Bible lessons can be fun and interactive, but still teach important concepts. Use this Elijah and the Prophets of Baal object lesson experience to teach children the power of the One True God.
Scripture Focus: 1 Kings 18
- 1 of each red and yellow plastic table cloth
- Backdrop (a large refrigerator box, or I used a photography backdrop at my church)
- an adult to hide behind the backdrop
- Children volunteers to help act out the story [If you have a small group, reuse volunteers.]
Geography: Israel; Samaria; Mount Carmel
Background: The nation of Israel divided after Solomon’s death. There was a northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. The kingdom of Israel had no kings who walked in the ways of the Lord. Consequently, the people started worshiping idols. During these years, God sent prophets to warn the people to repent and turn back to God.
Preparation: Cut the table clothes, length-wise, into 4-5 inch strips, but do not cut all the way across. Leave about 6-7 inches uncut. Place the table clothes on top of each other with the uncut areas on top of each other. All of the strips should be in the same direction. Fan fold, or mountain fold, the uncut portion of the tables clothes across the width. Bundle it slightly and use the tape to create a handle. You should have a huge Pom-pom.
Place the backdrop so the children will sit in front of it. Have your helper hide behind the backdrop so the children cannot see them. Tell your helper that when you say, “And after Elijah prayed, FIRE came down from heaven,” he is to then flip the strips of “FIRE” over the backdrop.
Elijah and the Prophets of Baal Object and Bible Lesson:
[Explain to the children to “BOO” when they hear the names of King Ahab or Queen Jezebel. Be sure to tell them to have self-control while they do this or they will have to stop.]
There was a famine in the land of Israel. King Ahab [BOO!] and Queen Jezebel [BOO!] ruled. Because of Queen Jezebel [BOO!], the worship of Baal was common among the people.
The Lord told Elijah to tell King Ahab [BOO!] to gather all of the people of Israel at Mount Carmel. Not only was King Ahab [BOO!] to gather the people, but he was to gather 450 prophets of Baal and 400 other prophets that ate at Jezebel’s [BOO!] table.
Ahab [BOO!] did as he was told. All of the people and the prophets went to Mount Carmel to see Elijah.
Elijah asked the people, “How long are you going to choose both idols and the One True God? If you are going to follow God, then follow Him. If you are going to follow idols, then follow them.”
The people were silent.
Elijah cried out, “I am one prophet for God. Here are 450 prophets of Baal. Let’s see who is more powerful.”
Elijah directed the prophets of Baal to choose a bull, put it on wood, but not light the fire. They were to call on the name of their gods to light the sacrifice. Elijah would do the same and whichever sacrifice was lit, that would be the One True God.
The prophets of Baal prepared the bull, put it on the wood and began to do their ritual worship. From morning until noon there was no fire, no voice, no answer.
Elijah began to poke fun at the priests. He asked them if their god was asleep or on vacation.
The prophets leaped around the sacrifice, cried with loud voices, and cut themselves with knives.
Evening came. No fire, no voice, no answer.
Then it was Elijah’s turn.
[Choose 3 children to help you “build” a pretend altar in front of your back drop.]
Elijah rebuilt an altar to God using 12 stones. Each stone represented the 12 tribes of Israel.
[Choose 3 children to help you “dig” a trench around the altar.]
Elijah then dug a trench all around the altar.
[Choose 3 children to help you cut and place wood on the altar.]
He also placed the sacrificed bull on top of the wood.
[Choose 4 children to help you “pour water” over the bull, wood, altar, and trench.]
Elijah asked for 4 water pots to be filled with water and poured over all of the sacrifice, wood, and the altar.
Then he had them do this a second time.
And a third time.
And then he made sure the trench was filled with water.
Water was everywhere! The sacrifice was soaked. The wood was soaked. The trench was full of water.
Then Elijah spoke, “Hear Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Let it be known today that You are the One True God. Let these people know that You are God.”
After Elijah finished praying, FIRE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN!
[The volunteer should toss the “fire” over the backdrop.]
The fire burned up the wet sacrifice, the wet wood, the wet stones, the wet ground, and the water in the trench!!
When the people saw this they cried out, “The Lord! He is God!”
Then Elijah told the people to seize all of the prophets of Baal and Elijah had them executed.
Life Application for Elijah and the Prophets of Baal:
- What did Elijah tell the people to choose? [Either serve God or serve idols]
- The idols the Israelites served were made from wood and metal. What are examples of idols people might have today? [Allow for answers, money, people, good grades, video games, sports, etc, anything that takes the place of God in our lives]
- Can any of those man-made items save you from your sins? [No]
- Is there a God who can save you? [Yes]
- Is there anything wrong with playing video or ball games, or having a nice car or clothes? [No]
No, but when you focus on those things MORE than God, then you have a problem. What, or WHO, is going to be your God? You can’t serve God and money, and games, and school.
- How can you make sure your focus stays on God first and foremost? [Allow for answers. They will probably stick with “churchy” answers like go to church and read your Bible. Try to get them to think of every day things that get in the way such as choosing to watch TV, or read a book, before spending time with God in the Bible. Maybe being on a ball team that causes you to have practice or games so frequently that you miss church. Being too tired to have a family Bible time at home or praying before bed. What do they spend their money on? Etc.]
What can we learn from Elijah and the prophets or Baal? There is only One True God and He wants you to see Him as first in your life. He wants your heart. Choose today whom you will serve…and serve wholeheartedly.
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