Sunday, February 23, 2014

Teenage Sunday School: David, Bathsheba, and the commandment nobody takes seriously

This lesson worked out well in a classroom containing early teenagers and late pre-teens. They were already familiar with the ten commandments, and with the story of David and Bathsheba.

Opener: The Ten Commandments

The class should be well familiar with the ten commandments by now. At the leader's discretion, either start by seeing how many they can remember without looking, and/or turn to Exodus 20 and read them together briefly. List them on the board for future reference during the lesson. Try to keep this portion of the lesson to 10-15 minutes.

David and Bathsheba

Tell the class that, while reading the next story, they should look for how many of the ten commandments are broken. Read through the story of David and Bathsheba together as a class (2 Samuel 11).

Questions and discussion
  1. Which of the ten commandments were broken? Name as many as you can. (Make sure they notice at least coveting the neighbor's wife, adultery, and murder. Let them figure out as much as they can on their own. Before moving on to the next question, point out how the commandments that were broken got more and more serious as the story progressed, and the chain of events kept going from bad to worse.)
  2. At the beginning of the story, what was the very first commandment that was broken? 
  3. If David had not coveted his neighbor's wife, would the other commandments have been broken?
  4. After David and Bathsheba committed adultery, what would it have taken to stop things before taking a life? 
  5. Backing up one: before David and Bathsheba committed adultery, what would it have taken to stop the whole horrible chain of events from starting? 
  6. So, when was the easiest time to have stopped that whole disaster?

Make sure they either reach the conclusion themselves or help them along as needed: We may not always see "do not covet" as a serious commandment because it seems like a small thing. But "coveting" is where adultery starts, "coveting" is where stealing starts. And in David's case, it didn't stop there. All kinds of evil came from not stopping a thing when it was small enough to stop.


Martin LaBar said...

Yes, we don't take it seriously.

Weekend Fisher said...

"Not coveting", on the surface of it, seems 1) unimportant, nearly piddly or excessively minute, 2) impossible, in an area we have difficulty controlling.

But the more life-experience I get, the more I think of stamping out a "covet" like pulling a weed in the garden *before* it gets big.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF