“Lesson 95: 1 Kings 17,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)
“Lesson 95,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
Because King Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, established the worship of Baal throughout the Northern Kingdom, the prophet Elijah sealed the heavens, causing years of drought. The Lord preserved Elijah and eventually led him to a widow in Zarephath, who fed him for many days. Elijah raised the widow’s son from the dead.
Write the following question on the board: What are some choices the Lord and His prophets have asked you to make that require you to exercise faith?
You may want to discuss this question as a class and have students write their responses on the board. Or you may want to divide them into small groups and ask them to discuss their answers. (Answers may include paying tithing, living the standards of the Church [such as those outlined in For the Strength of Youth], and preparing for missionary service.) You may want to share an experience when you faced a decision in which you had to choose whether or not to act in faith.
Invite students to look for principles as they study 1 Kings 17 that can help them understand the blessings they will receive as they make righteous choices with faith.
Remind students that Ahab became the king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and married Jezebel, a Phoenician princess, outside of the covenant. She was a devoted follower of Baal—a false god commonly worshipped among the Canaanites. Together Ahab and Jezebel promoted idol worship in the Northern Kingdom of Israel (see 1 Kings 16:30–33; see also Bible Dictionary, “Jezebel”).
Explain that during this time the Lord sent a prophet named Elijah to deliver a message to King Ahab. Elijah held the sealing power of the Melchizedek Priesthood, “by which things that are bound or loosed on earth are bound or loosed in heaven (D&C 128:8–18)” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Elijah”; scriptures.lds.org).
Invite a student to read 1 Kings 17:1 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Elijah said to Ahab.
In your own words, how would you summarize what Elijah said to Ahab?
Point out that Ahab and others who worshipped Baal claimed that Baal—rather than the Lord—had power over the weather.
What purposes do you think the Lord may have had in sending Elijah to tell Ahab that it would not rain until Elijah said so? (It would provide evidence of the Lord’s power and Elijah’s calling as a prophet. A drought might also help to humble Ahab and encourage him and other Israelites who had strayed from the Lord to repent.)
How might a drought throughout the land also affect Elijah?
Invite a student to read 1 Kings 17:2–6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord instructed Elijah to do during the drought.
How was Elijah blessed for following the Lord’s instructions?
Invite a student to read 1 Kings 17:7–9 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and look for what happened next.
Where did the Lord tell Elijah to go after the brook dried up? Why? (You may want to explain that the word sustain in this context means to nourish by providing food.)
Invite a student to read 1 Kings 17:10–12 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened as Elijah obeyed these instructions from the Lord.
What did Elijah ask the widow to do?
Why was the widow hesitant to bring a piece of bread to Elijah?
If you had been in Elijah’s position, how might you have felt after learning about the desperate circumstances of this widow and her son?
Invite a student to read 1 Kings 17:13–14 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and look for how Elijah responded to the woman.
What did Elijah instruct the woman to do?
How would it test the woman’s faith to feed Elijah before she fed her son and herself?
What blessings did the Lord promise to give the woman if she fed Elijah first?
Refer to the question you wrote on the board at the beginning of class and the responses students gave.
How is the choice this woman faced similar to some of the choices the Lord and His prophets have asked us to make?
What might you have done if you had been in the widow’s position? Why?
Invite a student to read 1 Kings 17:15–16 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the woman chose to do.
How did the woman show her faith after listening to what Elijah said?
What blessings did she receive after she acted in faith?
Invite students to identify a principle illustrated by the account of this widow. They may identify a variety of principles, including the following: Before we can receive the Lord’s promised blessings, we must first act in faith. Consider writing this principle on the board.
Why do you think it is important for us to first demonstrate faith before we receive the Lord’s promised blessings?
When have you, or someone you know, acted in faith and experienced the Lord’s blessings as a result?
Invite students to ponder the following question:
Have you ever felt like you were doing your best to exercise faith and obey the words of the Lord and His prophets, but you still experienced challenges in your life?
Explain that after the woman acted in faith on Elijah’s words and received the promised blessings, tragedy struck in her home. Invite a student to read 1 Kings 17:17–18 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened.
What happened to the woman’s son?
How might this event have been a challenge for her faith?
What feelings do you think Elijah might have had when this happened?
Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from 1 Kings 17:19–23. Ask the class to follow along and look for what Elijah did after the boy died.
How did Elijah show his faith in the Lord? What happened next?
Invite a student to read 1 Kings 17:24 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and look for how this experience affected the widow’s faith and testimony.
What did the woman say she now knew after all that she had experienced?
As you consider the woman’s actions and her resulting testimony recorded in 1 Kings 17:24, what principle can we learn about knowing the truth of the Lord’s words? (Students may use different words, but they should identify a principle similar to the following: As we exercise faith in the Lord’s words, we can come to know and testify that His words are true.)
To help students explain, share, and testify of the doctrines and principles they have identified today, invite them to write a two- to three-minute talk using the following outline:
After students have had sufficient time to prepare, you may want to assign them to use their talks to teach one another or invite a few to give their talks to the class. (If there is not time to give their talks during this class, consider asking some students to use their talks as part of class devotionals in the future. You might also encourage them to use their talks during family home evening or in conversations with family members or friends.)
Conclude by testifying of the principles you have discussed. Ask students to ponder what they feel the Lord would have them do to act in faith so they can receive His promised blessings. Invite them to act on the promptings they receive.
Divide the class into groups of four or five. Give each group a six-sided die and a pencil. (If dice are not available, consider adapting the activity by placing six small pieces of paper, each with one of the numbers from 1 to 6 written on it, in an envelope or other container.) Each student will also need a blank piece of paper. Have each group of students sit closely around a table or in a circle. Invite them to open their scriptures to 1 Samuel 16:7 or another mastery passage they are working to memorize. Explain that the object of the activity is to be the first person in the group to write out the passage in its entirety. However, because there is only one pencil per group, only one person in the group can write at a time. A person qualifies to use the pencil by rolling a 1 on the die. Have the members of each group take turns rolling the die (or taking a piece of paper and then returning it). When a person rolls (or selects) a 1, he or she takes the pencil and begins writing, saying aloud each of the words while writing them. Meanwhile, the others in the group take turns rolling the die to qualify to use the pencil. When another student in the group rolls a 1, that person takes the pencil from the previous writer and begins writing the verse on his or her paper while saying the words. The previous writer joins the rest of the group in rolling the die. When students qualify for the pencil and have already written a portion of the verse on their papers, they must read aloud the portion they have written before writing more of the verse. (This provides the repetition that will help students to memorize the verse.) The activity concludes when a student from each of the groups writes the passage in its entirety.
Ask the class to repeat the verse in unison after the activity.