There’s certain Bible figures I really resonate with, and Elijah is one of them. I think we’d get along very well, and I have to admit I like his sense of humor.
Yes, I think there are a lot of places in the Bible you can see God’s sense of humor. This story is one of them.
Sarcastic answer: We can learn how to mouth off to our enemies. Oh wait, I don’t want to teach my kids that (though they picked up on it very well).
We read through the story and I wanted to replicate how I did the Elijah lesson with my Sunday School class a few years ago. My kids wanted to decorate peg dolls to act out the story, so our desires coincided, this time.
We spent a happy hour or so decorating our dolls, my kids lamented the dwindling number of dolls, and I made a note to order more dolls soon. And we started retelling the story.
God called Elijah to confront King Ahab (Yes, Ahab is represented by our Dumbledore from the Harry Potter set) about his sin, in particular worshipping and sacrificing to Baal and told him “There will be no rain until God says so unless you repent.” King Ahab didn’t take too kindly to this, so Elijah ran for his life to the wilderness for his life.
There he was fed by ravens every morning and evening for the next year or so until the brook dried up. Our ravens are represented here by our owls…..
God sent Elijah up to the widow in Zarephath and there he asks her for some bread, and she answers, “I was going to make the last of our flour and oil into a loaf of bread for my son and I to eat, and then lay down to die.”
Elijah tells her it will be well, and they are able to eat their meal, yet the flour and oil is not gone. This continues on for quite sometime until one day her son becomes ill.
She loses faith (I think most of us Moms would at that point), and says “Why did you save us for my son to die?” Elijah went upstairs and prayed to God for wisdom and the boy was healed. As a side note, I’ve always thought the description of how Elijah prayed for the boy sounded rather like CPR.
Finally God told Elijah it was time to confront King Ahab and all of the false prophets. This is where we get into my sense of humor comments.
Elijah graciously let the prophets of Ball go first in lighting their fire, but they were not successful, so he asked if maybe, just maybe their god didn’t hear, so maybe they should shout louder. And they did! At this point I picture Elijah trying not too hard to laugh at them, then he asks if maybe their God is sleeping and it just goes downhill from there. My kids laugh every time we’ve told this story.
Finally Elijah gets started and has them pile up the offering and then pour 12 buckets of water on it. So much that it’s filled the trench he dug around the altar. Then Elijah prays and a column of fire consumes the whole altar, right there: BOOM altar destroyed.
Elijah turns to the Israelites and says “destroy the false prophets,” and the Israelites kill all those false prophets and King Ahab takes off running. That’s when Elijah thinks “Oh crud, what did I just do?” and he takes off running too. Oh, and it starts raining.
That rain is important.
Because the rain probably slowed down Ahab’s chariot and got it stuck in the mud. IN the meantime Elijah ran off to Samaria and talked to Jezebel.
He gives her a bit of bad news, she threatens to kill him, and he runs some more. At this point he’s easily run a full marathon, if not more. And he keeps running because he’s scared she really will kill him. Eventually he just collapses and says “God kill me!” God doesn’t listen, but gets him up to eat and drink and makes him sleep.
Unrelated Geography rant
This is a great example of why geography is important. If you don’t know geography you, don’t understand in this one day Elijah has essentially run from the top of northern Israel down into Judah. He’s tired and emotionally wiped out from the confrontation, but without this information, Elijah just comes off as whiny.
Back to your regularly scheduled Elijah story
Now we get to my favorite part of the story.
Okay, I lie, this is just the favorite part we include in this story. There’s another Elijah story I love even more, but it doesn’t fit thematically.
God led Elijah down to Mount Horeb, and there he rested for 40 days. After Elijah was rested God called him up to the top of the mountain to meet him.
Then a great wind blew up and the trees tossed, and Elijah hid his face from the wind. But God was not in the wind.
An earthquake came and knocked rocks down, Elijah quaked in fear as rocks hurled about him. But God was not in the earthquake.
A fire flared around Elijah, smoke rolled out causing Elijah to cough. But God was not in the fire.
All was quiet and Elijah heard a still small voice. And God was there in that still small voice.
What I learn from Elijah
I’m a lot like Elijah. I like to smart off when it’s not the wisest thing to do. I tend to tilt at windmills, and I like to DO. I want to be active, and I expect God to be there in that business.
I don’t want to stay still.
But that is not always where God is. God is most often seen and found in calmness and the small moments.
I need to work on just being, and waiting for God.
More Elijah activities and resources
Elijah craft collection (the boys were sad we ran out of time to make the ravens)
Elijah and the prophets of Baal
Where is God craft (we did print out this one for Princess)
Buck Denver Asks: What’s in the Bible? Volume Five – Israel Gets a King
(my kids love the Elijah part of this, they laugh their heads off every time)
Get your own Elijah lesson
As always get your own copy of this Elijah lesson by clicking on the picture above OR clicking on Elijah lesson.
See the spectacular way Elijah’s life ends in Elisha, God’s servant.