Use this children’s Sunday School lesson about Elijah to teach students about the ways God speaks to us.
Needed: Bibles, blindfolds, drawing paper and crayons or colored pencils
Intro Craft: How God Works
Give students drawing supplies and ask them to draw their favorite way that God worked in the Bible. It could be a story about God from the Old Testament. It could be a story about Jesus. It could be a story about how the Holy Spirit helped Jesus’ disciples after He went to Heaven. It simply needs to be one way that God worked.
When the students are finished, have them each explain their drawing. Point out that God works in a lot of different ways.
Say, Last time, we learned about how the prophet Elijah challenged the prophets of the fake gods, Baal and Asherah, to prove if their God was real or not. Does anyone remember what the challenge was? (Elijah killed one bull and put it on the altar and the prophets of Baal and Asherah killed another bull and put it on their altar. The god who sent fire down from Heaven to burn up the bull would be proven to be the real god.)
And which god sent fire down from Heaven to burn up the bull, the fake gods or the real God? (The real God.)
Then, Elijah took the prophets of the fake gods, Baal and Asherah, and killed them because they were teaching the people to worship fake gods instead of the real God.
Today, we’re going to learn about what happened to Elijah next.
King Ahab went home and told his wife, Queen Jezebel, about everything that had happened. Queen Jezebel didn’t believe in the real God. She believed in the fake gods, Baal and Asherah, and when she heard that Elijah had killed all of her prophets, she was so mad that she decided to kill Elijah. She didn’t care that God had proved He was real when He burned up Elijah’s bull.
(Read 1 Kings 19:3-4 with your students.)
“Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.’
Why did Elijah run away? (Because he was afraid that Queen Jezebel was going to kill him.)
Should Elijah have been afraid? (No, he should have trusted that God could protect him.)
Elijah says that he wants to die. Do you think people should want to die?
We shouldn’t want to die because God gave us life. Life is a gift from God, and it’s special, so we should try to make the best of our lives and not want to die until the end of our life when it’s time for us to die.
(Read 1 Kings 19:5-13 with your students.)
“Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
“All at once an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’ He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
“The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.’ So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.
“And the word of the Lord came to him: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’
“He replied, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and put Your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.’
“The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’
“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
“Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’”
Did God’s voice come out of the loud wind or the earthquake or the fire? (No.)
God’s voice didn’t come out of any of those big and powerful things, but out of a gentle breeze. A lot of times, we think of God talking to us by doing big things like miracle. But sometimes, God talks to us in little things. We have to learn to listen for God in the big things and in the little things, when He talks loud and when He talks soft. Sometimes, God talks so soft that we can only hear it inside our hearts. We have to listen for God to talk to us in any way that He wants to.
What are some ways that God talks to us? (Through the Bible, through prayer, through miracles, through listening to people teach us such as our parents or Sunday School teacher or pastor, through our conscience, etc.)
Then, God told Elijah, “Go find a man named Elisha and tell him that I have chosen him to be a prophet too. He will be your helper and you will teach him how to be a prophet.”
A little while later, King Ahab went to war and was shot with arrows and killed. God wanted Ahab to die because Ahab was a bad king and didn’t do the right things God wanted him to do. After that, another man attacked the castle and threw Queen Jezebel out of a window and killed her because she was a bad queen who worshiped fake gods instead of the real God and tried to kill all of the real God’s prophets.
Game: Listening for God
Have students find a partner. Blindfold one partner, spin them around, and walk them to somewhere else in the room. When you say Go! their partners call their names. The blindfolded partner tries to make it back to the caller.
When all the blindfolded students make it back to their partner, have them switch roles.
Play again if time permits, but make the students find a new partner for each round.
Remind students that we have to listen closely if we want to hear God speaking to us.
Game: Acting It Out
Divide students into groups of two or three. Have each group decide on and act out one way that God can speak to us. After each group, briefly discuss the best way to listen for God speaking in that way.
Lord, You speak to us in so many ways. You speak in big things and You speak in small things. Help us to pay attention and listen to You. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Kings and Prophets.