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Free Workshop Rotation Model Lessons - Season 2

 A lesson for

Middle School Sunday School   |    Youth Group    |     High School Sunday School

Curriculum > Youth > Year 3 > Lesson 3


  • Introduction to analysis and how it helps with solving a challenge
  • One challenge we face in life is not being able to see inside of people
  • As we see with Samuel, seeking God's guidance with life's challenges often provides insights we wouldn't gain on our own


  • You’ll need a larger screen to display the browser so that the class can see the images on this website (if this is not available, a number of these illusions can be printed out from the site - but they are more effective when on a screen)



  • We start today’s class with the opening question. One of the teachers will ask the question and then to give you some time to think of an answer, the teacher asking the question will also answer first to give you some time to think.
  • Once the teacher answers the question, we'll go around the circle.
  • When it's your turn, start with your name and then answer the question to the best of your ability.
  • Here's this week's question:  Here's this week's question - it's a multiple choice question: How do you choose who your friends will be?  
  1. They invite me to do things and I say yes  
  2. I'm mostly friends with the people who I see the most  
  3. I try to spend time with people who have the same interests as I do   
  4. Other - feel free to say more if you pick this option


  • The following movie clip is from the movie, "Oceans 11." Danny Ocean (the George Clooney character who does most of the talking) has just gathered some of the best con artists and thieves in the world to pull off a heist of three casinos.  
  • This clip is when Danny Ocean tells them what obstacles they have to overcome in order to successfully take the money.  Let's see what those obstacles are.



  • So what do you think? Is it going to be easy to take the money?  (No. There's a lot of obstacles to overcome)
  • And when viewed all at once, the task seems impossible, right? (Yes. Which is why the clip ends with the older gentleman basically speechless due to the enormous task before them.)
  • But if you continue to watch the movie, you'll see that each individual seen in the room is given a specific task and each problem is addressed individually.
  • In other words, the characters take the very large problem and break it into a bunch of smaller problems that can be solved.


  • In today's scripture story with Samuel, we'll see how God helps Samuel break a large problem into smaller problems, one step at a time.
  • In our last class/lesson, the Israelites wanted a king. Through Samuel, God warned them this wasn't the best approach. The Israelites didn't listen.
  • In a story we didn't read, Samuel then anointed the first King, King Saul.
  • But, King Saul didn't turn out to be so great of a king. So, God is telling Samuel, "It's time to choose the next king."
  • That's where today's story begins.  
  • Let's see what happens

READ SCRIPTURE 1 SAMUEL 15:10-11; 16:1-13

Recommend class reads it out loud; one person per verse

1 Samuel 15:10 The word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 "I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me, and has not carried out my commands." Samuel was angry; and he cried out to the Lord all night.  

16:1 (Then) 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." 2 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.' 3 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." 4 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?"  5 Samuel 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.

6 When sons of Jesse came before him, Samuel looked on Eliab, the oldest, and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed is now before me." 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature; for the Lord does not see as humans see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, the second oldest, and made him pass before Samuel. Samuel said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one." 9 Then Jesse made Shammah, the third oldest, pass by. And Samuel 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 Jesse sent and brought David in. Now David 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 David in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.

ASK – answers are in parenthesis

  • Is there anything you find interesting or weird about this story?  
  • In 15:11, what does God tell Samuel? (that God regrets making Saul king)
  • Why do you think Samuel is angry with God about what God says? (Possibilities: because God is going to change kings, not a very easy thing for a country to go through AND Samuel knows he's going to be in the middle of it. V 16:1 and according to God, Samuel seems to like Saul or at least wants good things for Saul).
  • How does Samuel express his anger with God? (in prayer throughout the night)
  • In verse 2, why do you think Samuel thinks King Saul will kill him? (because anointing a new king would be a threat to Saul)
  • What plan does God give Samuel to "hide" his anointing of David? (To bring a heifer for a sacrifice - one of the things Israelite prophets regularly did throughout the land)
  • In verse 6, what is Samuel thinking about the oldest son? (that the oldest son is definitely the one who God will anoint).
  • Is Samuel right? (No)
  • Verse 7: What does God tell Samuel?  (that God looks at the heart, not outside appearances)
  • Who eventually does Samuel anoint? (David)


  • So just like we saw in the movie clip, today's scripture story has a dangerous and near-impossible task to be completed: Samuel must anoint a new king of Israel (a new king who is not the son of the current king) while the current king is still in power.
  • And then, Samuel must pick the right person. Someone who will be better than Saul.
  • Throughout the story, then, we see how God leads Samuel through each obstacle by offering information that helps with that one moment.  
  • In other words, God has helped Samuel take one large problem and break it into several smaller problems - and then helped Samuel solve those smaller problems.
  • A lot of ways that God helps Samuel is with seeing.
  • God helps Samuel see how Saul is not a good king.
  • God helps Samuel see how to get to Jesse in an "undercover" sort of way
  • God then helps Samuel see which son of Jesse was the one Samuel was to anoint.
  • This idea of God helping Samuel "see" might seem weird at first because - Samuel can obviously see on his own, right?
  • But sometimes there is other information that confuses what we're seeing or there is too much information to see and then we don't know what to focus on … as our next activity will help demonstrate.


  • Preferably, only use the images that have text at the top that says “Click the image to find out” (since those images show the answers) – for example, this one:



  • As we did these puzzles, did you start to learn some of the tricks?
  • If yes, what were they?
  • Surrounding colors can change how one color looks
  • Crooked lines next to or on top of straight lines make the straight lines look crooked
  • Elements that create a sense of depth cause us to see shapes that are the same size as a different size
  • Curvy lines appear to move when REALLY it is the movement of our own eyes that cause this illusion of movement
  • Other things that we learned?
  • The same optical illusions that are true for shapes and colors are also true for humans. For example:
  • Sometimes, we act differently when we are in one environment than another (for example, do you act the same way at a party as you do in math class?)
  • Sometimes, we speak and think differently depending on who we are around.  (For example, do you speak differently to your older relatives, like a grandpa or grandma, than you do to your best school friend?)
  • Because people can put up a lot of "fronts" (i.e. not completely true presentations of themselves), it can be VERY difficult to figure out who to be friends with and/or who to trust.
  • This is the same problem Samuel was having with agreeing with God about Saul as well as when he had to choose which son of Jesse would be the next king.
  • But, because Samuel was talking to and listening to God, then Samuel was able to receive help in understanding what he was looking at.
  • This ability to "see better" with God's help isn't just limited to Samuel, though.
  • God wants to help us see better, too.
  • So, though this might seem strange, the next time you're planning on hanging out with someone or a group of people, I encourage you to ask God about it.  
  • Just say something like, "So God, who should I call/text? And what do you think I should do with that person/those people?"
  • Then give God a chance to respond.  And see what happens.  
  • How could it hurt?


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1 Samuel 16:1-13

Samuel Anoints David as King


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