Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

2 Samuel 1-8

Story Summary

We have been learning about David for several lessons now. We learned how he was anointed as King of Israel by Samuel after Saul began to disobey God. We learned how David defeated Goliath and the Philistines. We learned about how David wrote songs (called Psalms). David was also a very important King of Israel.

The War Between Saul and David

After Saul died, there was still a battle between the house of Saul and the followers of David. At first, David was made king just over the tribe of Judah, and Saul's son, Ish-bosheth (crazy name, huh?) was made King over the rest of Israel by the followers of Saul. There was a long war between the followers of David and Saul, but David and his followers kept getting stronger and stronger until eventually David won and was anointed King of all of Israel (all 12 tribes). There are a lot of details in 2 Samuel 1-4 about that series of events, and you can teach them at your discretion.

David Becomes King over Judah and Eventually all of Israel

David was 30 years old when he became King and he served 40 years altogether (7 1/2 years over just Judah and the rest of the time over all of Israel). He ruled from a town called Hebron when he was just King of Judah. But after he was made King over all Israel, they conquered a city called Jerusalem by driving out the Jebusites and the Philistines. This city became known as the "City of David". 

David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem

David also gathered a large group of men to go and move the ark to Jerusalem to have it be the center of Israel again. Remember what happened to the ark just a generation before this? See 1 Samuel 4 - Eli (the one who brought up Samuel in the house of the Lord, who anointed David king over Israel) and his sons lost the ark to the Philistines in a battle (when they were both killed). Then, in 1 Samuel 6-7, we learn that the Israelites regained the ark about 7 months later after God continued to punish the Philistines for taking it, and they kept it in the house of Abinadab for the next 70 years. David wanted the ark to regain its prominence.

As they were bringing the ark into Jerusalem, it almost fell off the cart they made for it and a man named Uzzah reached out and touched it to keep it from falling. But God had given them strict instructions on how to carry it (using poles, not a cart) and told them not to touch it. God killed Uzzah as a punishment. God was very serious about how the Israelites worshiped him. After that the Israelites used the poles to carry the ark as they had been commanded from the beginning.

God's Promise to David

This inspired so much joy, in 2 Samuel 6:13-23, we see some of the most passionate worship in the Bible as David leads the Israelites in dancing, music, offerings, sacrifices, and shouting. David felt guilty that he lived in a nice house, but the ark of the covenant was still being housed in a tent (the tabernacle). So David wanted to build a more permanent house for the ark of the covenant. But before he did so, God turned the tables on him. Essentially, God tells David: "Don't worry about a house for me. I haven't needed one yet." And God begins to give David a covenant, or a promise, that he would 1) give him rest from enemies, 2) build a house for David, and 3) establish a kingdom from his offspring forever. This is clearly a foreshadowing of Jesus, who was in the line of David, establishing a kingdom and a throne that lasts forever.

So David continued to have success militarily (especially against the Philistines) and he built Israel into a great nation.

What You Will Need

Video Options

God's People - David

From Crossroads Kids Club

David Dances for the Lord

From Life Kids

Resource Sheet

King David Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts David celebrating as they brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem


1. Warm Up get your kids talking and engaged

What city were you born in? Did they name that city after you? Today, we are going to learn about when David was king and the city that became called the "City of David"

2. Teach the Story teach a holistic story

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, read story straight from the Bible or tell the story yourself.

3. Bible Mastery give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud 2 Samuel 5:1-7; 5:17-21; 6:1-7; 7:8-16

4. Comprehension Questions make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • What tribe was David king over first?
  • Judah
  • Who was king over the rest of Israel?
  • Ishbosheth, Saul's son
  • Who won the war between the followers of Saul and the followers of David?
  • The followers of David
  • How long was David King of Israel?
  • 7 1/2 years over Judah and 33 years over all of Israel - 40 years total
  • Who did David have to drive out of Jerusalem?
  • The Jebusites and the Philistines
  • What was Jerusalem also called?
  • The City of David
  • What did David bring to Jerusalem that he and all of Israel celebrated?
  • The Ark of the Covenant
  • What was God's promise to David?
  • That he would be at rest from his enemies, that God would establish a house for David and that his offspring would rule Israel forever

5. Faith Questions open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer

  • God promised that he would establish David's kingdom forever. He did this in the person of Jesus.
  • Have you asked Jesus to be the King of your life?

