Sunday, March 3, 2013

Kings: Ahab & Prophet Elijah

1. Story: King AHAB & Prophet ELIJAH (1 Kings 16:29 – 1 Kings 17)

  • In our story today, the king who is ruling over the northern kingdom (Israel) is King Ahab. Let’s read what kind of king he was. 
  • King Ahab was a very famous king in the Bible. Do you know why he was soooo famous? King Ahab was famous because he was a very wicked king. 
  • He was also famous because he had a very wicked wife. Her name was Jezebel. She was not a Jewish woman. God told His people that they should not marry women who do not worship the One, True God. Jezebel had not been taught in her home to worship Jehovah God, but she had been taught to worship a fake god, called Baal, which was made of stone. (They offered their infant children as sacrifices to their god.) 
  • King Ahab who never should have married Jezebel in the first place brings her into his family and makes her his wife. As the leader of his family he should have never allowed her to bring her Baal worship into their home. But since he didn’t make a good first choice and married a woman who didn’t love God, he made a second bad choice and allowed her to worship Baal in their house. This was a very wicked thing. 
  • The bad influence of Ahab and Jezebel affected the Jewish people and many people sinned as a result. The people of Israel began to follow their leader’s example and many people in Israel began to worship Baal. They forgot that they had the One True God who made the whole world, who loved them, and who brought them out of Egypt. 
  • Because God loved His people He sent messengers called prophets to call the people of Israel back to Him. Sometimes they didn’t listen, so sometimes God had to allow them to get into some sort of trouble before they would call out to Him. 
  • One of God’s prophets was called Elijah. Elijah’s name means ‘my God is Jehovah’. 
  • One day, Elijah went straight to King Ahab and said, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, whom I serve, there will neither be dew nor rain in the next few years, except at my word.” 
  • What do you think King Ahab and Jezebel did as this messenger from God stood before them? It’s not written in the Bible, but based on what Elijah did next, we can only imagine that they threatened his life. 
  • But God proved His faithfulness and love to Elijah with 3 wonderful miracles! 
  • Miracle #1: 
  • God told Elijah to go hide by the Brook Cherith by the Jordan River. He told him that he could drink water from the brook. He also said that He had commanded the ravens to feed him there. 
  • When Elijah got to the brook he had plenty of water to drink. Just as God had said, every morning and every night God sent ravens with bread and meat for Elijah to eat. I couldn’t help picturing these obedient ravens swooping down on someone’s picnic and grabbing a hamburger or hotdog for Elijah to eat! Even the ravens obeyed God. 
  • As time passed with no rain, the brook began to dry up and there was no more water for Elijah to drink. God had taken care of him this far, would God continue to help Elijah? Of course! 
  • God told Elijah, "Arise, go to Zarephath, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow to provide for you." 
  • When he got to Zarephath, the widow was at the city gates gathering sticks for firewood.
  • Miracle #2: 
  • "Please bring me a little water in a cup," Elijah asked the woman. "Please bring me a morsel of bread." 
  • "I do not have bread," the widow answered. "Only a handful of flour in a bin and a little oil in a jar." Sadly, the lady told the prophet that when this was finished, she and her son would starve to death. 
  • "Do not fear. Make me a small cake from it first, and afterwards make some for yourself and your son," Elijah said. "The flour will not be used up, nor the oil, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth." 
  • God would have to work a miracle for that to happen. And He did! The lady and her son ate for many days, yet the bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry! Elijah lived with them.
  • Miracle #3: 
  • One day a sad thing happened. The widow's son died. In those days, women depended a lot on men to take care of them. After her husband died, her son was her only hope. 
  • Elijah carried the boy's body to an upper room. He cried out to the LORD, saying, "O LORD my God I pray, let this child's soul come back to him." What an impossible prayer!
  • The LORD heard the voice of Elijah and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived. When Elijah took the child and gave him to his mother she said, "Now by this I know that the word of the LORD in your mouth is the truth."
(Source: Ministry to Children; Bible for Children)

 2. Lesson: 
  • God provides for our every need.
    • He provided food for Elijah through the ravens 
    • He provided for the widow and her child with never-ending flour and oil! 
    • Whenever we give what little we have to God, whether it is money, time or energy, it opens up our hearts so that God can fill us up with more. And when we give our lives to God, we can trust Him to make things right for us and to be the rewarder of our faith.
  • We can trust Him even in bad times. 
    • When Ahab and Jezebel tried to kill Elijah, he trusted God to protect him. 
    • When the widow’s son died, he trusted God to do the impossible and bring him back to life! 
    • We, too, can trust in God in every circumstance of life. Certainly, God is able to take care of us, no matter how hopeless our situation seems, just as He cared and provided for the widow and her son.
  • We don’t need to look to other fake gods because we have Jesus, our Everything!
    • Our faith is built as God delivers us from one difficult situation and then another, just as the widow’s faith was built. Let us keep our confidence in God. He will never fail us! God wants us to learn how to trust in Him.

 3. Suggested Activities:
  • Pick a Word Review
    • Choose 10-15 key words from today’s lesson (eg: Ahab, Baal, flour, oil, ravens, Elijah, widow, son etc.). Write them on a small piece of paper and place them in a bowl. Pass the bowl around class and have each child pick one word each. After everyone has chosen a word, allow the children to take turns sharing what their word is and how it fit into today’s lesson.
  • Flour Game
    • Prepare some flour, 2 bowls, 2 small spoons and 2 small jars that are the same size. Split your class into 2 equal teams. Set up a table for each team. On each table set up a bowl filled with enough flour to fill up a jar. Place one jar and a spoon on each table. Have 2 teams line up facing each table. 
    • When you say “go”, the first child in line goes to the table and takes a spoonful of flour and put into the jar. Then returns to tag their friend who goes next. Continue until all kids have their turn. Winner is team with most amount of flour in the jar. 
  • Testimony time: Get kids to come up and share how they trusted God and He provided and protected them.

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