Saturday, June 14, 2014

Elijah and the Widow Sunday School Lesson - God Provides for Elijah and Brings a Dead Boy Back to Life

Use this Elijah and the Widow Sunday School lesson to teach kids about God's help and the need to pray for others.

Needed: Bibles, (optional: a bowl with some flour, man doll, a woman doll, a baby doll, a bird toy. You could also use paper cut-outs for the dolls.)          

Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and answer the questions before clarifying the teaching.)

Last time, we learned about how King Solomon died and his son, Rehoboam, made a big mistake. Does anyone remember what King Rehoboam did? (He wouldn’t listen to the people of Israel when they asked him to let them work less hard. He told the people he was going to make them work harder.)

So most of the people of Israel wouldn’t let Rehoboam be their king. They started a new country of Israel and made a man named Jeroboam their king. But Jeroboam made a big mistake too. Does anyone remember what bad thing Jeroboam did? (He made fake gods for the people to worship.)

So the people of Israel had two kingdoms, Judah and the new country of Israel, and both kingdoms had bad kings.

Today, we’re going to learn about how God started sending prophets to deal with those bad kings.

(Read 1 Kings 16:29-17:24  with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)

Summary Story:

(Use the dolls to act out the story as you narrate.)

Years passed and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah had bad king after bad king. These kings kept believing in fake gods and not just the real God, and they kept doing bad things. Every time, God would send prophets to the kings to try to tell them to believe in the real God and do stop doing their bad things. One of those prophets was a man named Elijah.

Elijah was a prophet in the kingdom of Israel during the time of King Ahab. King Ahab was the worst king Israel had ever had. He worshiped fake gods and did a lot of bad things.

One day, Elijah said to King Ahab, “King Ahab, God says that He won’t let it rain in Israel any more until you start to believe in Him and do the right things.”

King Ahab was very mad at the prophet Elijah for saying this so God told Elijah to go hide in the desert by a river so that King Ahab couldn’t find him and kill him.

Elijah stayed by the river for a long time. He drank from the river and God had the birds fly and bring Elijah meat and bread every day for his food.

How would you like to have birds fly and bring you your food like that?

But then the river dried up because God hadn’t let it rain, so God told Elijah to go to the town of Zarephath.

When Elijah walked up to the town of Zarephath, he saw a woman picking up sticks. He said, “Could you please give me a drink of water? And some bread?”

Would you give Elijah some bread and water?

But the woman answered. “Sir, I don’t have any bread. I’m very poor. I’m gathering some sticks to make a fire. Then, I’m going to go home and bake the last loaf of bread I have ingredients for. My son and I are going to eat and then we’re going to die because we don’t have any money to buy any more food.”

(Show the students the bowl of flour and ask) How much bread do you think the woman could make with this? Not very much, right? And that's all the food she has left! She doesn't have any more food for her and her son and she doesn't have any money to buy more!

Elijah said, “Don’t be afraid. Go ahead and bake the bread for you and your son, but first, bake me a loaf of bread. Because God says that you will not run out of ingredients until He lets it rain again.”

The woman believed in God and she did what Elijah said. She baked him a loaf of bread, but then she still had enough ingredients leftover to bake her and her son’s bread. The next day, she still had enough ingredients to make more bread. The same thing kept happening every day, just like Elijah had said. The woman never ran out of ingredients.

How do you think the woman never ran out of ingredients? (God kept giving her new ingredients to make her bread.)

So Elijah lived with the woman and her son and God kept giving them food to eat.

But a little while later, the woman’s son died. Elijah took the son and carried him upstairs to his room and put him on the bed. Elijah prayed to God, asking God to bring the son back to life.

Do you think will make the son come back to life?

Elijah laid down on top of the son and kept praying for God to bring him back to life. After a few seconds, God answered Elijah’s prayer and the boy came back to life!

And because of everything that God and Elijah did for the woman and her son, they believed in God.

Review Questions:

Why did Elijah say that God wasn’t going to let it rain in Israel? (Because king Ahab was doing bad things. God said it would only rain again when Ahab started to believe in Him and do the right things.)

How did Elijah get food when he was hiding by the river? (God told the birds to bring him food.)

How did Elijah get food when he was living with the poor woman and her son? (God kept giving them new ingredients to make bread so they wouldn’t run out.)

Do you think God could help give you food like that? (Yes.)

God helps us in all kinds of different ways, but He does give us what we need.

What did Elijah do to make the woman’s son come back to life? (He prayed for God to help the son.)

Do you think you could pray for God to help other people? (Yes.)

God likes it when we pray for other people. He doesn’t always do everything we ask Him to, like He helped the son when Elijah asked Him to, but He does like it when we pray.

Find more Sunday School lesson ideas on our Free Children Sunday School Lesson Helps page.
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