6. Memory Verse hide God's Word in their heart

Children, obey your parents in everything. That pleases the Lord. Colossians 3:20

Reinforcement Activities

Craft box Ark of the Covenant

Heads up! This is a repeat activity from lesson 20
Scripture Exodus 25:10-22, David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. 2 Samuel 6:1-2
Supplies small wooden craft boxes, one per student; gold pain; gold lace trim; angel printouts
  • Paint craft boxes gold.
  • Attach a strip of gold trim around top with fabric glue.
  • Print 2 gold angel outlines onto card stock
  • Place them facing toward each other, on top of box by making a crease in bottom of card stock to create a stand.

Cardboard box Ark of the Covenant

Heads up! This is a repeat activity from lesson 20.
Scripture Exodus 25:10-22, David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. 2 Samuel 6:1-2
Supplies cardboard box, 2 long sticks
  • Decorate box
  • Make holes in bottom of box to put sticks through.
  • Place clay tablets (made in lesson 19) inside box.
  • Save this craft to use in future lessons.

Paper Ball War

Scripture 2 Samuel 2
Supplies balled up pieces of paper, masking tape, large play space
  • David's followers were in battle against Saul's followers after David became king of Judah. Saul's son was king over the rest of Israel.
  • Place a masking tape line in middle of play space.
  • Place a bunch on balled up pieces of paper on the masking tape line (number depends on the amount of children you have. You want to have 3 or 4 times the amount of paper balls as you have students)
  • Divide class into two teams, David and Saul.
  • One team goes on each side of the masking tape.
  • Set timer for 3 minutes.
  • When you say go, students run to the paper balls and throw them to the other side.
  • The object is to have more paper balls on the other team's side when the time is up.

Paper Plate Crown

Supplies Paper Plate Scissors Crayons Verse Printable Buttons (optional) Hot Glue (optional)
  • Fold the paper plate in half.
  • Cut it like a pizza. Most of the cuts you can do while the paper plate is folded. Do not cut all the way through. Cut it up to the ruffle edge of the plate.
  • You will need to open up the paper plate to make the final two cuts.
  • They can color the paper plate however they want to create the look of their crown.
  • The kids can glue the verse on the edge of the plate.
  • To make the crown part stand up, the kids can just fold them up into place.

David, David Where is the ark?

Scripture 1 Samuel 4, 6, and 7
Supplies craft box ark of the covenant
  • The ark of the covenant had been captured by the Philistines and later returned to the Israelites.
  • David wanted to return the ark of the covenant to a place of prominence for the Israelites. He had it brought to Jerusalem.
  • Play like doggie, doggie, where is your bone or hot and cold.
  • Choose one student to be "it".
  • Secretly, give the ark of the covenant to one of the students to hide in their lap.
  • Have "it" try and guess who is hiding the ark.
  • or...
  • Hide the ark in the room and tell the students they are cold if they are far and hot if they are close to where the ark is hidden.
  • Students can hold hands and move around as a group (if have a small class) or take turns looking for the ark.

Tug of War

Scripture 2 Samuel 2
Supplies Rope
  • Divide the class into 2 teams and have them play tug of war.
  • Name one team "David" and the other team "Saul"
  • The first time you have them play, stack the deck with more kids, and even the teacher on the "David" team and then a smaller number of kids on the "Saul" team.
  • When the kids complain (and you know they will complain), you can remind them that because of Saul's disobedience, God had taken the kingdom of Israel away from Saul and had anointed David. So God was on David's side, and that's why David's house won the battle.

City of David

Scripture Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. 1 Samuel 5:7
Supplies access to internet, world map
  • Use the internet to find towns and cities around the world that are named after your students.
  • If you cannot find a city or town, look for street names.

Jesus' Genealogy

Heads up! This activity was introduced in the "Ruth" lesson
Scripture "Your royal house and your kingdom will last forever in my sight. Your throne will last forever." 2 Samuel 7:16
  • Continue a genealogy of Jesus.
  • Begin with Boaz and Obed from Ruth.
  • Then add Jesse and David from this lesson.

David fights for all of Israel /Ishboseth is made

Heads up! good notes needed to keep things in order
Scripture 2 Samuel 2-3
Supplies map of the area , army men, or little people in 3 groups and differant if possible.
  • This section is a lot of fun to watch the kids do. After Saul's death David is crowned King of Judah and Ishboseth gets the rest of the land. These 2 chapters deal with how the events happened. I made a map of the divided Israel and noted all of the locations of the battles. Then had the kids to pair up and let them move the pieces around as we read each part. Because there are so many lessons in the life of David , its best to have note cards with names and events to help the kids keep them running with the bible story . The more hands on they can be the better they can learn and the more they will retain. This was one of their favorite lessons