This lesson plan is based on the story where Elijah confronts Ahab in 1 Kings. It was originally written for an upper elementary Sunday School class. It could be modified for younger children or children’s church, especially using the list of related resources at the end of this post. These include links to crafts, worksheets, and supplemental lesson plans about Ahab and Elijah.
Scripture: 1 Kings 16:28-34; 17:1-6
- Students will have an understanding God provides for those who are obedient to Him and He punishes those who disobey His commands.
- For children who aren’t familiar with Old Testament teaching they will be introduced to the concept of God’s promises to Abraham’s descendants and the divided kingdom in Israel.
- When we choose to sin we are influencing others to follow our sin.
Memory Verse: Luke 11:28b: “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (NASB)
Optional: Download our free “Stories of Elijah” coloring page
Target Age Group: School ages 3rd-5th
Elijah Confronts Ahab Bible Story Lesson
Lesson Introduction: What are some instructions we need to follow every day? (Allow students to respond.)
Let’s pretend we are going to explain how to wash our hands to someone who has never washed his hands. What are the instructions (allow students to give the steps to hand washing)? What would happen if your friend forgets what you said and just uses soap and lathers up his hands and wipes them on a towel? Suppose he forgets to use soap and just put his hands under the water and dry them off with a towel? What if your friend thinks it’s ridiculous to wash his hands and a terrible waste of his time?
This was a simple example of following instructions. Instructions are important because when followed we will have the best results for what we are doing. You and I wouldn’t want to put together a bike without instructions because the bike might be very dangerous to ride without the pieces being put together properly and tight enough. The results from not following instructions properly whether it’s hand washing or putting a bike together could both result in physical harm. Choosing to not wash your hands can cause illness due to the germs on your hands. Riding a bike that wasn’t properly put together could cause you to fall and hurt yourself.
God has given us very important instructions in His Word, the Bible. When we follow the instructions He has given us we will live a life that pleases Him. God’s instructions are for our protection in this life and preparation for the life we live after we die. Following God’s instructions will bring peace and joy to all who obey what He has commanded. (Go over Memory Verse that has been written on the board where students can see.)
In our story today we are going to hear about some people that didn’t follow God’s instructions and as a result they did not experience God’s blessings and peace.
Bible Story Lesson About Ahab & Elijah
Let’s turn in our bibles to 1 Kings 17:1.
When God promised Abraham he would have many descendants (family members), those family members as a group of people have names that are used to identify them throughout the Bible. Abraham’s descendants are known as God’s children, Hebrews, Israelites and also they are known as Jews.
God had been given many promises to His children. He gave them their own land and gave them laws to follow so that they could be His special people. God promised the Jewish people that if they would obey Him their lives would be blessed. Because God is holy He also told them that if they chose to disobey His commands He would have to punish their sins.
The Jewish people are humans just like you and me. They were born with sin so to disobey came very naturally to them. They had the One, True, Living God as the God whom they worshiped and yet they chose to be a rebellious and disobedient people. When the Jewish people lived in the land God gave them they wanted to be like the people around them who did not obey the One, True Living God.
The people living in the countries around them had kings as their rulers. God’s children decided they wanted a king to rule them. God was their King but since they thought they should be like the wicked, sinful people around them, He allowed them to have a king. One of the kings God gave to His children was David. David was a good king. The Bible tells us that he was a king after God’s own heart. After David died his son Solomon began to rule the people of Israel. Solomon disobeyed God’s laws and married many pagan women and worshiped their false gods.
There are always consequences to sin. After Solomon died God divided Israel, the land the Jewish people were living in into two kingdoms. They are called the northern and southern kingdoms. A king ruled the southern kingdom and the northern kingdom was ruled by a king. The king of the southern kingdom ruled the area called Judah. The king who ruled over the northern kingdom ruled the area called Israel. (Show map of the two kingdoms.)
All through the history of the two kingdoms, the northern kingdom had wicked kings. Judah had many kings who loved and pleased God.
In our story today the king who is ruling over the northern kingdom is King Ahab. Let’s read what kind of king he was.
