- Students will learn Satan can still convince godly people to disobey God.
- Students will learn David’s pride and perhaps lack of faith in God caused him to sin. We too can let our pride and lack of faith cause us to make poor choices.
- Students will learn it is important to listen to godly people and take their advice when it too is godly.
- Students will participate in an activity to help them learn where they can go for godly advice. The will create “Life Emergency Cards” to reference important scriptures, advice and information to contact Godly advice-givers.
- Students will practice using a Bible concordance.
Guiding Question: How can we find godly advice like David did (even though he didn’t listen) when we need it?
Materials: card stock labeled “What To Do In An Emergency”, pencils, pens, markers, Bible concordances or Bible’s with concordances
Tell the story of David counting his fighting men. (Although this story appears simple on the surface, it is a little complex for children and needs to be explained.) Read Exodus 30:12 to students. It wasn’t just that David was proud or frightened and wanted to count his fighting men. It was also that he disobeyed a direct command from God. God was supposed to order any census or counting done in Israel. As part of the process, a “ransom” was also supposed to be paid for each person who was counted. God did not order the census David wanted and it doesn’t appear any “ransom” was paid to God for each person counted.
Unless students want more information on that part of the story, focus especially on the fact that David refused to listen to Joab’s godly advice. Ask students why they think David refused to listen to Joab when he gave David good, godly advice?
Explain that sometimes like David, we may not know we need advice to make a wiser choice. Ask students to name some of the people they can trust to be like Joab and give them godly advice. Tell students that at other times, they may still be confused about what to do even after they get advice. Ask them where they can always get the very best advice. Have them share the ways they can get God’s advice.
With older students, discuss in more depth the concept of finding life’s answers in the Bible. Show them how to use a concordance to find scriptures on a variety of topics. Have them practice deciding what words to use to find scriptures on topics for which they may want God’s advice (Ex: “I’m afraid I might fail the test.” Worry, fear, trust, etc.) If you have enough Bibles with a concordance in them, have students suggest a variety of topics and practice finding scriptures that would provide God’s guidance on that topic.
Give students card stock labeled “What To Do In An Emergency”. Explain that for medical emergencies, there are often cards people keep near them, which remind them of the steps they need to follow to make the situation better.
Today your students will create their own “Life Emergency” reminder cards. They can decorate and label them in any way they wish. They may want to include reminders to pray or search scriptures. They may even want to record specific scriptures that help them remember what to do. They may also want to add names and even phone numbers of people they feel they can trust to give them godly advice. You may even want to have church elders present for children to meet and give their information. (For younger students, they can illustrate each “listing” and have an adult add words for them, if they wish.)
Remind students to put these cards where they can find them when they need advice. Encourage readers to keep learning how to find the scriptures that can help them when they need to know what God’s advice for them is. For pre-readers, encourage them to have their parents tell them some verses they can work on memorizing that will help them if they need advice.
- Which topics would you probably reference the most in a concordance?
- What are some situations that you expect to use your emergency card in?
- Often as you get older wise people will not force you to do something even if they know that their advice is best. How did Joab give his advice? How can you be on the look-out for subtle advice that is given even if you do not ask for it?
Supplemental Activity: Students can create their own mini-concordance listed by topics that they might struggle with so that they have a few verses ready for issues that pertain most closely to them. Give students paper that can be stapled into mini booklets and let them choose a few topics. Then they can list reference verses and write the verses out so that they do not have to look the verses up each time that they want to remember them. Students could keep them to go with their “Life Emergency” reminder cards or they can hand them out to others as a service project.