Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Come Follow Me FHE Lesson – David & Goliath – The Battle is the Lord’s

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The Lord can mold us to become whatever He needs us to be to participate in His work–if we are humble and obedient. This FHE lesson dives into the story of David and Goliath and includes three different lesson plans.

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Scripture

1 Samuel 17:47

And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.

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Hymn

God Speed the Right | Hymn #106

1. Now to heav’n our prayer ascending,
God speed the right;
In a noble cause contending,
God speed the right.
Be our zeal in heav’n recorded,
With success on earth rewarded.
God speed the right.
God speed the right.

2. Be that prayer again repeated,
God speed the right;
Ne’er despairing, though defeated,
God speed the right.
Like the great and good in story,
If we fail, we fail with glory.
God speed the right.
God speed the right.

3. Patient, firm, and persevering,
God speed the right;
No event nor danger fearing,
God speed the right.
Pains, nor toils, nor trials heeding,
And in heav’n’s good time succeeding,
God speed the right.
God speed the right.

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Lesson

FOR CHILDREN

Explain: The Israelites and Philistines were fighting a war. The Israelites’ leader, Saul, was set to go into battle when a giant of a Philistine came out of his camp and yelled to the Israelites that he had a different idea. He said he would fight the very best soldier among all the Israelites. Then, whoever won in a fight between him and the Israelite soldier would win the whole war. His name was Goliath.

Read: 1 Samuel 17:4, 8-10

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.

Teach: The Israelites knew this was a better option than losing hundreds or thousands of soldiers in war, but Goliath was not a normal soldier. Goliath was six cubits and one span tall. At the time, a cubit represented about 1.5 feet. A span was considered to be half a cubit, or about 9 inches. A man, therefore, who was six cubits and a span tall was about 9’9” tall!

Take a piece of string and tape it up nine feet and nine inches. If the ceilings are too low, try going outside to visually show how tall this is. It is almost as tall as a full-sized basketball hoop. He was not a beanpole, nearly 10-foot man either. His coat of armor (not including his helmet, shin guards, etc.) weighed five thousand shekels of brass. In today’s measurements, that’s approximately 125 pounds!

That’s just the coat. [Try to approximate the weight of this for the children to understand. Maybe several children together weigh close to 125. Perhaps use bags of flour, dog food, etc. to demonstrate how heavy 125 pounds is–and this is just the weight of just the coat part of his coat of armor!]

Read: 1 Samuel 17:5

And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.

Goliath had a spearhead that weighed 600 shekels (1 Samuel 17:7) or about 15 pounds. This is nearly the same as two gallons of milk. Imagine putting two gallons of milk on the end of a broomstick and then throwing it–with good aim–at an enemy. Goliath must have been impossibly strong!

David, on the other hand, was a young shepherd boy.

Ask: Why would God give a task like fighting Goliath to a young boy? [As we see throughout the Old Testament, God performs miracles so incredible that they can only be from Him. If God used an equally strong man to defeat Goliath, it would have been easy to believe the man defeated him by his own strength and cunning, and not through the power of God.]

Read: 1 Samuel 17: 45

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

Teach: David was the youngest son of Jesse. His three oldest brothers had joined the war, but David was in charge of keeping the family’s sheep. Jesse sent David to take food to his brothers on the frontlines. When he got there, he heard Goliath yelling at the Israelites to send their best warrior to fight against him. The Israelite army was terrified of Goliath. They ran away from him. But when David heard the challenge, he knew Goliath could be defeated–with help from the Lord.

It didn’t matter to God that David was young and so much smaller than Goliath. God knew David had the faith to defeat Goliath.

Ask: Has anyone ever looked at you and thought you couldn’t do something you knew you could do just because you were young or small? God knows what we are capable of because he knows our hearts. The prophet Samuel knew David would become king–even when he was young and weak–because God knew David’s heart.

Read: 1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Ask: David trusted that the Lord would save him, but his brothers, fellow Israelites and all of the Philistines believed he would be lose the battle. How can we trust God to save us even when people around us don’t think He will? How can we remain faithful even when we stand alone?

Video: Watch this video to review the story of how David defeated Goliath through faith in the Lord.

Testify: You may feel too weak to overcome your challenges of bullying, fear, worry, tests, friend troubles, and more. Your trials may feel like a giant Goliath standing in front of you. Others may not think you’re big enough or strong enough to overcome your fears and challenges, but with God, all things are possible. He may not remove the challenge (though He sometimes does!), but He will definitely provide a way for you to get through it. If you look to Him and not forget Him in your trials, you will be stronger and more like Him.

