Lesson: Israel’s Northern Kings “King Ahab”

The kings of israel Sunday School Bible Lessons for childrenIn the divided kingdom, none of the northern kings were recorded as righteous in God’s eyes.  They were all wicked and led their people to sin.  Ahab is usually taught when covering the study of God’s prophet Elijah. From this lesson about Ahab students discover that God’s word reveals His truth and instructs people how to live a life that pleases Him.  Sin blinds a person to the truth and causes him to walk in darkness.

This lesson is only a guide to help you to prepare for your class.  It was created for older students but can be adapted for your individual needs.  Click here to see all the Bible lessons in this series.

Bible Story Title: Israel’s Northern Kings (Part 2 King Ahab)
Bible Passage: 1 Kings 21
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List:  Bibles for each student to follow along in the Bible lesson, sun glasses, clear glasses, (or scarves if you do not have the glasses), post-it notes, pen/pencil, lunch bag, slips of paper

Learning Goal: Students will learn that unless a person repents, sin blinds his/her heart from God’s truth leading to further darkness with each sinful choice.

Learning Activity #1: Object lesson of how sin blinds our heart.  Take a pair of sun glasses.  (Another option is to use light-colored scarves that can be seen through.  Each time a sin is mentioned add another scarf causing it to be harder to see clearly.) Choose volunteer to wear sunglasses.  Ask students for examples of sinful choices (lying, stealing, etc.) Write the sin on a post-it note and place each example of sin on the lenses of the sunglasses.  Discuss how when a person chooses to sin and not turn from that sin it becomes easier to sin.  If a person lies then it becomes easier to steal.  Add more post-it notes of the effects of going deeper into darkness by continuing to disobey God’s truth.

God’s enemy Satan has blinded the eyes of those who have not been saved. (2 Corinthians 4:4) When a person repents and turns from their sins and puts their faith in Jesus God removes the blindness from their eyes. (2 Corinthians 3:15-16)  Remove the post-it covered sunglasses and replace with regular glasses.  Now the person can see clearly and walk in the Light of God’s truth.

When people become believers they still sin.  If he/she doesn’t repent and turn from that sin his/her heart becomes calloused to the Holy Spirit’s conviction. By continuing in sin it’s like exchanging the clear glasses to put on sunglasses.  At first you don’t really notice that you are not walking in God’s pure light.  Little by little each little sin keeps you from fully enjoying the life that God wants you to have.  The person that chooses to continue to allow sin into his/her life doesn’t lose the gift of eternal life.  He/she loses the power to effectively point others to Jesus and will miss out on the many blessings of walking in a close relationship with Jesus.  A true believer who continues to sin can expect God’s discipline.  God will discipline His child for their disobedience.  (Hebrews 12:5-11)

Learning Activity #2:  Grab bag with Ahab facts. The focus of the story is going to be in chapter 21.  This activity enables students to know that King Ahab’s past choices of disobedience led him to further walk in darkness instead of obedience to God. Make cards or slips of paper with the following facts about Ahab (add or subtract as many as you need for your class):

  • King Ahab did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of the kings before him. (1 Kings 16:30)
  • King Ahab married Jezebel who was not an Israelite and an idol worshipper and practiced witchcraft.  (2 Kings 9:22)
  • King Ahab built a temple in Samaria so the people could worship Baal.  (1 Kings 16:32)
  • King Ahab allowed Jezebel to kill the Lord’s prophets during the 3 ½ year famine.  (1 Kings 18:4)
  • King Ahab told Jezebel that Elijah killed all the false prophets with the sword and she planned to kill him.  (1 Kings 19:2)

Bible Lesson:  Israel’s Northern Kings (Part 2 King Ahab)

(Introduce lesson with Ahab grab bag facts.)

Let’s open our Bibles to 1 Kings 21. Choose volunteers to read 1-3.  What does Ahab want? (Naboth’s vineyard) Why?  (It was close to his palace and he wanted to make it into a vegetable garden) How was King Ahab going to pay for the vineyard?  (He was going to give him a better vineyard or pay whatever Naboth asked)

The story recorded in God’s Word starts out on a good note.  King Ahab wanted something and asked  for it.

Let’s read Naboth’s answer to King Ahab’s question in verse 3.  When God delivered His people from Egypt, He led them to the land He promised to give them. (Show a map ) All the tribes except the Levites were given a portion of land called an inheritance.  God recorded in His word the requirements of each tribe’s portion of land.  “No inheritance in Israel is to pass from tribe to tribe, for every Israelite shall keep the tribal land inherited from his forefathers.”  Numbers 36:7

Naboth’s response was out of reverence and obedience to God’s commands.  He was not being selfish in keeping his property so King Ahab could not have it. He had a God-given right to keep his land and not sell it.

