Elijah at Mount Carmel
1 Kings 18-19
“I am the Lord… I will not give my glory to another.” Isaiah 42:8
King Ahab was an evil king. In fact, “Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him” (1 Kings 16:33). God wanted His people to be faithful to Him, but King Ahab led them away from God.
God chose Elijah to get Ahab’s attention. In 1 Kings 17, Elijah told Ahab that a drought was coming. God prevented rain in the land for three years. For Ahab, a man who worshiped Baal—the false Canaanite god of rain and fertility—the drought sent a strong message about the one true God.
When God was ready to send rain on the earth, Elijah appeared to Ahab and instructed him to gather the Israelites and the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. Elijah challenged the people to choose: Follow God or follow Baal. They couldn’t do both.
Elijah set up a challenge to prove who is the one true God. He faced off against the prophets of Baal. They prepared a bull on an altar and called on their deity to send fire from heaven. The prophets of Baal called and cried and cut themselves, but Baal did not answer.
Elijah poured water on and around his altar. He called to God, and God sent fire from heaven. Everything was burned up! The Israelites could not deny that the God of Elijah is the one true God. Finally, God sent a great rain to end the drought.
Elijah fled from the wrath of Ahab’s wife, Jezebel. He met with God on a mountain, and God revealed Himself to Elijah in a soft whisper. God gave Elijah a friend and successor in Elisha and assured him of 7,000 people in Israel who had not turned to Baal.
The false god Baal had no power. The people who worshiped the false god Baal danced and cried out for hours to show that they loved Baal. But the one true God is not like the false gods. We do not have to work hard to show God we love Him. Instead, He showed His love for us by sending His Son, Jesus. Jesus died to rescue us from sin, and He hears us when we cry out to Him.As you talk with your kids about the Bible story this week, emphasize that only God—the one true God—has power to help His people and to save them. And He saves them through His Son, Jesus.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
- Elijah set up a contest to show who the one true God is.
- The worshipers of Baal called out to him, but no one answered.
- God showed that He is the one true God by sending fire to Elijah’s altar.
KEY PASSAGE: Isaiah 42:8
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- How many gods are there? There is one true God.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- How did God show that He is the one true God?
- How is the one true God different from false gods?
- How did God show His love for us?
- Invite a few families over to roast marshmallows around a fire pit while you review the Bible story.
- Read a few stories from the New Testament of Jesus’ power over creation such as Jesus’ walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33), calming the storm (Mark 4:35-41), or feeding the five thousand (John 6:1-14). Talk about how Jesus showed He is God the Son.