Scripture: 2 Samuel 11-12
- Students will learn David was staying in the Palace instead of doing his job as king in battle, which put him in a place to get into trouble. When we aren’t where we are supposed to be, sometimes we can put ourselves in places where it is easier to get into trouble.
- Students will learn more sins do not erase previous sins or make things better or easier.
- Students will learn it is important for Christians to help each other recognize sin in our lives so we can ask God’s forgiveness and stop sinning.
- Students will participate in activities to help them understand what it means to covet and the difference between needs and wants.
Guiding Questions: Why are we tempted to sin when we want something we don’t already have and what can we do about it?
Materials: sealed envelope for each child – one with $1 bill in it, the others have blank paper, photos of lots of different items, two “signs” – one for “Needs” and the other “Wants”
Procedure: Review the story of David and Bathsheba emphasizing the fact that David wanted something that was not his so badly; he would sin to get it. (For children, frame the story as David wanting to pretend Bathsheba was his wife, but she was already another man’s wife. David decided to “steal’ her from the other man. At first, he told himself he was just “borrowing” her, but since he didn’t ask – it was still stealing (no Bathsheba wasn’t a possession, but in that culture women were often thought of in that manner) and then sending her husband to the front lines to be killed. This of course was adding murder to theft (and adultery!), but David convinced himself he hadn’t stolen or murdered at all until Nathan told his parable. It’s really not necessary at this age to go into adultery in grand detail!)
Tell students you have an envelope for each one of them (if you don’t have enough for every student – even better – they will be doubly upset!). Tell them when you say, “Go”, they can open their envelopes and keep whatever is inside. After the activity, ask students how they felt when they didn’t get the dollar. Ask the child who has the dollar how he/she would feel if someone “borrowed” his dollar without asking? What if someone took it when he wasn’t looking? Explain coveting means wanting something someone else has so badly, it really bothers you – a lot! Ask students what problems might come up when we covet something. (For younger students ask them what they feel like doing when another child is playing with the toy they wanted to play with at home or school.) You may want to share James 4:1-2 to get them started. Point out that those are all (probably) temptations to sin.
Read Philippians 4:19. Explain to students God will provide what we need, but not necessarily what we want. He may bless us with those things, too – but He doesn’t promise us He will. Tell the children many grownups even confuse what they want and what they need. Hold up the various pictures and have students debate whether the various things are wants or needs. With older children, you may want to get really deep and discuss the possibility that God’s goal is for us to be with Him in Heaven and He may decide that need is the only real need we have – everything else is a want. You may want to reassure them with Luke 12:24 and Matthew 7:11 that God will most likely make sure they have enough food to eat, etc.. (Young or very immature children will be upset if they think God doesn’t promise them shelter, etc.) Ask students to think of other things that might confuse people (and fellow students) as to whether they are wants or needs.
- When you have something good, and tell/show someone, how would you feel if they were jealous instead of happy for you? How should you react to others who have things you want?
- Despite the many things we want in life why do you think that they do not give us true contentment? Where does true contentment come from?
Supplemental Activity: If there is time left, ask children to think of godly strategies for what they should do when they realize they want something so badly they are tempted to sin to get it. Give them a few more coping strategies that are age appropriate, so they have plenty of tools they can use.