FOR TEENS & ADULTS

Teach: The Israelites came to Samuel the prophet and asked him to appoint a king of Israel. Samuel warned the people of the problems that could come from having a king instead of Judges as they had previously had, but the people insisted they wanted a king.

The Lord allowed for it and directed Samuel to choose Saul as the king of the Israelites. At the time of his call, Saul was “a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he” (1 Samuel 9:2). Saul had great ability and potential. He had the character traits and abilities of a person prepared to be king. God can use our strengths to build His kingdom and serve His people–if we are obedient and faithful to Him.

In time, however, Saul started to become overconfident and arrogant about his abilities and his position as king of Israel.

Explain: God, through the prophet Samuel, commanded Saul to have his armies destroy the Amalekites and all they have. Perhaps they were like the people in Noah’s day because the Lord required that they and all their animals be destroyed–no exceptions. Saul heard these instructions directly, but perhaps he believed himself above the word of the Lord.

Read: 1 Samuel 15:9

But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

Teach: When Samuel questioned Saul about why he had disobeyed the Lord, Saul didn’t admit he had done anything wrong–at first. He told Saul that he had obeyed the word of the Lord.

Ask: Are we ever tempted to say “close enough” when it comes to obeying the Lord (or our parents)?

I fasted for breakfast (instead of two meals/24 hours). That’s close enough.
I came in 15 minutes after curfew. That’s close enough.
I only cheated on a couple of test questions. That’s close enough.
I only stole something no one even cares about. That’s close enough.
I only said hurtful things to my siblings when my mom wasn’t around to hear it. That’s close enough.

Teach: Saul justifies his behavior by claiming that he spared the best of the animals to give them to the Lord as a sacrifice.

Read: 1 Samuel 15:15

And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

Teach: Perhaps it is true that Saul spared the animals to offer sacrifice, but that isn’t what God wanted or what He asked Saul to do. God does ask sacrifices of us and at this time, animal sacrifices were a part of that. The problem with Saul sparing the animals was not in using the animals for sacrifice. The problem was Saul’s rebellion against doing what the Lord asked.

Read: 1 Samuel 15:22-23

And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

Teach: Saul didn’t seem to think his sin was a big deal, but rebellion against the Lord is serious. He also failed to take responsibility for his actions, even though he was in charge of his army and the prophet had told him exactly what to do.

Video: Watch this video clip with a real-life example of the need for taking 100% responsibility.

Testify: God needs his people, especially his leaders, to be humble, obedient, and responsible. When we choose Him over our pride, He can help us to become so much greater than we could ever be on our own.

FOR SINGLE STUDY

Consider: When the Lord called Saul, through the prophet Samuel, to be the king of the Israelites, Saul was humble. When he began to think more of himself than of the words of the prophet, he became proud and lost his gift to lead. He was removed from his office as king.

Saul went several times through the repentance process, as there is always a way to return to the Lord and be clean, but having our sins forgiven may not always restore the blessings that would have been ours if we had been obedient.

After Samuel told Saul he would lose the kingship for his rebellion, Samuel was remorseful and sought to repent.

Read: 1 Samuel 15:24-25, 30-31

And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord. Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord thy God. So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the Lord.

Consider or Journal: The Lord allowed for Saul’s repentance just as He allows for ours, but He cannot always relieve us from the grief of what we lost when we were disobedient. Heavenly Father forgives sins, but our sins may disqualify us for full-time missionary service. He forgives us if we fall into addiction, but we may still need to live with the consequences of poor health. He is eternally merciful, but choice and its accompanying virtue, accountability, are also eternal.

What would God have me do or stop doing to be eligible to receive His choicest blessings?

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FHE TreatTreat

Homemade Bread

David brought corn and bread to his brothers on the frontlines. Nourish your family with this simple, easy homemade bread!

  

FHE Game / Activity

Activity

Put up a piece of tape, or use large butcher paper to sketch out just how large Goliath really was. See in the children’s section above for ideas on how to approximate the size and weight of Goliath, his armor, and his weapons.

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Rebecca Wright
Rebecca Wright
Becca loves audiobooks, dark chocolate, singing, hiking, walking,  going out with her husband, and raising their chickens and children. She still wants to meet her hero Sheri Dew, see flowing lava and a blue whale in person, and uplift others with her words.

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