Read 1 Kings 16:30. King Ahab was a wicked king. Ahab married a Sidonian woman. She was not a Jewish woman. God told His people that they should not marry women who do not worship the One, True God. The woman that Ahab married was named Jezebel. Jezebel had not been taught in her home to worship Jehovah God, but she had been taught that Baal was her god. Baal was a stone god that the people worshiped. They offered their infant children as sacrifices to their god. Baal was not a god; anyone who worshiped Baal was worshiping Satan himself.
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. Let’s read 1 Kings 21:25-26 and see what kind of influence Jezebel had on Ahab. This is why we should never marry a non-believer. We might think we will be an influence on them but the truth of the matter is that evil usually has more influence over good. Obey God’s commands and do not marry an unbeliever.
Because God loved His people He sent messengers called prophets to warn them that they needed to turn away from their sin so they would not experience His punishment. In our lesson today the prophet God has sent is a man named Elijah. Elijah’s name means ‘my God is Jehovah’.
Elijah, God’s prophet must have been sad because of the evil influence that Ahab and Jezebel were having on God’s people. Do you think Jezebel’s evil influence stayed in the palace? No, it didn’t. The people of Israel began to follow their leader’s example and many people in Israel began to worship Baal. We cannot miss this important point. This was a terrible sin! God told the Jewish people in the 10 commandments that they were to have no other gods besides Him. God was their God. They had no need for any pretend gods. The bad influence of Ahab and Jezebel affected the Jewish people and many people sinned as a result.
Elijah knew that God must punish sin. God had told the people what would happen if they disobeyed Him. Read Deuteronomy 11:16, 17.
God hates sin because He knows it brings death. He doesn’t hate people but He hates the sin that they commit.
We don’t know what Elijah prayed to God when he saw all the Baal worship in the land. James 5:17 tells us some of what he did pray. We might think it is strange that Elijah would pray this. Elijah knew that God punishes sin. God’s people were worshiping gods that were not real. Elijah knew that Israel had the One, True God who was living and was able to care for his people. He also knew that difficult circumstances cause people to cry out to God. This could be one reason Elijah prayed this prayer.
Following God’s instructions is not always easy. What Elijah does next took God’s strength and courage. He 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.”
Imagine what that scene must have looked like. 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. Elijah needed God’s help. Elijah would trust God to take care of him.
In1 Kings 17:3-4, 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.
Elijah showed that he trusted God by obeying His word. He could have questioned God by saying, “What? You are going to feed me with food carried by unclean ravens?” (Ravens are animals that eat garbage and unpleasant things which make them an unclean animal to God’s people.) Instead Elijah trusted and obeyed the One, True God.
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.
The drought came just as Elijah said it would. God’s people were being punished for sinning against Him. Elijah was God’s obedient servant and God was taking care of him (read the Memory verse again).
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? Next week we will see how God helps Elijah in his time of need.
Bible Lesson Review Questions
Optional Activity: Play musical chairs and when the music stops the student left standing answers a question.
1. Who were God’s special people? (Jews, Hebrews, Abraham’s descendants)
2. Why did God make the Jewish people have two kingdoms? (Solomon’s sin)
3. Who was the king over Israel in our story? (Ahab)
4. Who was Ahab’s wife? (Jezebel)
5. How did Jezebel influence the land of Israel? (She worshiped Baal)
6. What is a prophet? (God’s messenger)
7. What did God say would happen if the people chose to worship other gods? (God would cause a drought in the land)
8. What did Elijah pray? (That it would not rain for 3 ½ years)
9. What did Elijah tell the King and his wife? (There will be no rain except by his word)
10. How did God take care of Elijah? (brook for water, ravens brought food)
11. If you want a blessed life what must you do? (Obey God’s commands)
Additional Resources & Related Bible Lessons:
- Bible Worksheet for this Lesson
- Ahab & Elijah Lesson Plan From Calvary Chapel
- Fed By Ravens Craft
- Craft for this Lesson
- Crafts & Lessons from Daniels Place
- EBible Teacher’s Lesson for this Story