After Israel demanded a king, God gave the Israelites Saul as a king. By all appearances, Saul was a good choice as a king. But Saul forgot that his kingship was from God. Saul made some mistakes that cost him his throne in this week’s story. Follow along with this devotion, which you can walk through with your family in 10-15 minutes one night this week or review it in 3-5 minutes over the course of the week.
KEY VERSE – DAY ONE:
Review the key verses and hand motions for this unit with your children.
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.’” – John 8:12 (Backyard Kids Club Cave Quest Key Verse)
“Sing a song of wisdom, for God is King of all the earth. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on His holy throne.” – Psalm 47:7-8
BIG PICTURE QUESTION – DAY ONE:
Ask your children the Big Picture Question for this unit: Who is our King? Jesus is our King forever, and He rules over the world.
MAIN POINT – DAY ONE:
Share with your children that this week’s main point is: God rejected Saul as king because of his sin.
BIBLE PASSAGE – DAY TWO:
This week’s Bible story comes from 1 Samuel 13:1-14; 15:1-35. This story can be found on page 76 of the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook. Take some time now to read these passages with your children or you can refer to the Bible story summary below!
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
Saul was king over Israel. He gathered an army and took some of the men into the hill country. The Philistines, enemies of Israel, were in the land. Saul’s son Jonathan took some other men to destroy a Philistine army camp. The attack made the Philistines mad!
The Philistines came out to fight the Israelites. The Israelites were outnumbered. They were all afraid; some of them hid.
Saul wanted to ask God for help. Maybe if he made an offering to God, they would win the battle. But only the priests were allowed to give offerings to God. Saul waited for Samuel, but Samuel did not come. His soldiers started to leave, so Saul decided to make an offering to God himself.
Then Samuel showed up. “Saul, what are you doing?” Samuel asked.
“I wanted to ask for God’s help before we went into battle against the Philistines,” Saul replied.
“You have disobeyed God,” Samuel said. Saul was a king, not a priest. It was a sin for Saul to make the sacrifice! “You will not be king much longer. God is going to find someone obedient to be king.”
Some time later, Samuel came to Saul with a message from God. God wanted Saul to attack the Amalekites. God said to kill all of the people and all of the animals. So Saul and his army fought the Amalekites. They won, but they did not destroy everything like God commanded. Saul only destroyed the worthless things and things he didn’t want.
Samuel confronted Saul and told him that God had said He regretted making Saul king since he does not obey God. “I did obey Him!” Saul argued. “I only saved the best animals to sacrifice to the Lord.”
“Does God care more about obedience or sacrifices?” Samuel asked. “You rejected His instruction, so God has rejected you as king.”
Saul admitted his sin and pleaded for forgiveness. “God has taken away your kingship today, and he is giving it to another king,” Samuel said. Samuel left, and God was sorry He had made Saul the king of Israel.
REVIEW QUESTIONS – DAY THREE:
After reading the Bible story or going through the summary, ask your children these review questions/true and false statements:
Preschool/Kindergarten (review questions):
- Who was the only one allowed to make sacrifices to God? (a priest, Samuel)
- Should Saul have offered the sacrifice to God? (no)
- What should Saul have done instead of offering the sacrifice himself? (waited for Samuel to come)
- Did Saul destroy everything that belonged to the Amalekites like God said to do? (no, he kept the best cattle, sheep, and animals)
- Why did God not want Saul to be king anymore? (Saul did not obey Him)
1st-5th grades (true/false statements):
- Saul was the first king of Israel. (true)
- Saul gathered an army to fight the Egyptians. (false; the Philistines)
- Saul wanted to ask God to help Israel in the battle. (true)
- Saul did not make an offering until Samuel arrived. (false; Samuel arrived after Saul made an offering)
- God told Saul to attack the Amalekites and destroy only the useless things. (false; destroy everything)
- Saul obeyed God completely. (false; Saul did not obey God)
- God rejected Saul as king because of his sin. (true)
WORSHIP – DAY FOUR:
CHRIST CONNECTION – DAY FIVE:
It’s amazing to see how things that happened in the Old Testament are connected to the New Testament and the Gospel – the good news that Jesus came to Earth to die for our sins because of His love for us. These Christ connections show us that God has been preparing us for a relationship with Jesus since the beginning of time.
King Saul offered a sacrifice that only the priest was allowed to give. God rejected Saul as king, but He had a plan to send His Son, Jesus. King Jesus never sinned, and He gave His life as the perfect sacrifice for us.
King Saul sinned by giving a sacrifice that only the priest was allowed to give. God rejected Saul as king, but He had a plan to send His Son, Jesus. King Jesus gave up His own life as a good and perfect sacrifice so sinners would be forgiven and accepted.
PRAY – DAY FIVE:
As you pray, ask God to help us have hearts that love and obey Him everyday. Ask God to give us opportunities to be obedient. Thank God that when we do put our trust in Him, that He changes our hearts to obey Him. Thank God for sending His son, King Jesus, who gave His life as a perfect sacrifice for our sin.