Numbers 23:19a, ESV

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.


1 Kings 16:29-33, NIrV

29 Ahab became king of Israel. It was in the 38th year that Asa was king of Judah. Ahab ruled over Israel in Samaria for 22 years. He was the son of Omri. 30 Ahab, the son of Omri, did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did more evil things than any of the kings who had ruled before him. 31 He thought it was only a small thing to commit the sins Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, had committed. Ahab also married Jezebel. She was Ethbaal’s daughter. Ethbaal was king of the people of Sidon. Ahab began to serve the god named Baal and worship him. 32 He set up an altar to honor Baal. He set it up in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made a pole used to worship the female god named Asherah. He made the Lord very angry. Ahab did more to make him angry than all the kings of Israel had done before him. The Lord is the God of Israel.


About 50 years had gone by since the one nation of Israel split into two half-kingdoms. Down south was the kingdom of Judah, ruled by the sons of King David. The kingdom of Israel was up in the north. Their first six kings were bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, and (surprise!) bad. But king #7, Ahab, won the prize for Worst King of All! And his queen, Jezebel, was just as bad as her husband. Her dad was a priest for the pretend god Baal. Instead of leading their people to worship the One True God, this evil king-and-queen combo built brand new places to worship made-up gods like Baal and Asherah.

+ What did Ahab build for the pretend god Baal? (vs. 32)

+ How did God feel about what Ahab did? (vs. 33)


1 Kings 17:1, NIrV

1 Elijah was from Tishbe in the land of Gilead. He said to Ahab, “I serve the Lord. He is the God of Israel. You can be sure that he lives. And you can be just as sure that there won’t be any dew or rain on the whole land. There won’t be any during the next few years. It won’t come until I say so.”


Elijah was a prophet. His job was to hear messages from God and speak them to the people. God had an important message for Elijah to deliver to evil King Ahab: "As sure as Israel's God lives, it won't rain a single drop until I say so." What a crazy thing to say. Rain clouds don't listen to people! But they do listen to the God who made them! Why did God have Elijah make such a speech to the king? To make Ahab’s “god” Baal look silly! Baal worshipers, like Ahab and Jezebel, thought Baal was the one who sent rain on the earth. By stopping all the rain, God would make their god look like a wimp!

+ Elijah was God’s prophet. What was the job of a prophet?

+ Why would a drought (when it doesn’t rain for a long time) make Baal look weak?


1 Kings 17:2-6, NIrV

2 Then a message came to Elijah from the Lord. He said, 3 “Leave this place. Go east and hide in the Kerith Valley. It is east of the Jordan River. 4 You will drink water from the brook. I have directed some ravens to supply you with food there.”

5 So Elijah did what the Lord had told him to do. He went to the Kerith Valley. It was east of the Jordan River. He stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning. They also brought him bread and meat in the evening. He drank water from the brook.


After Elijah delivered God’s message to the king, not a single drop of rain fell in Israel for years. Because the drought was making Baal look like a loser, Ahab wanted Elijah dead. But God guided his prophet to a hiding spot out east. Elijah hid near a brook, a small stream of water he could drink from. Since there were no towns or grocery stores near this secret hideout, God used a unique delivery service to bring food to his prophet. Normally, it would be a bad idea to hire ravens to deliver groceries. But twice a day, God's bird-workers dropped off bread and meat for Elijah to eat.

+ Who was Elijah hiding from? Why was he hiding?

+ Why didn’t the ravens just eat the bread and meat themselves? (vs. 4)


1 Kings 17:7-12, NIRV

7 Some time later the brook dried up. It hadn’t rained in the land for quite a while. 8 A message came to Elijah from the Lord. He said, 9 “Go right away to Zarephath in the region of Sidon. Stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So Elijah went to Zarephath. He came to the town gate. A widow was there gathering sticks. He called out to her. He asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar? I need a drink.” 11 She went to get the water. Then he called out to her, “Please bring me a piece of bread too.”

12 “I don’t have any bread,” she replied. “And that’s just as sure as the Lord your God is alive. All I have is a small amount of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I’m gathering a few sticks to take home. I’ll make one last meal for myself and my son. We’ll eat it. After that, we’ll die.”


With no rain for months on end, Elijah’s personal drinking fountain (the stream) dried up. So God sent him to away live with a widow, a woman whose husband had died. Like he had commanded ravens to feed Elijah, God now commanded this widow to do the same thing. But there was a huge problem. When Elijah asked her for a bite to eat, the woman said, “Because of the drought, we have almost nothing left. I’m going to make one last loaf of bread. I’ll eat it with my son. Then, we’ll wait until we starve to death.” How could this poor widow feed Elijah if she couldn’t even feed her own son?

