Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath
Summary: Through watching about 15 minutes of an animated video from Nest the children will learn about the life of Elijah. They will see how Elijah learned from his experiences to fully trust God and trust in his own relationship with God and how the widow of Zarephath came to have faith in God.
Story: 1 Kings 17
Key/Memory Verse: 1 Kings 17:24 (NLT)
Objectives for Cinema Workshop
Participants will be able to:
- Find the story of Elijah in the Old Testament of the Bible
- Understand that Elijah's time away hiding was a time to strengthen his trust in God.
- Contrast Elijah and the woman's view of God at different points in the story. How did Elijah help the widow come to know God? Compare this to our own experiences in helping people come to know God
Read the Bible Background
- Computer with Internet access
- Easel with paper
- Video: The Animated Stories from the Bible: Elijah (Nest Family Entertainment, )
Advance Preparation Requirements
For younger students, go to the web site http://www.bibleforchildren.org/
Choose English from the list of languages. Then scroll down and click on “story” next to “The Man of Fire.” This will download a PDF file of the story to tell.
Make sure you know how to use the TV/VCR.
Cue the video to the starting point: after Caleb comes to warn Elijah, when the temple is shown (about 1:33 minutes into the video).
Write the memory verse on a piece of easel paper.
Make a “Things to listen for” list. Include these items: Ahab, Jezebel, and Elijah. Next to each of these items, draw stick figures to help the non-readers. Examples: draw a stick figure of a king with a crown for Ahab, a queen for Jezebel, and a stick figure with a chest sword for Elijah -- like the Elijah in the video.
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Cinema Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.
Say: Today we will learn about the prophet Elijah. We will talk about trusting God.
Let’s begin with prayer. Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. A suggestion: “Dear God, We are thankful to be here today. Help us to be open to your word. Help us to learn to trust you. Amen.
Say: Our story is found in a book of the Bible called First Kings.
Ask: Where do you suppose we would find this book in the Bible? (Old Testament)
Why is the Bible divided into two testaments? (New Testament was written after Jesus was on earth; the Old Testament is the Bible that Jesus learned when he was a child)
For 1st and 2nd graders: Read them the story on pages 3-11 of the downloaded Bible story “The Man of Fire.”
For 3rd grade and up:
Say: Besides being divided into two testaments, the 66 books in the Bible are further divided into collections. We say that the book of First Kings is part of a collection of Bible books called “History.” These books tell of the interaction of God with people in history. These stories happened thousands of years ago.
Distribute Bibles if needed. Encourage everyone to bring his or her Bible every week.
Have them find the story in 1 Kings, chapter 17, verses 1-24.
Have the students take turns reading the verses.
Note: After the second week of the Rotation the students will become more familiar with the story. Have them locate the Scripture in their Bibles. Then ask them to tell you the story. Fill in any missing details by using their Bibles.
For all students:
Say: Let’s take a look at what we are going to see in our video.
Refer to the “Things to listen for” poster. Introduce the characters in the story.
Make sure that the students understand the following two concepts:
The God of Israel: our God; the God of the people of Israel.
Baal: a false god; Baal was the god of weather, supposedly determining when it would rain.
Show the Video:
START the video at the designated place after Caleb comes to warn Elijah (see “Advance Preparation” above).
POINT OUT King Ahab. Don’t stop the action, just point out the character.
POINT OUT Elijah (when he comes into the temple).
PAUSE after Elijah runs away after his “conversation” with God (at 5:32).
A note about pausing a video: Use the PAUSE button. It's your most powerful video teaching tool.
Ask: Elijah toppled some statues. Did that part happen in the Bible? (no)
Say: Sometimes videos are made with extra parts in them that are not from the Bible. It is good for us to notice when something has been added to our Bible story.
Ask: Did Elijah really want to run away to hide? (no)
Say: Elijah didn’t want to run away. He wanted to face Ahab and put an end to his wickedness. But Elijah did as God commanded.
VIEW scene of about 2 minutes 20 seconds. PAUSE after Elijah is fed by ravens, when the temple is shown again (at 7:50).
Ask: What stored supplies did Elijah have? (none) Show this portion again if the kids didn’t see it. Don't be afraid to view an important scene a second time.
Who brought Elijah food? (ravens, a type of bird)
What did Elijah say to God? (thanks, but how much longer Lord? Let me return to finish what I’ve started)
What is a prophet? (a messenger of God)
Say: As messengers of God, the prophets really wanted to be able to deliver God’s word! But notice how Elijah waits patiently for God.
VIEW scene of about 2 minutes 15 seconds. PAUSE after the “play” (at 10:05).
Ask: Was that play a part of our Bible story? (no)
What do you think of their belief in Baal? (accept all answers)
VIEW scene of about 1 minute 30 seconds. PAUSE after God tells Elijah to go to Zarephath, when the house appears (at 11:38).
Ask: Why did Elijah need to leave? (because God told him to, because the stream had dried up)
Where did God tell Elijah to go? (to Zarephath)
Was Elijah willing to go? (yes, but he still is anxious to be able to help his people)
Say: Elijah is wondering what God’s plans are. But by going to Zarephath Elijah shows that he really is willing to trust God.
VIEW scene of about 2 minutes 10 seconds. PAUSE after the miracle occurs and the woman thanks Elijah for the food (at 13:50).
Ask: What just happened? (Elijah had said feed me first and your flour and oil will not run out and it didn’t!)
VIEW scene of about 3 minutes. STOP after Elijah leaves and the voice says, “Your work here is done” (at 16:45).
Ask: What miracle just occurred? (the boy was raised from the dead)
Ask: What do you suppose that Elijah learned from God? (about waiting for God, for his timing, to learn to trust God)
What about the woman, what do you suppose she learned about God?
Did she know who God was when Elijah first met her?
Say: The woman likely knew who God was but it doesn’t seem like she had a close, personal relationship with God like Elijah did.
Ask: How does this story, of the woman’s relationship with God, remind you of the story of your relationship to God?
Do you feel that you have a personal relationship with God?
Do you trust God for all things?
How do Elijah’s actions show the woman who God is?
How do our actions show other people who God is?
Say: Let’s read our memory verse together:
“Then the woman told Elijah, ‘Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the LORD truly speaks through you.’” 1 Kings 17:24
Say: This shows that the woman’s view of God has changed. The woman sees God as loving and caring. God is loving and caring!
If desired, continue watching the video to see the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal (about 6 more minutes of video).
Say: The rest of this video shows us what happens next in Elijah’s life. It shows how Elijah’s time of waiting for God was preparing him for tougher times.
MacQueen, Neil. "A Brief Introduction to Teaching with Video,” 2002. http://sundaysoftware.com/site/teaching-with-video/
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, Copyright © 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Written for Rotation.org by Carol Hulbert
Copyright 2006 Rotation.org
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.