Today we’re going to take a chapter from 1 Samuel and talk about some ways you could lead your children in studying this passage.
We’re going to study 1 Samuel 25. This is the account of David’s reaction and Abigail’s reponse when Nabal refused to give food to him and his men.
Day 1: Read the entire chapter (or divide it into two days, if your children are really young).
Ask your children to listen carefully and be able to list and describe all the main characters in the story after you have finished reading. To keep everyone involved and listening, you might want to take turns reading the verses.
Day 2: Read the first 22 verses. This time, ask your children to be ready to tell the story back to you. You might want to have the children take turns telling you the next event in the story.
Give them time to ask any questions. If you don’t know the answers, tell them you will find out. Then go to a commentary (online) and do some studying before your next study time.
Day 3: Go back and spend some time studying David’s instructions to the men he sent to Nabal. Read verses 5-8. If you have children who can read, you could write this passage out on a whiteboard or give a printout version of it for them to mark. Working with your children, mark every word that demonstrates David’s respect and peaceful intentions. Have different children take turns coming up and circling the next word you find.
What do you learn from this exercise?
Day 4: Read Nabal’s response to David’s men in verses vs. 9-11. Have your children raise their hands every time they hear a question Nabal asks. Talk about each question. Does Nabal really not know the answers?
Read the same verses a second time. This time have your children pat themselves on the back every time Nabal uses the words “I” and “my”.
They should notice that he says these words a lot. What does this tell them about him?
Day 5: What happened next? Read verses 12-17. How does David respond? Why do you think he reacted this way? What does one of Nabal’s men do?
Read the rest of David’s reaction in verses 21-22. What does he plan to do?
Reread the servant’s report in verses 14-17. Have the children listen for the word “therefore”. Stop and talk about what the servant asks Abigail to do.
What does this passage tell us about life on Nabal’s ranch?
Day 6: Read what Abigail does in verses 18-20. Have the children help you list everything she prepared to take to David and his men. There’s a big “but” in the middle of this passage. Have the children listen for it while you read the verses.
Discuss the reasons Abigail might have had for not telling Nabal what she was doing. Was this right or wrong? (You may want to study some commentaries on this passage before you do this study with your children.)
Day 7: Read Abigail’s appeal to David. Read it twice. The first time have the children raise their hands or stand up and bow or some other action every time they hear the words “my lord”.
Read it again, and choose another action for the words “your servant”.
When you have finished reading the passage two times, stop and talk about it. What did they notice about Abigail and how she spoke to David? How does it compare to Nabal’s words to David’s men? What else did she do that demonstrated her humility? (You might want to read the passage one more time while they listen for this question.)
What can the learn from this passage?
(Optional day) If your children are old enough, you could spend an additional day studying this appeal, listing the different things Abigail says to David. How does she relate to him? What does she help him think about?
Day 8: Read David’s response to Abigail’s appeal in verses 32-35. Listen for the word “blessed” and stop to discuss each time it is mentioned. Who does David credit for sending Abigail to him? What would he have done if she hadn’t stopped him? How does he conclude his conversation with her?
Day 9: Read the rest of the chapter and have the children tell it back to you. Discuss God’s treatment of Nabal.
Day 10: Review everything you have talked about for the last nine days. What have you all learned from this passage? What can your children apply to their lives from this account?
Now set your children loose to act out the story. Have costume materials available, let them pack up a bunch of food to take to David (and use it for lunch later), pull out the video camera to record their performance, and sit back and enjoy.