and Mephibosheth to the picture.
  • To show the faithfulness of God in protecting His people
  • Show that Jonathan was faithful to his friend David even when his father Saul was trying to kill David.
  • Show how important friendship is and how David made sure that Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth was taken care of long after Jonathan had been killed.

    TEACHER NOTES: This is a slide story done in Power Point. The children can forward to the next picture by clicking on the Red Heart, as you read the script. It should last about 10 minutes. Please feel free to add to the script as it is being viewed or to ask questions as you feel inspired. Perhaps it would be best to have the computers at the opening screen “David and Jonathan” before the children arrive.

Supplies List: 

  • Computer with Power Point viewer.
  • Power Point Story (*see Moderator's note below)
  • Pencils and journals for each student
  • Computer Program

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Explore the software.

*Moderator adds:
Appears they used portions of the free downloadable Power Point stories on David found at http://www.bibleforchildren.org/
Directions - once at site - click on language (example: English), then scroll down.  It appears they used portions of three different Power Point stories:
- #19 David the Shepherd Boy
- #20 David the King Part 1
- #21David the King Part 2
right click on each story and save to your computer. 
Then you need to figure out which slides they used, going by their script below (they rewrote some of the text.)
Once you've compiled the story, as you like it, save copies to disk or USB and copy to your computer(s) at the church.


Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction: 
Today we are going to learn about two very special friends. One boy was a poor, shepherd boy who became a king named David. The other by the name of Jonathan was the son of a king. Both David and Jonathan loved the Lord.
Let us begin with a word of prayer: “Dearest Father, thank you for bringing us here today to hear about two of your special servants, David and Jonathan. Thank you for giving us friends and for one very special friend, Jesus. Amen

Bible Verse:
Before we begin, let’s all say the Bible verse for September together:
“Some friends don’t help, but a true friend is closer than your own family.”
Proverbs 18:24


  1. Do any of you have friends?
  2. Do any of you have one very “best friend”?
  3. What are some of the things that you do with your friends?
  4. Do any of you ever spend the night at your friend’s house?

Today on the computer, we are going to watch a story about two very special friends, David and Jonathan. Although David and Jonathan were not brothers they were such very special friends that they treated each other like brothers. Jonathan’s father, Saul, invited David to stay at their house and play the harp for him. It is during that time that David met Jonathan and they became friends right away.
**We’ll talk a little more about these questions after we have looked at the lesson.

David and Jonathan Script

Slide 1: The Story of David and Jonathan

Slide 2: Credits (no need to read these)

Slide 3: Long ago, in the days of King Saul of Israel, a boy named David helped his seven brothers look after their father’s flocks. Though he was youngest, David was a strong, brave boy who loved and trusted God. He lived in the town of Bethlehem.

Slide 4: Once a lion attacked the flock to snatch a little lamb for supper. Young David attacked the attacker. Pulling the lamb away, he grabbed the snarling beast by its beard and killed it. David knew God had helped him.

Slide 5: Samuel, God’s prophet, was still sad that King Saul had failed God so badly. “How long will you mourn for Saul?” God scolded Samuel. “I am sending you to Jesse . . . . For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” Jesse was David’s father.

Slide 6: Even though Samuel knew King Saul might kill him for going to find another king, the prophet obeyed God.

Slide 7: When Samuel arrived, Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chose these.” That only left David, the youngest. He was out with the sheep. They brought David in. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one.”

Slide 8: In Saul’s palace, the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and he became a very troubled man. His servants thought good music might settle Saul’s mind. One of them knew a young man who played the harp well. Can you guess who that young man was? Yes, David.

Slide 9: David’s music soothed Saul and helped him to think straight. Saul asked Jesse to let David stay in the King’s service. Whenever Saul had an attack of depression or fear, David played the harp for him. It helped.

Slide 10: Now Saul had a son. His name was Jonathan. David and Jonathan became very good friends right away when they met.

Slide 11: After David went home to his father, Jesse, Saul had a big battle with the Philistines. David’s brothers fought in Saul’s army but David stayed at home to watch his father’s sheep. Jesse sent David to the battle with food for his brothers. David got to see the army and the giant, Goliath.

Slide 12: A HUGE Philistine Giant, Goliath, had scared all the Israelite soldiers.

Slide 13: “Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me!” Goliath shouted. “If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” All the men of Israel when they saw the giant, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid.

Slide 14: Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” Saul wanted David to wear armor and carry a sword. Instead, David took his sling and picked five smooth stones from the brook.

Slide 15: Goliath laughed when he saw that young David wasn’t even wearing armor. “I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” he roared. “I come to you in the name of the LORD!” David answered. “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands. . . for the battle is the LORD’s!”

Slide 16: Then David ran straight toward Goliath. As he ran, he fired one stone from his sling—right into Goliath’s forehead. Goliath fell and died!

Slide 17: King Saul did not remember that this was the same David who had soothed him with the harp. He put David in charge of his army – then got jealous when the people honored David’s victories. “Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” Saul thought. So Saul eyed David from that day forward.

Slide 18: Again, King Saul’s mind was troubled. So David played music to try to soothe him. Three times Saul threw his spear at David. But David escaped each time. Saul was afraid of David because he knew the LORD was with him, but had departed from Saul.

Slide 19: But Jonathan, Saul’s son, loved David as a brother. “My father Saul seeks to kill you,” he warned David. So David escaped. His wife put a dummy in his bed, and let David down from the window in the middle of the night. When Saul’s men came in the morning, David was gone.

Slide 20: Sadly, the two friends said goodbye. David set out to find a place where he could live without fear of Saul’s soldiers finding him.

Slide 21: Young David was on the run. King Saul wanted to kill him. David lived in the wilderness, in a huge cave with four hundred followers.

Slide 22: Sometimes, King Saul’s soldiers almost found them. But David kept moving.

Slide 23: The Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled. The Philistines killed Saul’s sons, including Jonathan, David’s good friend.

Slide 24: Saul was severely wounded by the archers. And he said to his armour-bearer, “Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, lest these wicked men come and thrust me through and abuse me.” But his armour-bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. So, Saul took a sword and fell on it.

Slide 25: When David heard the terrible news, he mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul, for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, because they had fallen by the sword.

