In the Bible, King David sleeps with Bathsheba while her husband, Uriah, is away at battle. When she becomes pregnant, David sends Uriah back into battle--and to his death. David and Bathsheba marry and have a son, Solomon, but David is consumed with guilt and begs God for mercy. The story shows that God forgives sin and finds a way to carry out his plans even when people make mistakes. Bring the story and its meaning alive for children with some simple Bible-based activities.
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Forgiveness Wall Chart
Ask the children about times they have done things they know were wrong. Read some important Bible verses about forgiveness, such as Romans 8:1, Ephesians 1:7 and 1 John 1:9. Make the first layer of the wall chart by writing types of sins on separate pieces of paper. Examples might include picking on others, lying to parents or stealing. Stick these on the wall. On other pieces of paper, write Bible verses about forgiveness. Stick these on top of the sins. Explain how God's forgiveness covers over sins.
True or False
Give children two cards each, marked "True" and "False." After reading the Bible story, ask the children to vote for each statement by holding up a card. Statements might include: "David was not content with what he had," "God didn't care what David and Bathsheba did," and "God rejected David because he sinned." Encourage children to give reasons for their votes, and relate the answers to situations in their own lives when they face temptation and sin.
Ask each child to make a diagram of the characters' feelings in the story, writing "David and Bathsheba" in the middle and drawing three arrows branching off to three characters: David, Bathsheba and God. Around each character, the child describes his feelings. Bathsheba feels sad that David killed her husband, for example. David feels guilty, and God feels angry but also merciful. The children can use illustrations as well as words.
Download a free worksheet from Kids Club 4 Jesus, and make copies for each child. The sheet contains a crossword, a word-search, a colouring page, a Bible quiz, memory verses and a devotional section. Alternately, use these ideas to create your own puzzles or quizzes.
Talk about the importance of confessing sins. Each child writes a sin she would like to confess on a small piece of paper, folds it and puts it into the "confession bin"--a box or container. Lead the children in a prayer, perhaps part of Psalm 51, which David prayed after he sinned by sleeping with Bathsheba and killing Uriah. If you have time, ask the children to write their own short prayers of forgiveness. End with the promise of Romans 8:38-39 that "nothing can separate us from the love of God."
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