“June 27–July 3. 1 Kings 17–19: ‘If the Lord Be God, Follow Him,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 (2021)
“June 27–July 3. 1 Kings 17–19,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2022
Record Your Impressions
The house of Israel was in disarray. The unity and prosperity achieved under David and Solomon were long past, and the nation’s covenant relationship with the Lord was, for many people, a distant memory. The Kingdom of Israel had divided, with ten tribes forming the Northern Kingdom of Israel and two tribes forming the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Both kingdoms were unstable spiritually, led by kings who violated their covenants with the Lord and influenced others to do likewise (see 1 Kings 11–16). But the apostasy was especially severe in the Northern Kingdom, where King Ahab encouraged Israel to worship the false god Baal.
It was in this setting that the prophet Elijah was called to preach. The account of his ministry makes clear that personal faith in the Lord can thrive among the righteous even in a wicked environment. Sometimes the Lord responds to such faith with impressive, public miracles, like fire falling from heaven. But He also works quiet, private miracles, like meeting the personal needs of a faithful widow and her son. And most often His miracles are so individual that they are known only to you—for example, when the Lord reveals Himself and His will through “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12).
For more about Elijah, see “Elijah” in the Bible Dictionary.
At first it might seem hard to understand why the prophet Elijah asked the widow in Zarephath to give him food and water before feeding herself and her starving son. But Elijah’s request could also be seen as a blessing for this small family. They needed the Lord’s blessings, and sacrifice often brings blessings—including the blessing of stronger faith.
As you read this story, put yourself in the place of this remarkable widow. What impresses you about her? Consider the opportunities you have to exercise your faith—including opportunities to sacrifice. How can you be more like this widow?
The Israelites may have felt they had good reasons to worship Baal despite the Lord’s command, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Baal was known as the god of storms and rain, and after three years of drought, they desperately needed a storm. And Baal worship was socially accepted and endorsed by the king and queen. As you read 1 Kings 18, consider any situations in your life that could be compared to the situation the Israelites were in. Do you ever find yourself indecisive about following the Lord because the alternatives seem reasonable and compelling? (see 1 Kings 18:21). In the events found in this chapter, what do you think the Lord was trying to teach the people about Himself and about Baal? What experiences have taught you similar truths?
It might be interesting to note things Elijah said and did in this chapter that demonstrate his faith in the Lord. What do you learn from Elijah about faith?
When Queen Jezebel heard about what had happened to her priests on Mount Carmel, she wasn’t converted—she was enraged. Fearing for his life, Elijah fled to the wilderness and sought refuge in a cave. There, struggling with loneliness and discouragement, he had an experience with the Lord that was very different from what had happened on Mount Carmel. What does Elijah’s experience in 1 Kings 19:1–18 teach you about how the Lord communicates with you in your times of need? Ponder times in your life when you have experienced His voice. What do you need to do to receive His guidance more often?
The fact that Elisha owned 12 yoke of oxen indicates he was probably a wealthy man. What impresses you about his actions recorded in 1 Kings 19:19–21? How can you follow Elisha’s example?
See also Matthew 4:18–22.
1 Kings 17:1–16.
The video “Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) and the picture in this outline could help your family visualize the account in 1 Kings 17:1–16. After reading the verses and looking at these resources, each family member could list inspiring qualities the widow had. What is the Lord asking us to do to demonstrate our faith?
1 Kings 18.
“Elijah and the Priests of Baal” (in Old Testament Stories) can help your family learn the story in 1 Kings 18. Are there things that are keeping us from being fully committed to the Lord? How can we show our willingness to choose Him? (see verse 21).
1 Kings 19:11–12.
What would help your family understand the importance of listening to the “still small voice”? You could read 1 Kings 19:11–12 together in a soft voice or quietly sing a song about the Spirit, such as “The Holy Ghost” (Children’s Songbook, 105). You might add some distracting noises to illustrate how Satan tries to keep us from hearing the still, small voice. Family members could share what they do to be sensitive to promptings of the Spirit.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “The Holy Ghost,” Children’s Songbook, 105.