King Ahab did respect God’s laws and had proven himself rebellious to God’s commands.  His disobedience darkened his perspective of how he should be living his life.

Read verse 4.  What was Ahab’s attitude about Naboth’s response? Sullen means showing irritation by a gloomy silence or reserve.  How many of you have ever been sullen because you didn’t get your way?  This attitude is common with very small children and with maturity a person should put off this poor attitude that doesn’t please the Lord.  Ahab was acting like a little child by pouting because he couldn’t have Naboth’s vineyard.

Because Ahab has added sin upon sin in his life his heart is blind to the truth of God’s word.  He is not able to recognize the main sin that is causing this childish attitude.  The main sin that Ahab is committing against God is covetousness.  (Exodus 20:17) The sin of covetousness was like a seed that was planted in Ahab’s heart.  He did not repent of that sin and turn away from it.  As a result the sin grew like a tree and brought forth fruit which were his words and his actions.

  • When sin is allowed to grow in our hearts it will come out in our words and actions.  (Matthew 12:34-35, Luke 6:45)

(Verses 7-16) When Jezebel finds out why Ahab is in a bad mood she takes matters into her own hands.  She has Naboth (an innocent man) put to death.  Her husband can now own the vineyard he wanted.

Before this day arrived Ahab made sinful choices that placed him in a situation that caused an innocent man to be murdered so he could have his way.  The choice that led him on this sinful path began when he married an ungodly woman (Jezebel) who was not an Israelite. (Deuteronomy 7:3-4)  God’s told His people not to marry anyone who was not an Israelite because they would turn their hearts away from the One True God and they would worship false gods.

  • As children you most likely aren’t planning on getting married any time soon.  It is important to remember that when you are old enough that if you are a believer you should not marry someone who is not.  (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)  A truth that you can apply at any age of your life is who you choose to spend most of your time with.  You should choose friends that walk according to God’s truth because “bad company corrupts good character.”  1 Corinthians 15:33

As we study God’s word we should always look for His attributes (character traits). We are going to finish our lesson by looking at two attributes of God that are seen in these last verses.

First, we see that God is a righteous judge.  Let’s look at verses 11-13.  Two men who did not have good reputations (scoundrels) falsely accused Naboth and he was put to death.  From a human point of view this seems so unfair.  It looks like the wicked get away with murder.  However, the good news is that God sees everything!  He saw what happened to Naboth and sent His prophet Elijah to Ahab to tell him what his punishment will be for his wickedness.  (Verses 17-19)

  • God can be trusted to take care of the unfair things that happen in our lives.

The second attribute we see again in our study of Israel’s kings is God’s mercy.  God showed Ahab kindness by being patient with him in all of his wickedness.  God did not have to allow Ahab to continue to live and lead the people of the Northern kingdom to sin.  God showed mercy by sending His prophets with His truth.  God’s truth was revealed to Ahab.  He was without excuse for living a wicked life because God was shining His light of truth to allow Ahab to turn away from his sin and live a life that pleased the Lord.

Each time we hear God’s word He is leading us to the light of His truth.  How we respond to His truth will determine if we will walk with a clear vision of a life that pleases God or a life that is darkened and continues to sin.

If you have never been saved God wants you to know that He loves you so much that He sent His Son Jesus to deliver you from your sins.  Jesus died on the cross, was buried and rose again the third day so all who believe in Him can be saved and have eternal life.

If you have been saved the power of the Holy Spirit will help you overcome the battle over sin in your life.  Whatever sin you struggle with repent (turn away), ask God to forgive you.  Ask Him to empower you with His Holy Spirit to overcome the sin you struggle with.

Close in prayer.  Father, help us to respond by obeying what you taught us today.  Help us to turn away from any sinful choices we are making so we can walk in Your light.  In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.

Memory Verse:   1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be misled:  “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Review Questions:

  1. What did Ahab want from Naboth?  (His vineyard)
  2. Why did Ahab want Naboth’s vineyard?  (He wanted to make a vegetable garden)
  3. Why did Naboth say no?  (The land was his inheritance and he was under no obligation to sell it)
  4. How did Ahab respond to Naboth’s answer? (He was sullen)
  5. What did Jezebel do so Ahab could have what he wanted?  (She had Naboth murdered)
  6. What changes do you need to make so you are not allowing sin to blind you to God’s truth?
  7. How has God shown you mercy this week?