Use this free Bible study in your children’s Sunday School or Kids Church. It recounts the story of God’s care for Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17. We welcome your feedback and suggestions to improve this lesson plan, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this page. The download below includes bonus coloring pages and activity sheets.
Lesson Title: God Provides for Elijah
Bible Reference: 1 Kings 17:1-24
Target Age Group: Preschool to Early Elementary
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: One Hour
Credits: Image courtesy of Sweet Publishing and Distant Shores Media
Memory Verse: “For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.” 1 Kings 17:16
Application: Elijah lived during a time when it was dangerous to be faithful to God. However, he boldly followed the Lord wherever the Lord led him. During a time of drought, God had ravens deliver food to Elijah. God also provided food for the widow and her son because she was willing to trust that God was speaking through Elijah. Elijah fully trusted the Lord and God provided for all of Elijah’s needs.
- Children will learn that God loves them and will take care of them.
- Children will learn that they need to fully rely on God and trust Him.
Basic Supply List:
- 2 Large buckets
- 2 Small buckets
- 2 Large Sponges
- Construction Paper
- Coloring Page – The Story of Elijah
- Coloring Page – Elijah and the Widow
- Coloring Page – Book of 1 Kings
- We have a preschool version of this Sunday School lesson
Note: In the teaching plan below the words in italics are meant to be read aloud. The regular text is simply directions for the teacher.
1 Kings 17:1-24 Sunday School Lesson
Introduction: Begin by asking children to think of a time when something amazing happened to them. Maybe they got an amazing birthday present, or caught a ball at a baseball game. Let each child share as time allows. Once a few children have been able to share say, Amazing things happen to us all the time. Today we are going to hear a story about something amazing that happened to a man named Elijah. The amazing things that happened to Elijah weren’t by chance, God made these things happen so that Elijah would be cared for.
Biblical Evidence: Begin the lesson by reading 1 Kings 17:1-6. Say, Many amazing things happened to Elijah during his life. The first amazing thing that happened was that God spoke to him and warned him that there would not be any rain for a few years. Elijah was a Prophet who greatly trusted the Lord. Next God told Elijah that he would be ok because ravens were going to feed him. To me and you that sounds pretty crazy. Birds don’t bring people food, but Elijah trusted that God would take care of him and he did.
Next read 17:6-16. Say, When the brook began to dry up, God found another way to provide for Elijah. Elijah asked a widow to use all of the food that she had to make him some bread. The widow didn’t want to do this at first because she only had enough oil and flour to make one more meal and she didn’t want to waste her food. But, God did something amazing for Elijah and the widow. For as long as they needed the oil and the flour it did not run out. God provided for Elijah and Elijah trusted God without a doubt.
Refill the Bucket relay: For this game you will need 2 buckets full of water, 2 smaller buckets, and 2 large sponges. Put the children into 2 teams. The 2 teams will race against each other. Give the first child in line the sponge and have them dip it into the large bucket of water and run to the smaller bucket. They will then squeeze the water out of the sponge into the smaller bucket. Repeat until each child has had a turn and the smaller bucket is filled. The first team to fill their bucket wins. Remind the class that filling the bucket up was hard work. God worked a miracle when He kept the Widow’s jar of oil full until it rained.
Raven Craft: Remind the class that the second way that God provided for Elijah was by sending Ravens to bring him bread. This is another miracle. To complete this craft first have the children draw a bird on a piece of construction paper. (For younger students you might want to draw the bird ahead of time and make copies.) Next, glue feathers onto the bird. Lastly, glue a few croutons in the bird’s mouth to symbolize the bread. Say, God used birds like these to feed Elijah. God will provide for our needs as well. Even when it seems like it might be impossible, God will find a way to provide for our needs.
Memory Verse Review: Today’s memory verse is 1 Kings 17:16. “For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.” Say the verse while using these motions to memorize this verse.
“For the jar of flour was not used up” Act like you are picking up a jar and shaking it.
“and the jug of oil did not run dry” Make a circle with your hands and look into it (Like your looking into a jar.
“in keeping with the word of the Lord” First hold your hands open like a book, then point up to the sky.
“spoken by Elijah” Open and close your hand like your hand is talking.
“1 Kings 17:16” Clap as you say each part of the scripture reference.
Review Questions: Use the follow questions to review the story.
- Where did God tell Elijah to go? To the Kerith Ravine east of the Jordan River.
- How did God tell Elijah that he would get food? Ravens would bring him food and he would drink from the brook.
- Who did God say would provide food for Elijah next? The Widow.
- Why didn’t the widow want to make food for Elijah? She only had enough flour and oil to make one more cake of bread. After that she thought her and her son would die.
- What did God do so that they would all have food to eat? God did not let the oil or flour run out until it rained again.
- Did God provide for the widow, her son, and Elijah? Yes. He kept them all feed during the drought.
Conclusion: Close the lesson by asking the children if they have any specific prayer requests and praying that God would provide for their needs.
Elijah and the Widow Activity Page
1 Kings 17 New International Version (NIV)
Elijah Announces a Great Drought
17 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe[a] in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
Elijah Fed by Ravens
2 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”
5 So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath
7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”
13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”
15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.
17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
22 The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”