Trust – David

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Throughout David’s life, he demonstrated some key attributes of following God – being chosen, trust, worship, obedience and repentance. As we get to know God more, and look at his track record, we should be able to trust him. This study looks at how David demonstrated this trust in God. It is the third in a series for older teenagers, looking at the life of David – ‘a man after God’s own heart’.

Key Passages: 1 Samuel 17, Psalm 46:10

You will need: projector with speakers/screen, ‘The Bible – The Epic Mini-Series’ DVD, DVD player, posters (optional)

Large Group Activity: Trust Quiz

Begin with the following ‘Trust Quiz’. Ask everyone to move to three different areas of the room, depending on their answer. After each question – ask a couple of people why they chose their answer or why they would trust that person most.

  1. Who would you trust most to give you good career advice?
    1. The School Careers Advisor
    2. Your Parents
    3. Your Mates at School
  2. Who would you trust the most to put on a good party?
    1. Your nana
    2. Your Best Mate
    3. Your Youth Leader
  3. Who would you trust the most to help you get fit?
    1. Your PE Teacher
    2. The All Blacks’ coach
    3. Your Science Teacher
  4. Who would you trust to give you a good haircut?
    1. Your dad
    2. A bald man
    3. Your family hairdresser
  5. Who would you trust most with your money?
    1. Donald Trump
    2. Your Parents
    3. A bank worker
  6. Who would you trust most to look after your cat?
    1. Your neighbour
    2. Your Sibling
    3. Your Dog
  7. Who would you trust most with your life?
    1. A doctor
    2. Your youth leader
    3. Wonder Woman
  8. Who would you trust most with your secrets?
    1. Your Cat
    2. The random person you sit next to in maths class
    3. The School Counsellor

Ask: When determining whether somebody is trustworthy, what factors come in to play? (Track record – how have they behaved in done in the past?; experience – have they been trained or know something about this?; how well you know them.

One thing we see in David’s relationship with God – is how much he trusted God. We see this particularly when he kills Goliath. Let’s watch the next part of his story:

Large Group Media: David and Goliath

Watch a clip about David and Goliath – we recommend the scene from ‘The Bible – The Epic Mini-Series’ (Kingdom 6:00-13:00). Available to purchase from Christian bookstores or if you are part of the Auckland Diocese, contact AYM.

Large Group Teaching: David’s Trust

Kind Saul was leading the Israelite army (Israel = God’s people) in war against the Philistines. Everyday Goliath (who was 9 foot 9 tall) stepped into the battleground between the two armies and made a challenge. He wanted Israel’s champion to come out and fight him. Whoever won, would win the whole battle, and the loser’s army would become the slaves of the winners.

Now, Goliath has been challenging them for 40 days, but no Israelites have been brave enough to accept his challenge… until David comes along. (Remember David isn’t in the army – he’s just there delivering food to his brothers.) When he hears Goliath’s challenge – he accepts it! When he says to King Saul that he’d like to go out and fight Goliath…

Read from 1 Samuel 17:33-37: “Saul [says], “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
But David said to Saul, “[I have] been keeping [my] father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Ask: What gave David the confidence to accept Goliath’s challenge? (He knew that God was with him. He relied on what he had already experienced God do when he was fighting off bears)

Trusting God

How can we trust God in the same way that David trusted God?

  1. Get to know who God is
    David had an intimate relationship with God. He knew who God was. He knew God was on his side, when he faced Goliath. In the same way, you probably trust a person more if you know who they are and what they’re like. The more we know who God is and what he is like (his character, his heart, how he operates etc.). The easier it is to trust him.
    Ask:  How can we get to know who God is? (Read about him – in scripture; look at the person of Jesus; talk to other people who know him; spend time with him – prayer, church etc.
    It’s great to learn more about God, and also spend time with God. Because as we do, we come to know, and experience more of who God is. We learn that he is faithful, that he is good, that he is full of love, that he is powerful, that he is just…(and so much more!)
    The wonderful thing about God is that he is ‘the same yesterday, today, and forever.’ (Hebrews 13:8). The God we read about in the Bible, and the God we serve today are the same. His heart and his character are constant. Even in a world where everything else changes, our God is always the same. The more we come to know this for ourselves, the easier it is to trust him.
  2. Start Small
    David trusted God to help him in his day to day life, in his work of protecting his Father’s sheep. He learnt that God was with him and helped him kill Lions and Bears, and this prepared him and helped him to be able to trust God when he faced Goliath.
    David knew that God had been with him before, so he had confidence that God would also be with him when he faced Goliath.
    We begin by trusting God in the small parts of our lives….trusting him to be with you and to help you with your school work or your exams; or to mend a friendship that’s been broken; or to help you find a part time job; or to have patience to deal with your brother or sister that annoys you.
    If we begin to trust God with the small parts of our lives, the easier it will be to trust him when we face Giants in our lives.
    Because unfortunately, we will come across ‘Giants’ in our lives – Problems that seem far too big for us to handle on our own!  But if we have learnt and experienced God being with us in our day to day lives, then we can have confidence that he will be with us as we face big things in life as well! And it’s really comforting to know that we don’t have to face the big, or the small things, in life on our own. God is always with us, and the outcome depends on him!
    “Be still, and know that I am God!”  Psalm 46:10

Small Group Questions

  • Did anything surprise or interest you about the way David faced Goliath?
  • How well do you feel you know God? How would you like to get to know him better?
  • What does it look like to trust God in the small parts of our lives?
  • How have you experienced God working in your life in the past? Does this help you have confidence that he will be with you in the future?
  • How can we respond when faced with ‘giants’ in our lives?

Finish in prayer, asking God to help us get to know him more, and trust him more in the small parts of our lives.


This study series includes a series of free printable A3 posters which you can print and display in your youth space, one for each theme. Download all five David posters.