Chapter 12: A King Makes Bad Choices / The Trials of a King
Timeless Truth: God is just . . . and forgiving.
Bible Basis: Psalm 51:1-12 5, 1 Chronicles 29:1-20, Psalm 23
Key Verse: “Wash away all of the evil things I've done. Make me pure from my sin” (Psalm 51:2).
The Story Chapter 12
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity will help your family understand the problem with sin (as you eat cookies). The Extra Mile exposes your family to two worship songs based on Psalm 51 and encourages you to get to know the Psalms.
Get the Point:
Preschool: God forgave David's sins. God forgives me when I'm sorry for doing wrong things.
Elementary: God forgave David's sins. God forgives me when I'm sorry for doing wrong things.
Middle School: David made huge mistakes. But when he asked God for forgiveness, David did it from the deepest part of his soul. God forgave David and used him in huge ways.
High School: David lived to the extreme. He messed up extremely bad, but also had a heart extremely committed to God. God loved and blessed David.
- King David was called a man after God’s heart, but made a huge mistake and tried to cover it up. Is hiding sins ever a good idea? Why?
- The prophet Nathan came to let David know that God knew about David’s sin. David was totally embarrassed and felt awful. Have you ever sinned and tried to hide it? What happened? (As a parent, if you have a story to tell about your childhood, please share it here.)
- Talk about what it feels like when you’re trying to hide something bad that you’ve done. How does it make you feel?
- What wrong actions do you battle with the most? (Stealing, lying, anger.)
- What’s the best thing to do when you mess up?
- God forgave David, but there were still consequences for his sin as David and Bathsheba’s first son died. Can you think of any consequences you’ve faced after doing something bad?
- Later, David’s son Absalom rebelled against him. Absalom was very proud of his hair, which ended up getting caught in a tree and led to his death (Can anyone say, “Pride comes before getting your hair stuck in a tree”?) Why is pride such a big deal to God?
- Are there any areas of pride that you need to look at in your life?
- Talk about some of David’s greatest accomplishments and mess-ups. What can you learn from his life?
You’ll need waxed paper, a tube of frosting, a rolling pin and sugar cookie dough for this activity. The slice-and-bake dough from the store will work or you can make dough the night before and have it chilling in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready, gather your family in the kitchen and ask: “Have you ever done something and then said, ‘I wish I could take that back’? David certainly did. Sometimes he did bonehead things and wished he could turn back time.”
Put out the waxed paper, tube of frosting and rolling pin. Ask for a volunteer. Have that family member try to get all the frosting out of the tube and onto the waxed paper. He can squeeze it, crush it and use the rolling pin on it. When he’s finished, say, “OK, now get all the frosting back in the tube.”
Just like it’s impossible to reverse time and take back sin, it’s impossible to get the frosting back in the tube. Talk about the importance of thinking before you act and trying to always follow God’s will and teaching with your words and actions. As you talk, take out the cookie dough. Roll and bake cookies, using the frosting to decorate them. Point out that God can use the mistakes in our life to make something sweet. God will always forgive when we honestly ask him for forgiveness. He wants us to serve him with our whole heart.
David did everything with gusto. He served God with passion, and when he messed up—he did it big time! After one especially painful mistake, David poured out his heart to God in Psalm 51.
Watch these two videos that feature songs based on Psalm 51.
“Create in Me a Clean Heart” by Keith Green
“Create in Me a Clean Heart” by Donnie McClurkin
- Are any specific lyrics especially meaningful to you?
- Have you ever journaled or written a poem about a time you’ve messed up? If it’s appropriate, share it with the family.
- How are these songs different?
Each person’s relationship with God is unique, because he knows our hearts. He knows what will work best to sculpt us to be more like him.
Get to know the Psalms better by reading the one that corresponds to today’s date. Go the extra mile by reading all the Psalms that are multiples of the date (example: 17, 34, 51, 68, 85, 102, 119 (watch out for this one!) and 136. Do this for an entire week as a family.