Slide 26: Even though Saul had tried to kill David, David honored Saul as God’s anointed one until the end. Now God honored David, making him the king in Saul’s place.

Slide 27: Then all the tribes of Israel came to David and anointed him king over Israel. At long last, David was king over all the nation.

Slide 28: David had to fight many battles in the early years of his reign. He was a wise soldier and a humble man who prayed for God’s guidance.

Slide 29: David wanted to help any survivors of Saul’s family. He found only Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, who was crippled. “He shall eat at my table like one of the king’s sons,” David said. David was kind to Mephibosheth because Jonathan had been his best friend.

Slide 30: As long as David trusted God and obeyed Him, God helped David to prosper. David thanked God for his friend, Jonathan, and for Jonathan’s father, King Saul.


This lesson has been adapted from http://www.bibleforchildren.org/

License: You have the right to copy, print or distribute each Bible Story, as long as you do not sell it.


  1. First of all, does anyone have any questions? (Perhaps you can re-read some of the verses to the children if there is confusion)
  2. In this story from the Bible, was Saul a happy man? (No)
  3. Why not? (The Spirit of the Lord had left Saul)
  4. Why was David invited to live with King Saul? (David could play the harp and the music made King Saul feel happier)
  5. Who else lived with King Saul? (His son Jonathan)
  6. Did Jonathan and David like each other? (Yes, they became very good friends)
  7. Have any of you ever spent the night at a friend’s house? (answers will vary) Can any of you share what happened?
  8. Were any of you really ready to go home the next day? (Let them share for a bit)
  9. When David was living with Jonathan and King Saul the first time he wasn’t very old and he was away from his father Jesse and his seven brothers. Do you think he missed them? (We don’t know for sure, but because he had found such a good friend in Jonathan, he thought of Jonathan like a brother)
  10. Why did David go back to live with King Saul and Jonathan? (David had killed Goliath and Saul wanted him in his army)
  11. Were David and Jonathan still good friends? (Yes)
  12. Why didn’t King Saul like David any more? ([This may not have been very clear in the story] - the people in the kingdom liked David; he was a hero and Saul was afraid that they liked David better than they liked the king—which they did!)
  13. Why did David have to leave Saul’s house? (Saul was trying to kill David.)
  14. Were Jonathan and David sad that they had to say goodbye to each other? (Yes) They were best friends and both loved God very much. They knew that they may never see each other again but Jonathan helped David escape and saved David’s life.
  15. What happened to Saul and Jonathan later in the scripture that made David very sad? (They were killed)
  16. After King Saul was dead, who became the next king? (David) Remember back to the beginning of the story when God sent Samuel to anoint David as the next king? This is fulfilling God’s plan that he had started many years before.
  17. Even though King David was a very important person after he became king, he never forgot what a special thing his friend Jonathan had done for him by saving his life. Although David couldn’t do anything to help Jonathan any more, he did something very special for Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, what was that? He brought him to live with the king and to eat at the king’s table for the rest of his life.

Memory Verse:
Before we do our Journal time for today, let’s repeat the Bible verse for this month: “Some friends don’t help, but a true friend is closer than your own family.” Proverbs 18:24 (CEV)

Journal Time:
We just heard the story about two very special friends, David and Jonathan. Can you draw some pictures of some of the things special friends today do together? Maybe you can add some pictures of some the thing you think David and Jonathan did together.

Extra Time:
Bibleland.Com (out of print) has some games that could be played to fill in some time. One is a game where David is suppose to hit a target with his sling shot. There are a couple puzzle games that could work.

Moderator Notes: you could finish the lesson by having the kids use Kid Pix Deluxe to create a picture of David & Jonathan and write what each valued in their friendship. Kid Pix will speak out loud those friendship thoughts.


Dear God, Thank you for teaching us about David and Jonathan today. Help me to be an extra special friend this week. And all God’s children said AMEN!


A lesson written by Diane from: Augustana Lutheran Church
St. James, MN

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.


David and Jonathan
Drama Workshop

Grades 3-6


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Students act out the attached script.


Scripture Reference:

1 Samuel 18:1-12, 20:1-42


Memory Verse:

Proverbs 18:24 (CEV), “Some friends don't help, but a true friend is closer than your own family.

Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will be able to identify the three main characters (Saul, David, and Jonathan) and their relationship to each other.
  • Students will identify important characteristics in friendship
  • Students will understand Jonathan's dilemma, wanting to be loyal to his father and to his best friend.
  • Students will learn that God worked through that friendship to protect David's life.


Materials List:

  • Copies of the script THE FRIENDSHIP SHOW from Faith 4 Life: Preteen Bible Study Series, Building Friendships, Group, 2003, 9780764424939.  OUT OF PRINT (try an internet search).
  • Bible for each student
  • Three chairs; one "throne" from the church, one nice chair (for Jonathan), one folding chair (for David)
  • Crown and fancy robe for Saul; nice robe for Jonathan; acolyte-type robe for David
  • Microphone (real or pretend) and sport coat for host
  • Two signs to hold up at appropriate moments, "Applause" and "Gasp!"

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.



Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Welcome the students warmly as they arrive. Ask them, “Have any of you watched those TV talk shows where people talk about their personal lives? (Allow for response.) Some people's lives get pretty messy don't they? Friends and even family members do bad things sometimes, and let us down. Other times, though, our family and friends can be seen as a real blessing from God. Today we're going to do a little skit imagining that Saul, David, and Jonathan, three characters from the time of the Old Testament, appear together on one of those TV talk shows--and they have some real issues to talk about! Let’s begin with prayer:


Dear Jesus, we thank you that you care for us through the love of family and the help of good friends. Be with us today as we think about family and friends, and how we might be loyal to both--but especially loyal to your will. Let all of God’s children say…AMEN.


