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Those Juniors, Part 32: Powerful Patterns, #1


by Eric B. Hare

Last week: Streamlined questions will provoke more class discussion and interaction. Choose to ask questions that will stimulate your class to think. This week shows lots of really great examples!

Multiple Answers

Choose the best answer:

Jonathan loved David because—

a.                   David could play the harp so well.

b.                  David had killed Goliath and delivered Israel.

c.                   He knew David had been anointed to be the next king.

Only one answer may be correct; or all answers may be correct. The stimulation comes in the discussion.


Put your hand up when you recognize this person:

1.                  I am thinking of a little boy whose name means “beloved.”

2.                  He lived in Bethlehem of the tribe of Judah.

3.                  His father thought him so unimportant that he did not even call him in to worship.

4.                  He was an expert marksman with a slingshot.

5.                  He killed a bear, a lion, and a giant.

6.                  His name was ———.

One great advantage to clues is the indirect way that the facts are taught. Because of the undivided attention that these clues command, the fact that David means “beloved” will be remembered much longer than if the same fact were mentioned in a deductive statement.

Who Said? To Whom? When? Where?

“The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed forever.” (1 Sam. 20:42; compare Gen. 31:49.)

Wherever a lesson contains direct speech, the discussion of who made the statement, to whom it was made, when it was made, and where it was made will always electrify boys and girls.


Draw lines between the name and what it is:

In matching, the preparation is made before classtime on the blackboard or on a sheet of paper. You can match people with actions, events with dates, verses with references, prophetic symbols with their meaning, or the first half and last half of verses, such as—

 Write in the number of the beatitude to which the last half belongs:

True and False

Mark T for True and F for False:

(T) David was anointed by Samuel three times to be king. (1 Sam. 16:3; 2 Sam. 2:4; 2 Sam. 5:3.)

(T) David was thirty-seven years old when he was anointed the third time, and he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem. (2 Sam. 5:4, 5. 7 1/2 Hebron, 33 Jerusalem. First, 20 years; second, 30 years; third, 37 years.)

(F) David was made king of Israel because Abner, captain of Saul’s host, revolted and went over to David.

(F) The ark came into Jerusalem in a cart drawn by cows sent down by the Philistines. (1 Sam. 6:10, 14; 2 Sam. 6:3, 10, 13.)

The danger in a true-and-false quiz is that the false statement may linger in the mind of the pupil. However, properly conducted, a true-and-false test is not completed with merely answering “true” or “false” as the case may be. This is only the beginning of a study of the facts, which must conclude with a clear statement of the truth.


Children love to work out and discuss problems. Problems fit especially well into a lesson that teaches right doing.

Two men in a hiking party were bitten by venomous snakes. Antitoxin was carried by one man in the group and was promptly administered to one who was bitten. He lived. The other man refused the antitoxin treatment—said he didn’t believe in it—and he died. Did he die because he was bitten by a snake?

What Does This Remind You Of?

1.                  A rich man with many flocks, a poor man with one lamb, and a stranger?

2.                  Five small stones and a sling?

This is especially good in a quarterly review when you have a variety of subjects from which to choose.

An Alphabet

This method is especially good for a review. Not all lessons are adaptable to an alphabet, but if you see a number of names and places in the lesson, you are almost sure to be able to work out one.

A is for the captain of Saul’s 3,000 soldiers (Abner, 1 Sam. 26:7), and also for one of David’s companions (Abishai).

B is for what Saul’s head was resting on (bolster, 1 Sam. 26:7), and also for what Saul said to David after his life was twice spared (“Blessed be thou, my son David.” 1 Sam. 26:25).

C is for the place in Engedi where David hid (cave, 1 Sam. 24:3), and also for something David took from Saul at Hachilah (cruse, 1 Sam. 26:11).

D is what the Lord did for David (delivered), and also what David would not let Abishai do to Saul (destroy, 1 Sam. 26:9).

E is for the place where there was a wilderness and also a cave (Engedi, 1 Sam. 24:1).

F is for something Saul said he played (fool, 1 Sam. 26:20, 21), and also for something David said Saul was hunting (flea).

G is for the place where Saul lived (Gibeah, 1 Sam. 26:1), and also for what a man would not be if he killed the Lord’s anointed (guiltless, 1 Sam. 26:9).

H is for the place where Saul slept (Hachilah, 1 Sam. 26:1), and also for where David stood when he called to Saul (hill, 1 Sam. 26:13).

I is for what David could not enjoy because of Saul (inheritance, 1 Sam. 26:19), and, of course, for the name of the nation in which all this happened (Israel).

J is for Jeshimon. (1 Sam. 26:1.) Is it a town, a river, a mountain, or a lake?

K is for what Saul knew David would be (king), and also for what he knew David would have (kingdom, 1 Sam. 24:20).

L is something Saul had that David regarded (life), and something David had that the Lord regarded (life, 1 Sam. 26:24).

M is for the 3,000 chosen ones Saul had (men, 1 Sam. 24:2). How many of the same did David have (600 men, 1 Sam. 27:2) ?

N is the name of Abner’s father (Ner, 1 Sam. 26:5), and also for the first word of 1 Samuel 26:19 (Now).

O is for what Saul could have made to be forgiven (offering, 1 Sam. 26:19), and for the way David addressed Saul (O king, 1 Sam. 26:17).

P Hunting for David on the hills was like hunting for a ——— (partridge, 1 Sam. 26:20), and for the way David regarded Saul’s life (precious, 1 Sam. 26:21).

Q is for the way David took the spear and the cruse (quietly) so that Abner and his men would not wake up.

R is what David was, more than Saul (righteous, 1 Sam. 24:17). Why was he more r——— than Saul?

S is for what David took from Saul in the cave (skirt), and also what he took from Saul in Hachilah (spear).

T is for what God delivered David from (tribulation, 1 Sam. 26:24), and for something not found in David’s hand (transgression, 1 Sam. 24:11).

U is for the unseen angels who caused the deep sleep to come upon Saul and his men.

V is for something of David’s that Saul recognized (voice), and also for something that Saul lifted up when he wept (voice, 1 Sam. 24:16).

W is for the proverb David quoted (“Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked.” 1 Sam. 24:13).

X is for the way Saul acknowledged he had erred (exceedingly, 1 Sam. 26:21).

Z is for the wilderness where David hid (Ziph, 1 Sam. 26:1, 2), and the people who told Saul where he was (Ziphites), and also the mother of Abishai (Zeruiah, 1 Sam. 26:6).

(You notice we have omitted “Y.” One of the children is sure to notice this and ask why. Then you can make this appealing application.)

Y is for someone who should put his trust also in God so that he can be delivered in the time of trouble (You).

(Next week: “Powerful Patterns, Part 2.”)

Copyright © 1973 by Eric B. Hare. Used by permission

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