+ Why did the woman have so little food?

+ Why did the woman think she and her son were about to die? (vs. 12)


1 Kings 17:12-16, NIRV

12 “I don’t have any bread,” she replied. “And that’s just as sure as the Lord your God is alive. All I have is a small amount of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I’m gathering a few sticks to take home. I’ll make one last meal for myself and my son. We’ll eat it. After that, we’ll die.”

13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home. Do what you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me. Make it out of what you have. Bring it to me. Then make some for yourself and your son. 14 The Lord is the God of Israel. He says, ‘The jar of flour will not be used up. The jug will always have oil in it. You will have flour and oil until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’ ”

15 She went away and did what Elijah had told her to do. So Elijah had food every day. There was also food for the woman and her family. 16 The jar of flour wasn’t used up. The jug always had oil in it. That’s what the Lord had said would happen. He had spoken that message through Elijah.


What if you had a never-ending box of cereal? No matter how many bowls you poured, the box would never run out! That’s what Elijah said God would do to the widow’s jars of flour and oil. No matter how many times she scooped flour or poured oil to make bread dough, her jars would never run out. Though Elijah’s message seemed too good to be true, the widow had faith. She believed that God would do what his prophet promised. Instead of keeping her little bit of flour and oil for herself, she baked bread to feed Elijah. And day after day, God miraculously kept her jars from running out!

+ What did Elijah tell the widow to do? (vs. 13)

+ Why did the jars of flour and oil never run out? (vs. 16)


1 Kings 17:17-24, NIRV

17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. He got worse and worse. Finally he stopped breathing. 18 The woman said to Elijah, “You are a man of God. What do you have against me? Did you come to bring my sin out into the open? Did you come to kill my son?”

19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms. He carried him to the upstairs room where he was staying. He put him down on his bed. 20 Then Elijah cried out to the Lord. He said, “Lord my God, I’m staying with this widow. Have you brought pain and sorrow even to her? Have you caused her son to die?” 21 Then he lay down on the boy three times. He cried out to the Lord. He said, “Lord my God, give this boy’s life back to him!”

22 The Lord answered Elijah’s prayer. He gave the boy’s life back to him. So the boy lived. 23 Elijah picked up the boy. He carried him down from the upstairs room into the house. He gave him to his mother. He said, “Look! Your son is alive!”

24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God. I know that the message you have brought from the Lord is true.”


By giving her never-ending jars of flour and oil, God miraculously saved the widow and her son from starving to death. So it seems strange that, some time later, God allowed her son to become so sick that he died. Why would God rescue them from running out of food, but then let this terrible thing happen? This was a question both Elijah and the widow wanted an answer to.

Even though things looked bad, Elijah had faith in the Lord God. After all, he had seen God do lots of things that shouldn’t be possible. He had seen God stop the rain. He had seen God use ravens to deliver him breakfast and dinner. And he had seen God miraculously keep the widow’s jars from ever going empty. If God could do those things, he could also make the widow’s son alive again.

Elijah stretched out onto the dead boy, then prayed for God to do the impossible. God listened his prophet’s prayer and, amazingly, the boy began to breathe! After seeing miracles of never-ending bread and raising the dead, the widow believed that Elijah was truly a prophet who spoke God’s words.

Earlier this week, we met awful King Ahab. With his wicked wife Jezebel, he worshiped Baal. They foolishly believed that their “god” was in charge of sending rain down upon the earth and making their plants grow. But God sent his prophet Elijah to tell awful Ahab, “It won’t rain until I say so.” This long drought made it clear to Ahab: the Lord was the one true God and Baal was nothing but a worthless wimp!

Baal worshipers also believed their god had to do battle, year after year, with another “god”: Mot, the god of death. If Baal defeated Mot, he would send rain from the sky so their plants and crops would grow. But if Mot, god of death, defeated Baal, there would be a drought. No rain would fall and no crops would grow.

Since there was a drought all across the land, Baal’s worshipers believed that their god had been defeated by Mot. However, you and I (and Elijah) know that wasn’t true. The Lord God, not Mot, was the one who stopped the rain. God’s years-long drought made Baal look like a loser in his battle with Mot.

By closing the rain clouds, God showed Ahab that he, not Baal, was the only one in charge of the rain. And by raising the widow’s son from the dead, God showed that he, not Mot, was the one with power over death. In the same way, when God’s Son Jesus came to earth, he proved his power over the weather by calming a wild storm. And he showed his power over death by dying on a cross, then raising himself back to life!

+ How many times did Elijah stretch onto the boy and cry out to God? (vs. 21)

+ What are some ways God showed his power in chapter 17 of 1 Kings? (vs. 1,4,14, & 22)

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