READ: from 1 Kings 16 and 17 (Discussion, Activity and Prayer from The Family Bible Devotional)
Ahab son of Omri began to rule over Israel in the thirty-eighth year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twenty-two years. But Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, even more than any of the kings before him…. He did more to provoke the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than any of the other kings of Israel before him…
Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!”
Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”
So Elijah did as the Lord told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land.
Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go and live in the village of Zarephath… I have instructed a widow there to feed you.”
So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”
But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”
But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”
So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.
DISCUSS (Inspired from the Family Bible Devotional):
- Why do you think God sent Elijah into hiding after he told Ahab about the drought?
- How does God provide for Elijah? How does God provide for the widow?
- This story has examples of good and bad leadership. Ahab is called one of the most evil kings in Israel. Elijah is one of God’s prophets who stands up and speaks the truth, even when his life is in danger. As followers of Jesus, we believe that God is the ultimate authority over nations. Whether ruled by good kings or bad kings, we are called to stand up for the weak and oppressed. Can you think of people you know who are doing this? Can you think of ways you and your family are doing this, or could do this?
- Is there anything that confuses you about this story? Now is a great time to ask!
- Pay it forward: Talk about times you have been unexpectedly blessed by someone else’s kindness or actions. What difference did it make for you? Think of something you can do to make a difference through a random act of kindness, or an intentional gift or helping hand to someone who could use a blessings.
- Helping Hands Day Today! One great way to share a blessing is to join our Helping Hands Day after worship this Sunday, Oct. 25th. We’ll gather at the church at 12noon and break up into groups to lend helping hands to anyone who can use one! Some groups will help with clean-up, others with babysitting, and much more. Please come by the church and/or reach out to Pastor Amy for more information.
- Scratch Paper Art: Find the black Scratch paper in this packet. We can remember how things felt really dark and scary for the widow, and then Elijah came and showed the widow God’s promise and care. Use a coin, chopstick, or edge of a pen or pencil to scratch a picture on the dark paper (maybe a raven!). See how a rainbow shines through. Rainbows are a sign of God’s promise and love.
PRAY : Go around your family and share one thing you are grateful for; and at least one thing or person you would like to remember in prayer this week. OR
Share this prayer (from the Family Bible Devotional): Elijah shows us how we can cry out to God and question what’s happening around us. If you have questions about something that’s happening in your world, ask God about it, and pray that God would give an answer. Pray for the leaders of your country to rule as people who love God and love their neighbors.