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Context of the Story:
Before we act out the story, let’s make sure that we know what is happening and who the main characters are. Does anybody remember the story of David and Goliath? Who was Goliath? (a monstrously large Philistine soldier that had dared soldiers from the army of Israel to fight him one-on-one. No one dared to do it.) Who was David? (A young shepherd boy at the time who came to the battle scene to bring lunch to his older brothers.) What was surprising about what David did? (He was not afraid of Goliath, and trusted that God would help him defeat the giant. He went against him with no armor, and no weapon but a slingshot and five stones. With his first stone he hit Goliath in the head and killed him). At the time of his battle with Goliath, David was quite young--maybe about your age.
The first part of the story that we will look at happens right after the battle with Goliath. Does anybody know who the king was at that time? (King Saul). Saul was so impressed with the courage of that young boy, that he asked to speak with him. The King's son, Jonathan, was there at the time and was also impressed with David. Let's pick up the story at I Samuel 18:1-12.
(Encourage all students to find it in the Bible and to follow along as one student reads it).
Let's review the characters! Who was the King? (Saul). Who was Jonathan? (the King's son). Who was David? (Shepherd boy who came to live in the palace and became friend to Jonathan). Why didn't Saul trust David? (Here there might be many answers--jealousy of David's success and of his friendship with Jonathan, as well as the "evil spirit" that made him act like a "madman." Be sure that students realize that David had done nothing to earn this distrust).
With that background, let's move on to the play!

The Play:
Assign parts for the play, and allow time for students to put on costumes. At one end of the room will be three chairs. "Saul" gets the throne, of course, and his son Jonathan gets the nicer of the other two chairs. See the "materials" list for suggested costuming. The Announcer and the audience members do not need any special costuming. The Announcer will hold up the "cue cards" at the appropriate time.

Act out the play, using the script attached. (Exchange Volunteer notes: the script can not be attached due to copyright issues.)

Reviewing the Play:

  • If you had been in the studio audience, what question would you want to ask of Saul, or David, or Jonathan?
  • Would anybody want to try to answer that question?
  • What qualities do you see in David and Jonathan's friendship?
  • Can you think of other qualities that you would want in a friend?
  • How did their commitment to God affect their friendship?

Bible Study:

The conflict between David and Saul reached its peak in I Samuel 20. Let's divide up this kind of long chapter, with each person taking a section and reading it. I will ask you to give us a short summary of what is happening in your part.

Verses 1-9 David & Jonathan meet. Jonathan doesn't believe his father is trying to kill David, but agrees to a test. David will be absent at a special feast, and Jonathan will see how angry his dad becomes

Verses 10-17 Jonathan promises to test his father and let David know if Saul really does plan to kill him. David and Jonathan promise to be faithful to each other and to one another's families forever.

Verses 18-23 Jonathan suggests a secret signal to David. Jonathan will shoot arrows at a target and tell his servant where to find the arrows. If Jonathan says the arrows are on "this side" it means that David is safe. If he says the arrows are "further," that means run for your life!

Verses 24-34 At the dinner, Saul gets violently angry at David's absence, and publicly says that he wants to kill David. He throws his spear at his own son. Jonathan gets angry at his father and leaves the feast.

vv. 35-42 Jonathan gives the secret signal to David that he must run away. They get a chance to say good-bye to one another.


King Saul put his son in a very difficult situation. Jonathan wanted to be loyal to his father. The Fourth Commandment says, "Honor your father and your mother." He also wanted to be loyal to his friend, who was being unfairly targeted. How did Jonathan deal with the conflict? (Helped his friend escape, but remained otherwise faithful to his father)

The story ends a little later in the book of I Samuel, as King Saul and Jonathan are both killed in a battle against the Philistine army. David is heartbroken at the news. He accepts the responsibility of being the new king, and goes on to be remembered as the greatest king in Israel's history--one who honors God, and is blessed by God.

Journal Question:

Copy this month’s memory verse into your journal. Then answer these questions: If your mom and/or dad did not like your best friend, what would you do? How would you decide on your actions? How would your faith affect that decision?


Dear God, we know that Jesus is our best friend of all. When our friends or family disappoint us, help us to know your love, and to be guided by your will. Let all of God’s children say….AMEN.


A lesson written by Pastor Ted Kunze from: Augustana Lutheran Church

St. James, MN


A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.


David and Jonathan

Games/Missions Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

In this workshop, the learners will review stories of David using a Jeopardy-type game.


Scripture Reference:

1 Samuel 18:1-12, 20:1-42

Memory Verse:

Proverbs 18:24 (CEV), “Some friends don't help, but a true friend is closer than your own family.

Supplies List:

  • Copy of the story “David and Jonathan”
  • Jeopardy grid with five categories—Bible Blessings, Living It, People, Places, and Odds and Ends (grid should be copied onto a transparency and one copy with answers is needed for the teacher); post-it notes; overhead projector; NRSV Bibles and Children’s Bibles; pencils.

Teacher preparation:

  • Read the Bible passage.
  • Read over the background material included in your teacher packet as you become familiar with the Bible story and the lesson plan.
  • Arrange the projector to project the Jeopardy grid onto a wall, making it large enough to see from a distance.
  • Cover the questions with post-it notes.




Opening-Welcome and introductions:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Invite the children to pray with you:


Loving God. Thank you for these friends who are here to worship you this morning. Open our minds and hearts to learn more about your loving ways as we study the story of David and Jonathan. In Jesus Name, AMEN.


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Lesson Plan:
1. Gather the children together and read this month’s story of David and Jonathan using a version from a Children’s Bible or ebible.com. Then review the story using the following:
What gifts did Jonathan give to David?

  • Why was Saul angry with David?
  • What differences did Jonathan and David have to overcome to be friends?
  • Why was David afraid of Saul?
  • How was David a friend to Saul?
  • What did Jonathan promise to do for David?
  • In the end, what did David do for Jonathan after Jonathan’s death?

2. Review the story of David we learned two years ago—“David Spares Saul”. This can be done by rereading the stories, either from the NRSV Bible, from The Children’s Bible, or from ebible.com. It can also be done by letting the children tell the stories themselves. If you ask them to tell the stories, you may need to prompt them for events and details.

3. Hand out Bibles and/or Children’s Bibles. Help the children locate the stories of David we have studied. The Jonathan story is found in 1 Samuel 18-20 and 2 Samuel 9:1-7. The David Spares Saul story is found in I Samuel 24:1-20. Tell the children to mark or make a mental note of the locations of these stories as they might need them to help them in our game.

