05 God's Special Plan for Children

UNIT #: 
Lesson Theme: 
God cares about your heart and intentions, not outward appearance.

Focus on the idea that God cares for our thoughts and actions, not our outward appearance. Do not judge people with their outward appearance – ethnicity, religion, etc. Embrace all individuals the way God embraces us- treat everyone with respect and how

Bible Passage: 

1 Samuel 16:1-13

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

David Anointed as King

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” 12 He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

Teacher’s Preparation: 
  • Begin the class by asking the students if they know someone who has been singled out from others because of how they look/talk/have a disability.
  • Ask the students if they have ever been excluded because of their appearance/disability and how they felt.
  • Focus of this lesson is to show students that no matter the outward appearance, God cares for our hearts and intentions – not how nicely we dress or the friends we hang out with.
  • God cares that we treat each other fairly and with love

Student Introduction to the lesson

Share the story of Mother Teresa and how someone so famous and influential now was just an ordinary person when she started her ministry.  She desired to keep a humble and ordinary life so that she could reach out to others less fortunate.  God doesn’t look at people’s wealth, beauty, intelligence but their heart.

Main Ideas: 
  • Samuel’s idea of a sacrifice was very different than what God had in plan.
  • Samuel did not bring the youngest of his sons because he did not think he was right for the Anointing compared to his other sons.
  • God was more interested in the least likely of Samuel’s selection because He knew there was something very special about David.

This will take advanced preparation:


Have students anonymously write down secret hobbies / favorite things to do/eat that others may not know about. Compile these into a fill-in-the-blank type of printed quiz (each will be identically the same).  Have each student go around and ask others which hobby / favorite belongs to them and have this person sign next to it.  Whoever collects all signatures first wins. 


Discuss at the end if some of the things listed make the students look at each other differently – do they like each other any more / any less?

Lesson Review: 
  • God asked Samuel to bring forward the person to be Anointed.
  • Samuel had one idea of who this person should be which turned out the complete opposite of who God had in mind.
  • Samuel underestimated David’s ability because of his appearance.
Values for Life: 

God looks at all the same – regardless of our skin color, hair, height, popularity at school, etc.  He is concerned only with your true heart and how you can serve Him.

Life Response/My Decision: 
  • I will try my hardest not to judge others by the way they look / their differences from myself.
  • I will treat everyone fairly and with respect just as I would like to be treated.
Memory Verse: 

1 Samuel 16:7b

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart

Closing Prayer: 

Dear God,

Thank you for creating us all different from each other – from how we look to how we sound.  Help us to understand that you care about our loving hearts and desire to serve you instead of first impressions.  Let us look at our friends and others we do not know in the way you want us to.  We want to live a life that makes you happy.  Amen.

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