This week, we continue in the big story of the Bible by learning about the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. 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). The things that Ahab did made God angry. 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 the false gods 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. Each group prepared a bull on an altar and called on its 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 prophets could not deny that the God of Elijah is the one true God, and God sent a great rain to end the drought.
The people who worshiped the false god Baal danced and cried and cut their bodies to show that they loved Baal. But the one true God is not like the false gods. Instead, He showed His love for us by sending His Son, Jesus. Jesus bled and died to rescue us from sin when we trust in Him.
Help your kids understand that God is an initiating God. We love God because He first loved us, which He proved by providing Jesus. Only God—the one true God—has power to help His people and to save them. And He saves them through His Son, Jesus, whose name means “the Lord saves.”
Check this session’s Activity Page as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
● Babies and Toddlers
- There is one true God.
- Elijah showed the people God’s power.
- God hears His people when we pray.
- Jesus is powerful because He is God’s Son.
- How many gods are there? There is one true God.
- God defeated the prophets of Baal.
- How many gods are there? There is one true God who alone deserves worship.
- The one true God defeated the prophets of Baal.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
● Hebrews 1:1-2
● “Elijah Ran from Jezebel” (1 Kings 19)