4. Tell the class that we are going to review these stories using a Jeopardy game, where the teams will answer questions about all three stories. Divide the children into two teams. Make sure each team has Bibles. Go over the rules of the game:
The first player of Team A chooses a category and an amount. Remove the post-it note from the spot and reveal the question. The player must confer with his or her teammates and come to a consensus for the answer. The player gives the answer. If the players are stumped, they may use their Bibles to look up the answer. (Be sure to limit the time the players have to search for the answer—probably no more than 30 seconds or so.) If the players get the correct answer, they receive the points for that question. If they answer incorrectly, the other team may “steal” the points by answering the question correctly.
Play passes to Team B and alternates between teams until the board is empty. Within teams, take turns so that every player on each team has a chance to choose a category.
The team with the most points wins. Note: competitive games should be played as a team so that infrequent attendees or visitors are not made to feel pressured or uncomfortable. Make sure that each player has a chance to choose the category and point value, but make sure all players “confer” with their team before answering. This will also promote discussion among the children.

5. Once everyone understands the rules, play the game.


When the game is over, declare a winning team, but congratulate everyone on jobs well done. Remind them that David had faults, but because of his love of God he eventually achieved power and greatness as the king of Israel. Ask for any thoughts about what we have learned and about what the life of David teaches us about true friendship. Prompt them, if necessary, on saying some of our main concepts: God looks at our hearts, we should trust in God for help in hard times, we should show God’s grace in our relationships, etc.

Closing prayer:
Close the class with a prayer of your own, or use the following:
Gracious God, thank you for these stories of David that show us how we are to live as your people and be a true friend. Help us to remember to keep you in our hearts, to depend on you for help, and to treat others with the same grace you show us. Amen.

Journal Time:
Help the shepherd pass out the journals. Have them answer the following:
How do each of these stories of David teach us about friendship?

Have the children help you tidy up the workshop space. Dismiss them with instructions about where they are to go. If you complete the lesson with quite a bit of time left, the students may enjoy a David and Jonathan crossword puzzle or wordfind.

Adjustments for younger children:
If needed, ask the shepherd to be on both teams to help them look up answers they don’t know.



Bible Jeopardy Categories, Questions, and Answers

Bible Blessings:

100 Where in the Bible are our stories found?
(In 1 Samuel mainly; small part found in 2 Samuel)

200 What does God look at to judge us?
(the heart)

300 How did Saul lose God’s blessing on his kingship?
(He did not obey God.)

400 What happened to David after he was anointed?
(the spirit of the Lord came upon him)

500 What does anoint mean?
(To pour oil on someone’s head to set them apart for a special job.)

Living It

100 Who did David ask for help in fighting Goliath?

200 Why did God tell Samuel to send for David, even though he was the youngest son?
(God knew David had a right heart.)

300 What gifts did Jonathan give to David?
(robe, armor, sword, belt, bow)

400 What did Jonathan promise to do for David?
(Test his father to see if he really wanted to kill David.)

500 How did David remember Jonathan after he had died?
(He brought Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, to live in the palace with him.)


100 Who was Saul jealous of?

200 Who was David’s best friend?

300 Who was the person David had to from from?
(King Saul)

400 Who was the first king of Israel?

500 Who was Jonathan’s son?


100 Where was Saul king?

200 Where did David the shepherd boy live?

300 At the end of the story, where did Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth eat and live?
(In the king’s palace.)

400 Where did David play his harp and sing?
(For King Saul in the king’s palace.)

500 Where did David hide from Saul?
(behind a rock in a field/in a cave/in the mountains)

Odds and Ends

100 What was David’s job in his family?

200 How did David prove he did not want to harm King Saul?
(He cut off a piece of the king’s robe to prove he could have killed Saul, but did not.)

300 Did David want to steal King Saul’s job?
(No, he respected King Saul.)

400 Why did David play the harp and sing for Saul?
(Saul was troubled, and David’s songs comforted him.)

500 What relationship did Saul and Jonathan have?
(Jonathan was Saul’s son and heir.)

A lesson edited by Kirsten Freitag from: Augustana Lutheran Church

St. James, MN

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.


David and Jonathan

Movie Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Uses the video “Children’s Heroes of the Bible: The Story of David” Vision Video, 1997, VHS. 

Note:  this animated film was created in 1997, so animation is poor quality compared to today's videos - it was released on DVD titled "Children's Heroes of the Bible: Old Testament", Cinedigm Entertainment, 2013, 089859620829.


Scripture Reference:

I Samuel 17:57-20:42; 
Core of the story is I Samuel 17:57-18:16, 19:9-12, and 20:1-42 
For supplemental information:
I Samuel 13:1-3—Jonathan’s victory
I Samuel 23:15-18—David and Jonathan’s last meeting
I Samuel 31 and II Samuel 1—The death of Saul & Jonathan
The movie begins with the anointing of David by Samuel in 1 Samuel 16 and continues selectively through King Saul and David’s reconciliation in 1 Samuel 24:22 with a strong emphasis on the friendship of David and Jonathan. The final chapter in this story will be read from scripture: 1 Samuel 31: 1-6; 2 Samuel 1:1-11, 2 Samuel 4:4 and 2 Samuel 9:1-13.

Memory Verse:

Proverbs 18:24 (CEV), “Some friends don't help, but a true friend is closer than your own family.”

Lesson Objectives:

  • To review the story of David & Goliath and David & Saul and to add a new character—Jonathan.
  • To show how God protected His chosen king - David
  • Show the importance of friendship despite the disapproval of Jonathan’s father.
  • To show the loyalty Jonathan had for his friend, David and the loyalty David had for Jonathan even following Jonathan’s death.


Materials List:

  • The movie “Children’s Heroes of the Bible: The Story of David” Vision Video Catalog #4121
  • Bible for each child
  • TV and VCR
  • Popcorn and beverage
  • Pencils and journals for each student

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time. 
  • Gather the materials.



Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Welcome each of the students warmly as a friend.

