Without any planning on the staff, part of this Sunday's 1st - 5th-grade lesson is David and Bathsheba. The lesson is entitled David's Kindness and Sin. It will contrast David's treatment of Mephibosheth and his treatment of Bathsheba.
David, a "man after [God's] own heart" who was faithful to his promise to Jonathan (2 Samuel 9), was also the man who committed adultery with Bathsheba and then had her husband killed. The account in 2 Samuel is a serious account of a very serious sin. In Sunday's lesson, we are going to handle it seriously. It will not be a Veggietales-type lesson about stealing rubber duckies.
Here is how the narrative of David and Bathsheba was shared in class.
David was a godly king. He loved the Lord and worshiped God in the songs he wrote. Let's read just a few verses of one of those beautiful worship songs David wrote. Psalm 103:1-5 and 108:1-5
What beautiful words of praise and glory to God!
Though David did many good and wonderful things, David was not perfect. He was still a sinner like every person on this earth. David needed God's forgiveness just like you and I need forgiveness of sin. David made a big mistake one day. A BIG SIN. And, as is usually the case, one sin leads to another.
day, David spotted a beautiful woman named Bathsheba.
The Bible says that he wanted her, so he sent his servants to get her.
problem was that David had a wife, and Bathsheba had a husband.
And marriage is a very special relationship God created between one man and one woman.
broke that marriage vow and did what he wanted.
Not what Bathsheba wanted.
Not what Urriah wanted
AND DEFINITELY NOT WHAT GOD WANTED.
Bathsheba went back home, and later she was carrying his child.
Now people would know that something had happened between David and Bathsheba because her husband, Uriah, was fighting in David's army. He was out on the battlefield fighting the Philistines.
So David came up with a plan to cover up his sin.
David called for Uriah to come from the battlefield to the palace.
Uriah," greeted David. "Tell me, how is the battle progressing?"
Uriah gave King David a report.
Samuel 11:8, David said, “Go down to your house.”
But Uriah didn’t go to his house.
Uriah told David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents. How could I go to my house to eat, drink, and sleep with my wife?”
Uriah was so loyal to David that instead of going home to his wife, he slept on the porch of the palace!
David was frustrated. His plan was not working. He wanted Uriah to spend time with Bathsheba. Then everyone would think Bathsheba was carrying Uriah's baby.
But Uriah didn't go home. He never even saw his wife.
David came up with another plan. (2 Samuel 11:14, 15)
He would have Uriah killed in battle
This displeased God.
Well, God knew. God did not let David's sin go unpunished (See 2 Samuel)
In today's lesson, we looked at David's KINDNESS to Mephibosheth and his SIN AGAINST God, Bathsheba, and Urian.
Here is an infographic that shows how to talk about this story to children of different ages (not cited because I cannot remember where I found it). The summaries are not perfect, but they do show some age-appropriate differences in telling the story. Click on the graphic for a better view.
THE UNCENSORED RECAP
Here's the lowdown:
David spied the married Bathsheba one afternoon while she was bathing in the courtyard, and he was instantly smitten. He sent for her and ultimately fathered her child. Then, because he wanted to marry Bathsheba, David set up her husband, a faithful soldier, to be killed on the battlefield. Afterward, the prophet Nathan told David of God's extreme displeasure with his actions, and David grew very remorseful.
God forgave him, but the newborn was stricken with disease and died.
HOW TO TELL PRESCHOOLERS
King David was very rich and powerful. Once, he used his power to get a woman named Bathsheba to marry him, but that wasn't what God had planned. David used his power in a way that didn't make God very happy. When David realized what he did was wrong, he asked God to forgive him, and God did.
HOW TO TELL ELEMENTARY KIDS
King David saw Bathsheba, who was very beautiful, fell in love with her right away. He wanted to marry her, but she already had a husband. David didn't like that, so he arranged for Bathsheba's husband to be killed so that he could marry Bathsheba anyway. When this happened, God wasn't at all happy with David. When David realized that what he'd done was wrong, and he felt terrible about it. He asked God to forgive him, and God did.
HOW TO TELL PRETEENS
King David saw Bathsheba one afternoon in the courtyard and instantly fell in love with her, He wanted to marry her, but the problem was Bathsheba already had a husband.
So David used his power to have her husband killed on the battlefield.
Then Bathsheba was all alone, and David could marry her. But the prophet Nathan told David how unhappy God was that he'd done an evil thing. David grew very remorseful and begged God for forgiveness. God forgave him, but David's first child with Bathsheba died.
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