Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elijah Fed by Ravens - Youth Sunday School Lesson on 1 Kings 17:1-6

Historical Context:  David and Solomon are dead.  The Kingdom of Israel has split into two nations, Israel and Judah.  Though Judah has stayed loyal to David’s descendants (mostly), both nations have begun to worship the false gods of the Canaanite religions.  Soon the Most High God will punish Israel and Judah for their sins by allowing them to be conquered by the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and sending them into exile.  But first He will make a final plea, through the mouths of His prophets, to try turn the people back to Him.  This story takes places around the year 875 B.C.

Authorship:  The Book of the Kings was written mostly by Jeremiah the prophet during Israel’s exile in Babylon.  It was later edited and completed by subsequent prophets and Levitical (Israel’s) priests.

Read 1 Kings 17:1-6
“Elijah” – Hebrew for “The Lord is my God.” 
Ahab – current King of Israel

Read 1 Kings 16:31,32

Baal – Canaanite god of rain, one of many Canaanite gods
Miracle – An act of God that causes something to happen in the physical/natural world that would not otherwise have happened

Small Group Questions:
1. Why does Elijah say “…the God of Israel, lives”?  What comparison is he making to                         Ahab’s god, Baal?

2. Why does Elijah say “…the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve”?  What is Elijah telling Ahab, the King, about where Elijah’s loyalty lies?

3. In light of the fact that Baal was the Canaanite god of rain, what is the significance of Elijah’s saying that “there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word”?

4. If there is to be no dew or rain for a few years, then there will be a severe drought.  Crops will die.  The water supply will dry up.  Eventually animals and people will die for lack of water and food.  Why would God cause this to happen if He loves people?

5. Name the three miracles that occur in this passage and note what they can tell us about God.
Miracle one:
What does this miracle tell us about God?

Miracle two: 
What does this miracle tell us about God?

Miracle three:
What does this miracle tell us about God?

6. What is the significance of mentioning where Elijah was from (Tishbe in Gilead)?  Or the location of the Kerith Ravine, east of Jordan?

1. God is _________________.  He is ______________________ of everything.

2. I can _________________________________________________________________.

3. God ________________________________.  All I have to do is _____________.

Answers to Questions:
1.God is the only real God, the only One who is alive, unlike all false gods.

2. Elijah is making it clear that he is in service to God, the King of All, not the king of one country.  He is a royal ambassador, a court messenger, from the Heavenly Kingdom to an earthly kingdom.

3. By denying rain, God and Elijah are denying Baal’s power to provide rain and proving God’s.  God is the One All-Powerful, not like the many gods of the Canaanites, who have to share duties and power.

4. Life and survival are not the most important things to God.  What is important to God is that His people have a right relationship with Him.  God is willing to do something big like this in order to get their attention.

5. Miracle one: No dew or rain.  God has complete control over the natural world.  He is sovereign.
Miracle two: Ravens feed Elijah.  Again God has control over the natural world, even animate creatures.  God will provide for those who do His will.
Miracle three: God speaks to Elijah.  God speaking to man is a miracle.  In this passage, He speaks to Elijah directly and He speaks to us through His Word.

6. The Bible is usually very specific in terms of geographic locations and times in order to more fully prove its historical veracity.

Answers to Application:
1. God is sovereign.  He is in control of everything.

2. I can trust God to provide for me if I obey Him.

3. God speaks to man everyday.  All I have to do is listen.

Review Questions:
1. What prophet is this story about?  Elijah
2. What town was Elijah from?  Tishbe
3. Who was the King of Israel at this time?  Ahab.
4. What did Elijah say that there would not be any of?  Rain or dew
5. What false god was Ahab worshipping?  Baal
6. What did God order to feed Elijah?  Ravens
7. Was this story historically true or is it just a story with a moral to it?  It’s true.

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