Prayer: Let’s begin with a word of prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for bringing us together here today and we thank you for each and every friend that we have. Teach us today about two very special friends and how you took care of them and how you take care of us. Amen


  • Do any of you have a friend(s)? (Hopefully all will say yes)
  • What do friends do together? (Accept all answers)
  • Have you ever met someone that was your friend right away, just as soon as you met them? There was no need to get to know one another better.?
  • Would your friend(s) be willing to try to save your life? (no answer needed—just food for thought)

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Today we are going to watch a video—some of it will be a review of two lessons that you have studied before. We will again hear the story of David and Goliath and also the story of David and King Saul. The two most important people we should watch for in the story today are David and his best friend Jonathan. Jonathan was King Saul’s son and best friend of David and a very faithful servant of God. Jonathan was the closest friend that David ever had.
This story is written in the books of 1st Samuel and 2nd Samuel in the Old Testament. Samuel was a judge who in the Old Testament times was a chosen man of God not the type of a judge that we have today in our court system. He was the last and the most effective of Israel’s judges. It was Samuel who followed God’s will to anoint both Saul and David as kings of Israel.
Following the video we will read “The rest of the story in our Bibles”.

On with the video.

Start the video: The movie “Children’s Heroes of the Bible: The Story of David – 23 minutes long.


  • Who was to be the king after Saul? (David)
  • Who told Samuel that? (God)
  • Why was David invited to live with King Saul? (to play the harp to soothe King Saul’s troubled spirit.)
  • Who helped David kill Goliath? (The Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel)
  • What one thing made the people really like David? (he killed the giant, Goliath and the Philistines retreated so their lives were no longer in danger.
  • David and Jonathan became really close friends. What did Jonathan give David as a token of their friendship? (sword) The video only indicates a sword, but the Bible says it was military clothes, his bow and arrows, and his belt also.
  • The people knew that David and God had enabled them to drive the Philistines out of their territory and they sang songs praising David. Did King Saul like it that the people sang songs about David? (no)
  • What kind of feeling do you think King Saul had about David? (he was jealous)
  • Why? (David was in God’s favor, the people liked David, Jonathan and David were good friends)
  • Why did David think it was time for him to leave Saul’s house? (Saul tried to kill him)
  • What plan did David and Jonathan have to see if David should leave or stay at the house with King Saul? ( Jonathan was to eat with King Saul for the New Moon festival. When the king asked Jonathan why David was not there, Jonathan would answer that David went to be with his family in Bethlehem. If the king was angry that David is not there then David should flee and not return; but if the king is not angry then David would be safe to return to the palace. Jonathan was to get word to David by shooting arrows and having a boy go to get them. If David would hear Jonathan tell the boy that the arrows are beyond him then David knows that he must flee because the Lord will have sent him away. )
  • What was the outcome of the meal? (The Lord had told David to flee)
  • What happened next? (The two friends parted forever)

The Rest of the Story:

  • The story of David and Jonathan does not end where this video does; let’s see how far this friendship did go. Turn to 1st Samuel 31:1-5 – Who would like to read those verses?
  • Then let’s move to 2nd Samuel 1:1-12 and read them. (note to teacher—there is a discrepancy in the story between 1st Samuel 31:1-5 and 2nd Samuel 1:1-12 as to actually how Saul died. The difference could be in part just from the telling and re-telling of the story by various people or it could also be that the messenger going to David in 2nd Samuel though he would be paid for having killed King Saul and took credit himself for Saul’s death)
  • What happened? (Saul and his three sons (Jonathan included) were killed in a battle with the Philistines).
  • When David heard about the death of Saul and his best friend Jonathan, what did he do? (he tore his clothes, mourned, wept and fasted) (**In the scriptures the tearing of clothes was a sign of grief**).
  • Why do you think David was so sad? (His best friend Jonathan was killed)
  • What about King Saul? Do you think David was sad that he had been killed and why or why not? (The Bible says that all the men mourned over both Saul, Jonathan and all those that had fallen by the sword)
  • Now who was the king after King Saul had been killed? (David)
  • Now, is that the end of the story? Saul and Jonathan are dead and David is the king. Sounds like a good place to finish. Let’s just take a peek a few years later. David still remembers that it was Jonathan who saved his life. Let’s read 2nd Samuel 9:1-12.
  • How did David show his friendship to Jonathan and return a kindness? (he took care of Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth and his family for the rest of his life).
  • Is that the rest of the story? Well, as far as David and Jonathan and their friendship goes it is pretty well the end of the story. But…………this story affects us even today. Does anyone know how? (a brief pause for answers – then say: David was a great, great (how many greats I don’t know) grandfather to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Had Saul killed David—poof, it would have been all over with. But see, our Lord is faithful. We have an amazing Father in heaven that takes care of each and every one of us as He did David. So, this isn’t Samuel’s story, it’s not Saul’s, David’s or Jonathan’s. This story really belongs to each and every one of us. It is your story, it is my story. Because of that amazing friendship between David and Jonathan well over 2500 (??) years ago we have a Savior who was sent as God’s plan for our salvation.

Journal Time:

Before we write what we learned in the lesson today in our journals, let’s repeat the memory verse for this month and then write it on the top of the page of our journal:
Proverbs 18:24 (CEV), “Some friends don't help, but a true friend is closer than your own family.”


Although David wrote a lot of the Psalms, he did not write the one I want us to say together today. Psalm 100 is a wonderful way to praise God and because 100 is an easy number to remember so it is very easy to find it in the Bible when we want to praise God.


A lesson written by Diane from: Augustana Lutheran Church

St. James, MN


A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.


David and Jonathan

Science Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Use the concept of molecules that bond to explain the loyalty and friendship that bound David and Jonathan together. The students will explore the gift of human friendship, and especially the gift of friendship with God.


Scripture Reference:

1 Samuel 18:1-12, 20:1-42

Memory Verse:

Proverbs 18:24 (CEV), “Some friends don't help, but a true friend is closer than your own family.” [B]

Science experiments to illustrate the bond of friendship through molecule bonds:

  1. Float a needle.
  2. Drive a marble into a bubble.
  3. Saucer slime.
  4. Optical Illusion Art (What is your perspective?)

