Elijah vs. the Prophets of Baal
Worshiping the one true God
A blue ribbon that could be given as a prize.
Scripture: When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!” 1 Kings 18:39
Ask: Have you ever entered a contest? What kind of contest was it? (Give the children time to respond.)
Say: There are many types of contests. For example, we might pass out the coloring page that goes with today's Bible lesson and have a contest to see who can color it the best. We might even give a blue ribbon like this one to the person who wins the contest. (Show them the ribbon.)
Say: Our Bible lesson today is about a contest between a prophet of God named Elijah and the prophets who served a false god by the name of Baal.
Ask: Why did Elijah have a contest with the prophets of Baal? During the time of Elijah, there was a King in Israel by the name of Ahab. King Ahab was an evil King. He was so evil that he would kill someone just so he could take their land. Ahab did not love God or worship him and because of that, many of the people of Israel were led away from the worship of the true God.
Say: God told his prophet Elijah to go and face up to Ahab. So Elijah went to see Ahab and he offered him a challenge. “Let’s have a contest," he said. "Each of us will build an altar and prepare a sacrifice and place it on an altar. Then you will ask your god to set fire to your sacrifice. I will ask my God to set fire to my sacrifice—and we’ll see who wins.”
Ask: Who do you think won that contest?
Say: You are right! The prophets of Baal called on their god for hour after hour but there was no answer. They shouted all afternoon but still there was no reply. There was no response from their god.
Say: When it was Elijah's turn, he walked up to the altar and prayed, "O Lord, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant." Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the sacrifice that Elijah had placed on the altar! When the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”
Ask: What do you think we should learn from the encounter between Elijah and the prophets of Baal?
Say: We should learn that when it comes to choosing which God we should serve, it is no contest!
Let us pray.
Lord God, help us to see, as Elijah demonstrated, that you are the one, true God. May we always serve you and follow your commands. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.