Obedience means doing what you are asked to do, immediately, completely, and willingly. (Cheerfully)

Saul was the first king of Israel. He chose to disobey God. When God told him to destroy the Amalekites and all their possessions because of their evil ways Saul decided to keep their king alive and keep the possessions that were valuable. Was Saul obeying God? No! So God decided Saul was not the right king for Israel. God also knew who would be an obedient king – David!

David was still just a boy, but God knew his heart just like he knows yours! God knew that young David loved Him, and that he had already chosen to follow Him. He knew that young David wanted to obey God. Does God know that about you?

David did not become king right away, but he was anointed, or chosen to be the next king after Saul.

David showed his obedience to God in the years to come. Just a short time later, David was going to take food to his older brothers who were at war. One of the enemy soldiers came out to challenge the Israelite soldiers. The enemy soldiers’s name was Goliath. Boys and girls, can you tell me anything about Goliath? Yes, that’s right! He was a giant! The Bible says that he was over 9 feet tall! All of the Israelite soldiers were afraid. Even King Saul was afraid. But not David! When David heard the things Goliath was saying about Israel, and especially about God, he was mad! He knew that God did not want anyone talking against Israel that way, or against God! So David took the challenge that Goliath had made. He would fight Goliath!

Even though he was too small for the armor King Saul gave him, and his only weapon was a sling and 5 small stones, David was not afraid. He wanted to obey God, and he knew God would help him defeat this enemy. And God did! It took only one stone in David’s sling, but that stone struck Goliath in the forehead and killed the enemy of God.

Boys and girls, David was now a hero to all of Israel! He had obeyed God by killing Goliath. Everyone was happy except for one person – King Saul. King Saul started to get jealous of David. Then after a while, King Saul’s jealousy turned to hatred. Again, Saul was choosing to disobey God, and disobeying God is sin. Saul let his sin go so far that he tried to kill David! Now David knew that Saul hated him. David could have chosen to hate Saul back, but that wouldn’t be obeying God. David chose to obey. Saul was still the King of Israel. David knew that it was God’s job to punish Saul, not his. He knew God didn’t want him to hurt King Saul, even though Saul was still trying to hurt David. David needed to get away from Saul!

David ran with 600 men who were loyal to him into the wilderness. But King Saul brought an army of his own to help him find David. One day, when David and his men were hiding out in the back of a deep cave, they heard noise at the entrance of the cave. It was King Saul! He had come in alone to the cave to use the bathroom! You see, they didn’t have restrooms or toilets back then, so they would look for a private spot. Saul didn’t know David was in the cave. David could have snuck out and killed Saul, but he knew that wasn’t what God wanted. He snuck quietly out and cut off a corner of King Saul’s robe. Then he snuck quietly back into the deeper parts of the cave.

Later when Saul had left and it was safe, David went out and yelled to Saul a greeting. Saul was surprised to see that David had been in the same cave he had just left! David showed Saul the piece of robe that he had in his hand. Saul recognized it as his own. He understood that David had been close enough to him that he could have killed him.

“You are a better man than I am” Saul called out to David “I tried to do evil to you, but you have only been kind to me!”

Even though Saul sounded sorry, he wasn’t for long. Saul took his army of men out in search of David a second time, in order to kill him. This time, while Saul and his whole army were sleeping, David snuck in and took Saul’s spear and his water jug from beside him. Then he went to the top of a hill with a valley in between him and Saul. When Saul woke up, David called to him and to his guards. David again told how close he had been to Saul, and again Saul knew that if David had wanted to, he could have killed him. But David wanted to obey God, and God didn’t want David to hurt King Saul. Saul was reminded again about how disobedient he himself was being, and how David’s obedience showed his love for God. God was about to bless David for his obedience and punish Saul for his disobedience.

A short time later, King Saul went out to fight in a war and was killed in battle. David was now the King of Israel.

David tried to be obedient to God after he became king, but he was not always successful at it. The Bible tells us about a few times when David disobeyed and committed sin. But there was a big difference between what David did after he sinned, and what Saul had done. David was always truly sorry for his sin, and he told God so whenever he realized what he had done. David also asked God to help him do what was right. Like I told you earlier, God knows our hearts, and he knows when we are really sorry. God also knows if we have taken the first step of obedience and asked Jesus to forgive all our sins and come into our hearts. Have you done this? If you have already done this then you are a Christian, and God wants to help you be obedient like David was.

Boys and girls, there is one more special time that David obeyed God. After he had been King for a while, David wanted to build a big, beautiful Temple (like a church) for God’s house of worship. They were still using the tent tabernacle that they had used since God delivered them out of Egypt. This seemed like a great idea! But, boys and girls, God had a different plan. He told David “No, it was not what he wanted, yet.” David had been a king of war, and He wanted his special house built by a King of Peace. God promised that it would be built by David’s own son who would be king after him. God allowed David to begin to collect the materials for building the big beautiful Temple.

Most importantly, God gave David a very special promise. God said the He would establish David’s house forever! That means, someone from David’s house, or descendants, would always be King, forever. The person God was talking about was Jesus! He would be born from David’s descendants, and He is the King of Kings, forever!

Have you made Jesus your King? You can do that today!

Bible texts used for story: 1 Sam. chapters 17 – 19; 1 Sam. chapter 24; 1 Sam. chapter 26; 2 chapter Sam. 7