Supplies List:

  • Needle Experiment: Water and paper towels; one bowl, needle, 1 ½ sq. Paper per student, liquid dish detergent.
  • Bubble Experiment: Plastic liter soda bottle, small wet toy or marble, a clean jar with a lid containing one recipe of Bubble Base. (This recipe will slow down the drying time. When bubbles dry, they break.)
  • Bubble Base: ¼ c. Bubble mix, ¾ c. Water, 1 Tbsp. sugar or 1 package unflavored gelatin or 1 Tbsp. glycerin.
  • Saucer slime: (One recipe per student) 2 Tbsp. clear gel glue (but not Super glue) 2 Tbsp. purified water 2 tsp. Borax solution
  • One per student: Glass cup, measuring spoons, plastic spoon (for stirring), zip-lock plastic baggy.
  • Borax Solution: Add one Tbsp. Borax to one cup of warm water. Stir until dissolved and store the liquid in a jar. Label it: Borax Solution: Do Not Drink! (Borax is poisonous and harmful if ingested.)

Leader Preparation:

  • Practice the needle and bubble experiments ahead of time. If class time is short, select just one of them to do. It is important for the square of paper under the needle to be small—otherwise it takes awhile for the paper to get wet enough to sink. We used a small square of absorbent paper towel, and it worked well. Don’t give students the liquid dish detergent out until the needle is safely floating—contamination would ruin the bond and the experiment.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time. 
  • Gather the materials.




Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Warmly welcome the students. Start with a prayer such as this: “Loving Father, thank you for these friends who are here together this morning. Be with us as we learn more about friendship with each other and with You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Ask a student(s) to read aloud I Samuel 18:1-5: TEV David and Saul become friends.
Ask: What is a good friend like? (Accept all answers: e.g. loyal, honest, fun to be with, similar interests, understanding, etc.)

Say: God’s creation can help us learn more about friendship. All the stuff in the universe is made out of atoms, little building blocks called elements, that are too small too see. Scientists have discovered 115 different kinds of elements. Sometimes atoms stick to each other, and become a molecule. Scientists call this process “bonding.” Let’s do some experiments to demonstrate this fascinating process.


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Float a Needle:

  1. The teacher can drop a needle into a clear glass bowl of water, to demonstrate that a needle does not normally float on water.
  2. Each student can fill their own small bowl or pan with water.
  3. Next, float a small square of paper (no bigger than 1 ½ inches) on the water.
  4. Place a sewing needle in the middle of the paper.
  5. Carefully push the edges of the paper down into the water. (This takes a little patience.) As the paper gets wet, it will sink and leave the needle floating.

How does this work? Surface tension makes it possible to float the needle on the water. The molecules on the surface of water stick close enough together that, under the right conditions, they can make something float that ordinarily would not do so.

Ask: How was David’s friendship with Jonathan like this floating needle? (The friendship of a shepherd boy and a king’s son was something that was highly unlikely to happen, but it did, just like this needle, which you would not expect to float!)

Say: But then, something happened that could have ended their friendship, just like that. (Place a drop of dishwasher detergent into the water—the needle will sink like a stone.)

Read or ask a student to read I Samuel 18: 6-12 TEV, Saul becomes jealous of David.

Say: In this part of the story, something happened that was a threat to the friendship of David and Jonathan. Jonathan’s father, King Saul, became very jealous of David. He viewed him as an enemy to his throne. Let’s read about it. (or talk about it.)

(If it is the first week of the rotation read aloud: “David’s Best Friend” (p. 235-238) from The Book for Children. (or choose another retelling of the story based on I Samuel 20:1-30. During the 2nd-4th weeks of the rotation, talk about what they remember of the story from the previous weeks. Emphasize that Saul tried to turn David against Jonathan.

Say: Saul tried to talk Jonathan into turning his back on David. Would Jonathan and David’s friendship survive? Let’s do another experiment to illustrate how a bond can hold up, even when someone or something tries to break the bond.

Blow Bubbles With a Bottle and put a wet marble or small wet toy inside:

  1. Cut the bottom off of a plastic quart or liter soda bottle. All around the cut-off bottle, cut parallel slits about ½ inch apart, and ½ inch deep. Bend the edges back so that they fan out like a flower.
  2. Wet an area of the tabletop with the bubble solution.
  3. Dip the fanned-out end of the bottle into the bubble solution. Hold it near the wet tabletop, and blow a large bubble dome onto the table.
  4. Roll a wet marble through the bubble. Or try sliding in a small wet plastic toy.
    Note: This experiment can take a little practice to make it work!

Say: We did something that looks impossible! Molecules bonded to create a bubble. The marble/toy (which represents King Saul’s anger) was not able to destroy the powerful bond of friendship between David and Jonathan. These two friends stuck together with great love and loyalty. Let’s do one more experiment. We will create a product that sticks together, like good friends should.

Prepare Saucer Slime:

  1. Combine glue and water in the glass cup. Stir with a spoon until they are completely mixed.
  2. Add the borax solution to the glue solution and stir. The mixture will immediately start to form a blob. Keep stirring. If some of the glue-water liquid does not clump together with the rest of the blob, add a bit more borax solution and stir some more.
  3. Pour out the excess liquid, put the blob in the plastic baggie, and knead it for a while.
  4. Remove the blob and play with it!

How It Works: This combination of ingredients creates a chemical reaction. The atoms bond together and create an elastic mixture that doesn’t easily break.

David and Jonathan did not physically bond together, like the molecules in our chemistry experiment. But their bond of friendship proved to outlast Jonathan’s life.

Read II Samuel 9:1-7David and Mephibosheth.

Say: David kept his promise to Jonathan by showing kindness to Jonathan’s son.

Journal Time/Apply the Lesson: Pass out the students’ journals.

101 Amazing Optical IllusionsShow the students some of the art on pages 50-55. Let them discover how they can see two different things in the same picture, depending on their perspective.

Ask: Now what does “perspective” have to do with the story of David and Jonathan? (Accept all answers.)


  1. David and Jonathan chose to see each other as friends. If Jonathan had listened to his father, King Saul, he would have viewed David as a rival for the throne. Likewise, David could have seen Jonathan as the son of his enemy. Instead they remained very close friends. Let’s write in our journals about how to recognize a “true friend.”
  2. Sometimes a person may try to destroy other people’s friendships. David and Jonathan didn’t let that happen. Why? (They trusted each other, and remained loyal through great odds. They did not believe the lies of King Saul.) Let’s write in our journals about ways we can protect our friendships.



