Kids Club, King David

King David Shows Us Jesus! #10 (Wilderness)

This lesson was taught at WEPC Kids Club on December 11, 2019.
Main Theme of whole year: “King David shows us Jesus!”  He does it by showing us what a good king looks like!  He does it also by showing us that even good people do terrible things and we need Jesus!  God rescues good people and God rescues bad people.

An Elementary School Lesson on 1 Samuel 21:1 – 26:25

Into the Box

Every week, we look in the box to discover what we are learning about this week.

Pull out board that says WILDERNESS

This doesn’t sound good. Uh oh.

From Last Week

Jonathan rescued David and David has now run away from Saul’s court.

What happens next?


Over the next few chapters… the next few years… David is ON THE RUN.

He is in the wilderness and has various adventure:

Don’t talk about all of this at length. Just cover the basics to give the kids a sense of the chaos and uncertainty and struggle of these years. David was in the wilderness and his future was uncertain. As the narrative unfolds, give the sense to the kids that David was RUNNING FOR HIS LIFE and yet He still trusted God.


  • 21:1-9 – David eats consecrated bread from Ahimelek the priest in Nob
    • 21:7 – Doeg is there – a servant of Saul and an Edomite (foreshadowing!)


  • 21:10-15 – David is imprisoned in Gath and pretends to be insane
    • He is afraid, and this is the home of Goliath (he has Goliath’s sword!)
    • Psalm 56 is about this time


  • 22:1-2 – goes to the cave of Adullam and meets his family there
    • Psalms 57 & 142 are about this time
    • 22:2 – the distressed, indebted, and bitter gathered to David – he cared for them.
      • 2 Everyone who was in trouble or owed money or was unhappy gathered around him. He became their commander. About 400 men were with him.
    • About 400 men. This includes Gad the prophet (22:5)


  • 22:3-5 – He places his family in the safe care of the Moabites
    • The home of his great-grandmother, Ruth!

Back to NOB

  • 22:6-22
    • Saul becomes furious and had Doeg the Edomite murder everyone in Nob.


  • 23:1-5 – David saves the people of Keilah from the Philistines after inquiring of the Lord.
  • 23:6-14 – Saul comes to Keilah to kill David, but David and his 600 men escape!
    • Theme verse for these chapters:
    • 23:14 – “Sometimes David stayed in places of safety in the desert. At other times he stayed in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul looked for him. But God didn’t hand David over to him.”


  • 23:15-23 – David is in the wilderness of Ziph, but the Ziphites betray David. Saul goes after him.
    • Psalm 54 is written about this time.

For the director of music. To be played on stringed instruments. A maskil of David when the men from Ziph had gone to Saul. They had said, “Isn’t David hiding among us?”

1 God, save me by your power.
    Set me free by your might.
2 God, hear my prayer.
    Listen to what I’m saying.

3 Enemies who are proud are attacking me.
    Mean people are trying to kill me.
    They don’t care about God.

4 But I know that God helps me.
    The Lord is the one who keeps me going.

5 My enemies tell lies about me.
    Do to them the evil things they planned against me.
    God, be faithful and destroy them.

6 I will sacrifice an offering to you
    just because I choose to.
Lord, I will praise your name
    because it is good.
7 You have saved me from all my troubles.
    With my own eyes I have seen you win the battle over my enemies.


  • 23:24b-29 – David escapes to the wilderness of Maon, and Saul is about to trap David when Saul gets word that the Philistines are attacking back at home so Saul has to leave. David escapes.


  • 24 – David cuts off a corner of Saul’s robe in a cave
    • Saul goes back to David in the wilderness with 3,000 men (David has 600).
    • Saul goes into a cave to go the bathroom.
    • David’s men want David to kill Saul.
    • David doesn’t want to kill the LORD’S anointed. So he cuts off a piece of his robe (even this act strikes David’s conscience)
    • After Saul leaves, David confronts Saul and tries to convince Saul that Saul has been misled and that David is not a threat to Saul.
    • Saul is contrite for now.


  • 25 – David is prevented from seeking revenge against the foolish Nabal
    • 25:2-12 – Nabal is a very rich man who treats David with disrespect.
    • 25:13-17 – David is on his way to kill Nabal
    • 25:18-31 – Abigail, Nabal’s wife, argues that David should not seek revenge against her foolish husband.
    • 25:32-35 – David sees the wisdom in what she says and relents from his revenge.
    • 25:36-38 – Nabal dies from his foolish ways within 10 days.
    • 25:39-44 – Abigail becomes David’s second or third wife (uh oh)


  • 26 – David spares Saul’s life again!
    • 26:1 – Ziphites betray David again
    • 26:2-5 – Saul comes out with 3,000 men to kill David and they encamp in the wilderness
    • 26:6-12 – David and a few men sneak into the camp at night and despite his men’s urging to kill Saul, David again relents and instead steals a spear and a jar of water.
    • 26:13-25 – David once again, from a distance, urges Saul to relent and proves that David could have killed Saul but he chose not to.
    • Saul is contrite once again.

Biblical scholars call this David’s wilderness years.

Point to Jesus

In the midst of this running and hiding, David knew God as his rock.

In these chapters, David shows us Jesus in a few ways:

  1. He trusts God, even when it looks like he shouldn’t.
  2. He comforts the “distressed, indebted, and bitter” (22:2).
  3. He doesn’t take short cuts (by killing Saul or Nabal). Instead of taking the throne (which was His by right), He spends the first few years in patience, betrayal, and hope.

When you are suffering, do you have PATIENCE?

When you are betrayed, do you have HOPE?

Broken in the Box:

  • Broken in the Box:
    • What did we learn about today? WILDERNESS
    • David’s years in the wilderness reveals Jesus to us, but…
    • Break the WILDERNESS board
      • While breaking it, say: “We need something else.”
      • We need Jesus and the power He gives His people. Power to forgive, to love, to boldly move forward in life!


  • When do you feel like you are in the “wilderness”?
  • Are you suffering today? How can you pray Psalm 54 for that?
    • Is someone you know suffering today? Can you pray Psalm 54 for them?
  • Are you “distressed, indebted, or bitter”? Do you find comfort in Christ?
    • Is there someone in your life who is “distressed, indebted, or bitter”? How can you help them?

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