Term 2 – Week 8

Big Idea – The Israelites rejected God as their king when they demanded a king to rule over them.

1 Samuel 8-13

Lesson Background

This unit of work is an overview of the Old Testament from creation in Genesis 1 up to God’s promise to King David in 2 Samuel 7.  The theme for the unit is: God always keeps His Promises.

Wonderfully, at the close of the book of Joshua, we see the promises of God to Abraham fulfilled, that he would be the father of a great nation, that he and his descendants would possess the land of Canaan, and that all his descendants and the nations would be blessed by God (See Gen 12:1-3). God’s people are in God’s place under his rule, and the Israelites said to Joshua, ‘We will serve the Lord our God and obey him’ (Josh 24:24).

However, their commitment to God (the one who rescued them from slavery in Egypt and made them to be a people of his very own), was shallow and very soon they turned away from God’s ways. Judges 3:5-6 sums up their lifestyle and attitude towards God, ‘The Israelites lived among the Canaanites…. They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods’. The final verse of the book of judges says, ‘In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit’ (Judges 21:25).

At the beginning of 1 Samuel, we meet a woman called Hannah who is in great distress because she had no children. She poured out her grief and need to God. God answered her prayers and promised through Eli the priest, that she would have a son (1 Sam 1:17). However, this son would be more than just an answer to Hannah’s prayer, he would also be the answer to the great need of Israel. This son would be the leader of God’s people, who would direct them back to Him. This son was named Samuel and he would become very significant in the history of Israel. He would be the next leader of God’s people and he would be the one to anoint the first king of Israel.

1 Samuel 8:1-22

‘We want to be like the other nations!’ This was the cry of the Israelites as they asked Samuel for a King. The Israelites assessed their current circumstances and discerned that Samuel’s days were numbered. They recognised that his sons, Joel & Abijah had turned to dishonesty and against the ways of their father and predicted that they would soon have no one to lead them, thus something must be done. So, the elders of Israel demanded that Samuel appoint a new king who would judge them ‘the same as all the other nations (1 Sam 8:5). They thought they knew what was best. Yet, they had a king already – the Lord God! They had a king who loved them, rescued them from Egypt, provided for them in the wilderness, gave them the land of Canaan, and led them against their enemies, the Philistines. He was their king and he knew what was best. The Israelites were Gods people, in God’s land but in this chapter, we see them reject His rule. Yet, God would not be thwarted by the Israelites request. Nothing could interfere with his sovereign rule over them. Although the Israelites asked for a king for all the wrong reasons, God granted their request and eventually showed them the folly of their request by placing them under the poor leadership of Saul. The Israelites would experience just what Samuel warned them of in 1 Samuel 8:11-18. Saul is the people’s king – chosen by the people for the people. He was not God’s chosen king. God would bring about his purposes through King David who was the Lord’s king – chosen by God for God and ultimately through David’s descendent – Jesus, the great King & Saviour.


The children will know that the people did not remain faithful to God and obey him in the land as they promised to Joshua. They demanded a king to be like all the other nations.

The children will appreciate that God always keeps his promises despite Israel’s sin. The children will give thanks to God for Jesus the true King who never sinned.


My God is so Big (Colin Buchanan – Remember the Lord)

Memory Verse

He said, “I am the Lord, the Lord. I am the God who is tender and kind. I am gracious.

I am slow to get angry. I am faithful and full of love….

But I do not let guilty people go unpunished.


Exodus 34:6-7

Leaders PDF

this has been put together using purchased external material and therefore this resource may only be used by Dundonald Church. For more information please contact natasha.small@dundonald.org

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Dundonald Kids

Dundonald Kids is the team led by our Children's Minister Natasha Small that aims to partner with parents in growing young disciples of Christ.

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