End with a prayer.

Clean-up and Dismissal:
Let’s pray together before we leave today: Our Father in Heaven, thank you for being our friend. We also thank you for the good friends we have here on earth, and especially the ones who are here with us today. In Jesus name, AMEN.


  • Mad Professor, Mark Frauenfelder ISBN 0-8118-3554-5, p. 10-13, 17-18
  • 101 Amazing Optical Illusions by Terry Jennings ISBN 0-8069-9463-0
  • Barron’s Science Wizardry for Kids, by Margaret Kenda and Phyllis S. Williams ISBN 0-590-69326-3 pp. 97, 110
  • The Book for Children, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-8423-2145-4


A lesson written by Kirsten from: Augustana Lutheran Church

St. James, MN


A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.


David and Jonathan
Story-Telling Workshop

Grades K-3


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Student's hear the story from someone who worked in the kings palace.


Scripture Reference:

1 Samuel 18:1-12, 20:1-42

Memory Verse:

Proverbs 18:24 (CEV), “Some friends don't help, but a true friend is closer than your own family.”

Lesson Objectives: Students will:

  • hear the story of David and Jonathan’s friendship from the perspective of a “silent” observer at the palace—a member of the housekeeping staff
  • listen for actions that make a person a good friend, or not good
  • learn that God worked through Jonathan’s friendship to help David
  • consider whom God might work through to help them in times of need


Materials Needed:

  • A copy of The Beginners Bible by Zondervan
  • This script (or your notes or memory)
  • A feather duster (or some other housecleaning prop)
  • A CD or cassette with harp music
  • A player for the music mentioned above
  • Pencils/journals for each student

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.




Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction: 
Welcome all the students warmly as they arrive. When they have all gathered, ask, “Do any of you have a really good friend?” I hope that you do. Some of you maybe have several good friends. What are some things that friends are good for? (Allow children to respond. They will probably respond with things they like to do with their friends). Another thing that friends can do is to help us when we are afraid, or in trouble. When they do that, they’re helping God to help us! This month you’ll be/have been learning about some special friends from Bible times. There is boy named Jonathan and his best friend, David. Jonathan’s dad was the king of Israel—King Saul, and he invited David to live with his family in the palace after David was very brave in a battle with a giant named Goliath. Today in a little bit we’re going to hear that story from someone who worked in the palace. First, though, let’s begin with prayer.

“Holy God, we thank you for your love for us, and we thank you for good friends who help us in times of need. Be with us today as we learn more about friendship, and about your care for us. Let all of God’s people say…AMEN.


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

“Our guest today is someone who worked in the king’s palace in ancient Israel. He/she is not named in the Bible, because he/she was always working in the background, and nobody noticed him/her. But he/she noticed what was going on in the palace, and has quite a story to tell us today. Our guest’s name is “Silent Sam/Sue”

“Silent Sam (or Sue)’s Story (Note: Please feel free to “play” with this script, and extemporize as you are comfortable and see fit. If you have been doing the opening, at this point leave the room and come in carrying and using a feather duster or broom or something to show have now become “Silent Sam”/”Silent Sue.” The script asks the children to notice examples of being friends and notes these examples in parentheses and bold type. The children may need help noticing or articulating these characteristics of friendship)

Good morning! Thank you, boys and girls, for that nice welcome. Well, I guess your teacher already told you that they called me, “Silent Sam.” Do you want to know how I got that nickname? I worked in the palace of King Saul, which was a very important place to work. I didn’t get hired to give him advice, though—I was on the cleaning crew. The palace was a very big building, and it seemed there was always cleaning to do. Like I said, I wasn’t hired to give advice to the King, so I kept my mouth shut. I said so little, that some started calling me, “Silent Sam.” I’ll tell you a secret, though. I learned that the less Isaid, the moreI learned. People would forget that I was even in the room, and they would say and do all kinds of things that maybe I wasn’t supposed to hear or see. I didn’t say a thing—but I kept my eyes and my ears open all the time. That’s how I learned about David and Prince Jonathan.

Say, I have an idea! Why don’t you give my secret a try. You can be “Silent Sam” this morning. When I tell my story, don’t say anything but listen very carefully.


When you hear me tell about something that is an example of someone being a GOOD FRIEND, raise your hand.


When you hear about someone doing something that is NOT FRIENDLY, wave your hands across your chest.


So when you hear about someone being a good friend you will do what? (raise hand) And when you hear about someone doing something NOT friendly what will you do? (wave hands across chest). Good.


My story begins after a young boy named David killed a giant Philistine soldier named Goliath. The Philistine army had been attacking our country off and on, so we knew that they were our enemies. One time they came with this great big huge soldier named Goliath. He dared any soldier from our army to fight him one-on-one instead of the whole armies fighting. All of our great soldiers were afraid of him, though. One day this young boy David came to bring food to his older brothers who were soldiers. He heard about the challenge and said that he would fight Goliath, and that God would help him win. No one believed him, and he was so small that the armor they gave him was too heavy for him to walk in! The giant laughed at David, coming after him like a little puppy dog. David, though, had been a shepherd boy and had needed to kill lions that threatened his sheep. So David took his slingshot, picked out a good stone, and it hit Goliath in the forehead, killing him. The Philistine army ran away.

The King, King Saul, was so thankful for David’s courage and for chasing away the Philistine army that he invited David to come and live with him and his family in the palace. This would be a big change for David. He came from a farm family, and was used to sleeping out in the field watching the sheep. Now he would live in a palace with the king!! It seemed kind of strange to me, that this ordinary boy would get to live in the King’s house, but I didn’t say a thing, because I’m Silent Sam. (Children might recognize Saul’s thank you and welcome into his house as an act of friendship).

At first, I think that David was kind of afraid and lonesome. Can you imagine how you might feel if the President of your country asked you to come and live with him in the White House? It would be a big honor, but a very big change. Don’t you think that you would miss your Mom and your Dad, and friends and the normal things that you liked to do?

