David and Jonathan
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will be like Jonathan and shoot a real bow.
For scripture, see above.
- Children will remember that friends help each other.
- Bows and arrows
- Large boulder or stone (can be a “prop” or just about any kind of large marker)
- (Safety equipment as determined by Boy Scout Troop.)
- Read the scripture ahead of time.
- Gather the materials.
This workshop is outside. The children’s safety is of upmost importance. Set up the shooting area in such a way that the children can easily be kept safe and the arrows can easily be found. There should be plenty of room behind the ‘rock’ for the arrows to fly without possibility of hurting anyone.
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and introduce yourself.
Open with a prayer.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
(Read the story taken from 1 Samuel 17 - 20 about David and Jonathan first. The story is long, so practice it a few times so you can keep the children’s attention.)
After David killed Goliath he was brought to King Saul. (David was still holding the Philistine's head.) Saul invited David to live at the palace with him. Saul’s son, Jonathan “became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself”. That means they were VERY BEST friends. In fact, they even made a covenant, or an agreement with each other. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. That is how close they were.
In the military, whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the people, and Saul's officers as well. In fact, when Saul and David and the men were coming home from battles, the people came out to meet them with singing and dancing. As they danced, they sang:
"Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands."
Saul was very jealous when he heard this song. "They have credited David with tens of thousands," he thought, "but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?"
Saul told his son Jonathan and some other people to kill David. But Jonathan was David’s friend, and warned him.
Then Jonathan spoke to Saul about David and reminded him that David had not done anything wrong, and that what David had done had benefited Saul and the kingdom.
Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: "As surely as the LORD lives, David will not be put to death."
So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation and David and Saul were friends again.
Saul again sent David out to war. David did great, but that just made Saul even more jealous. Over and over Saul and David had conflict because of Saul’s jealousy. Saul would threaten to kill him and David would run away. Finally, David went to Jonathan and asked, "What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to take my life?"
"Never!" Jonathan replied. "You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn't do anything, without confiding in me. It's not so!"
But David said, "Your father knows we are best friends. He will not tell you. But as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death."
Jonathan said to David, "Whatever you want me to do, I'll do for you."
So David said, "Look, tomorrow is the New Moon festival, and I am supposed to be there. Let me go and hide in the field until after the festival. If your father misses me at all, tell him, 'David earnestly asked my permission to hurry to Bethlehem.' If he says, 'Very well,' then I am safe. But if he loses his temper, you can be sure that he is determined to harm me.”
So Jonathan agreed to sound out his father. Then Jonathan said to David: "Tomorrow is the New Moon festival. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty. The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid when this trouble began, and wait by the stone. I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target. Then I will send a boy and say, 'Go, find the arrows.' If I say to him, 'Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,' then come, because, as surely as the LORD lives, you are safe; there is no danger. But if I say to the boy, 'Look, the arrows are beyond you,' then you must go, because the LORD has sent you away.”
So David hid in the field and Jonathan went home. When the New Moon festival came, the king sat down to eat. He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan, but David's place was empty. The next day, David's place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, "Why hasn't David come to the meal, either yesterday or today?"
Jonathan answered, "David asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem. That is why he has not come to the king's table."
Saul's anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, "Don't I know that you have sided with David! Shame on you! As long as David lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send and bring him to me, for he must die!" Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.
Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; and he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father's shameful treatment of David.
In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, and he said to the boy, "Run and find the arrows I shoot." As the boy ran, Jonathan called out after him, "Isn't the arrow beyond you?" Then he shouted, "Hurry! Go quickly! Don't stop!" The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, "Go, carry them back to town."
After the boy had gone, David got up from beside of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most.
Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD forever.” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.
(Discuss the story, especially the part when Jonathan shoots the arrows and that message to David. You may use questions like these.
- Why did David fear Saul?
- Why was Saul jealous of David?
- Why did Saul want to kill David?
- How did Jonathan find out Saul wanted to kill David?
- How did Jonathan warn David?
- Now, who wants to shoot a bow and warn David?
Activity - Arrow Shooting:
(Explain how to shoot bows. Explain the safety rules. Allow each child to shoot an arrow. After they shoot, have them say, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?” to warn David.)
End with a prayer.
Be sensitive to children who may feel they have no friends. Help the children make new friends so that everyone in the class has a friend.
For this we want the children to reenact the part of the story where Jonathan shoots the arrow and warns David. We were hoping a Boy Scout pack would lead it for us, but they may just 'consult' with us on safety and instructions on proper techniques. The details are a little sketchy because I don't know exactly what procedures we need to do.
A lesson written by Staci Woodruff from: Jenks Church.
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