Kings and Kingdoms

Scripture: 1 Samuel 20

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn about Jonathon and David’s friendship and loyalty.
  • Students will learn about the succession of the kings within the kingdoms at the time of David and Jonathon.

Guiding Question: How can students learn about the succession of kings in David’s time?

Materials: Bibles, pencil, paper, internet access for research

Procedure: Teach the story of David and Jonathan. Introduce students to the concept of royal succession and why it was unusual for Jonathan and David to be friends. Have students draw a chart showing that normally Jonathan would be king after Saul died, but God had taken the kingdom from them and given it to David. Jonathan knew this and could have hated David or tried to kill him, but instead he became David’s best friend. David’s son Solomon became King after David died. The kingdom then split in two and succession was not always straightforward.

For younger children, prepare a large sheet of paper with two thrones. Have students draw Saul, Jonathan, David and other members of their families to show which people belonged to which kingdom/dynasty. Remind them that it was very common for people in two different dynasties to consider each other enemies and not friends, like Jonathan, David and later Mephibosheth.

Older students may want to work together as a class or individually to create a diagram depicting the various kings (and their children) over the years for both kingdoms of Israel and Judah – where they belong in order and color ones who are related the same color. 

Additional Questions: How can the students learn about godly friendship?

Supplemental Activity: Talk with the students about the importance of friendship that is godly. Have the students draw a person representing a godly friend and have them write godly character traits around the person, referencing Bible verses.

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