It happened that King Saul had a son, our Prince Jonathan, who was close to David’s same age. Jonathan came to meet David, and to welcome him to the King’s house. For some reason, it seemed like the two of them hit it off right from the start. Jonathan could tell that David felt out of place in the palace with his shepherd’s clothing, so Jonathan took off his fancy robe and gave it to David, and gave him also his armor, and sword, and bow, and belt.

All of a sudden this shepherd boy was dressed in a very impressive way. It looked like he would be the next King of Israel! I was very surprised at Prince Jonathan’s generosity, but I didn’t say a word because I’m Silent Sam. (Children might recognize Jonathan’s warm welcome and his generous sharing of his things as signs of good friendship).

Those two boys, David and Prince Jonathan, grew up quickly before my eyes. They became the best of friends, and it seemed like they did everything together. They ran together. They hunted together. And, as they got older, they became soldiers together in King Saul’s army. (Children may recognize spending time together and sharing common interests as signs of friendship)

Life was not always good in the palace, however. King Saul had his problems. It would seem like everything was going along just fine, and then suddenly—without any reason, King Saul would get VERY ANGRY!! (Raise your voice to emphasize) He would yell at anybody or nobody, and even throw things. At those times I was glad that I was Silent Sam. He would forget I was around. I’d just pull back into the shadows and quietly do my work until he was in a better mood.

David and Prince Jonathan couldn’t always get away from his bad moods as easily as I could, though. In fact, David had a way of helping King Saul. David was a very good musician. He was especially good on the harp. Have any of you ever heard harp music before? I have a recording of some harp music that I’d like to play for you (play the tape/CD—you may wish to leave it on through the rest of the story as soft background music). You can tell that it is very soft, gentle, soothing music. Many times when King Saul would get in one of his violent moods, David would go and get his harp and play some beautiful music like this. After a while, Saul would settle down and be his normal self again. I was glad to have David helping King Saul in that way, because I was afraid of the King when he would get so upset. But I didn’t say anything, because of course I’m Silent Sam. (Children may recognize that David using his music to help calm the King was a sign of friendship—to Saul and to all in the palace!)

The music didn’t always help, though. Like I said, King Saul had his problems. Somehow he got it into his mind that David wanted to take his place as king. Now I told you that I have heard a lot that was going on in the palace that no one else heard, but I never, ever heard David say anything against King Saul or Prince Jonathan. Instead, he was always loyal, and trying to help the King and the King’s family. Saul didn’t believe this, though. One time when King Saul was in one of his bad moods and David was trying to calm him down by playing his harp, King Saul threw his spear at David! Fortunately, the King is not a very good spear-thrower, so it missed David but it stuck right into the wall! David ran away for a while. Prince Jonathan worked hard to convince King Saul about David’s loyalty, and to convince David to come back. (Children may recognize David’s loyalty as a mark of friendship and King Saul’s suspicion and spear-throwing as obvious bad ways to treat a friend!)

When it happened a second time that King Saul threw a spear at David, David knew that he could not live there any more. He ran away. Prince Jonathan came to him and tried to convince him that his father didn’t really want to kill David. He told David, “My father tells me everything he does, important or not, and he would not hide this from me. It just isn’t so that he wants to kill you.”

David told Jonathan, “He’s keeping his plans from you because he knows that you and I are such good friends, and that you will always protect me. Here’s a plan that I have. Tomorrow and the next day as you know, Jonathan, your dad the King is planning a big party. I’m supposed to be there, but I’m afraid that if I come I will be killed. He will notice that I’m missing. Tell him that you gave permission for me to go visit my family in Bethlehem. See how he reacts. If he takes the news calmly, then you must be right. He really doesn’t need me to have a good party. There’s no reason for him to get angry. If he does get angry, it will be because he missed a chance to get rid of me.” David and Jonathan worked out a secret signal so David could find out what happened.

What do you think happened, boys and girls? Well, I was at the banquet, helping the kitchen staff to serve. I was keeping quiet, as usual, so I heard everything. The first night nothing was said about David. When he was still gone the second day, though, King Saul asked Jonathan, “Where’s that friend of yours? Why didn’t he come to my party?” Jonathan replied, “Oh, I must have forgotten to tell you, father. He asked for permission to go back to visit his family at Bethlehem for a few days for his father’s birthday, and I gave my permission.”


Jonathan tried to stand up for his friend. He said, “Why, father? Why must he die? What has he ever done to you?” But then Saul picked up his spear and threw it at his own son! Like I said, it’s a good thing that Saul was never very good at spear throwing, because it missed again. Jonathan was convinced, though, that David was no longer safe near his father. As sad as it made him, Jonathan sent David a message that he must run away for his life. (Children may recognize Jonathan’s defense and warning of David as a sign of a good friend).

Saul tried to hunt down David, but he never did find him. God used Jonathan to protect David. When King Saul and Prince Jonathan died one day in battle, David became the new king—the best king Israel ever had. I was honored to work in his palace, too. And he was the one that gave me my nickname—say it with me—Silent Sam! Thank you for being “Silent Sams” today, and listening so well.


(As a review, read the story to the children from The Beginner’s Bible pp. 186-192, “Best Friends” through the first page of “King David"


  • What were some ways that David and Jonathan showed themselves to be good friends? (Did things together, Jonathan welcomed David and shared his things, David used his music to bring peace, they were loyal to each other, Jonathan protected David)
  • How was King Saul not a good friend?—Violent temper, suspicious, tried to kill David
  • Friends are very special people, and we’ve learned some things today about ways to be a good friend.
  • Usually friends are pretty close to our same age, but not always. When David felt that he was in danger, Jonathan helped to protect him. If you ever felt that you were in trouble or in danger, who would be some friends that you could tell that you know would help you? (teachers, police, pastor, other trusted adults like neighbors) These are special friends that God can work through to help you to stay safe.
  • God is our very best friend, because God is always with us and loves us very much.

Journal Time:
Copy this month’s memory verse into your journals. Then, draw a picture of one or more of your best friends and something that you do together as friends.


Dear God, we thank you for good friends. Help us to be good friends to others, helping them with their needs. We thank you for the ways that you help us through friends our age, and for trusting and caring adults. Let all of God’s children say…AMEN.



A lesson written by Pastor Ted from Augustana Lutheran Church

St. James, MN


A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.


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