Elijah and the False Prophets of Baal


May 23 – June 13, 2004


Praising Puppets



Scripture:    1 Kings 18:16-46          


Memory Verse:   “You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other. ”   Deuteronomy 4:35 NIV



·       God has ultimate power over the world.

·       God asks us to choose only him and then helps us make that choice.


Objective:      The first objective of this workshop is to teach God’s sovereignty—that God is totally in control of everything.  The children will also hear about God’s desire that we make a choice to belong to him.  Because of God’s love, he helps us make the choice.  



Welcome and Introductions:


1.     Greet the children and introduce yourself.  Wear your nametag. Make sure the children are wearing nametags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.

2.     Explain the purpose of this workshop:  Today we are going to use puppets to learn God’s power and God’s desire that we choose to be his people.  Before we do puppets, we’re going to read the Bible story for today.


Scripture/Bible Story:


Ask the children to get out their Bibles, if they have them.   


Warm-Up Discussion and Questions:  Our story is from the book of 1 Kings.  Can you find 1 Kings?  It is in the Old Testament between 2 Samuel and 2 Kings.  It is the 11th book of the Bible and is located about 1/3 of the way through the Bible.  From the name, 1 Kings, what do you think the book might be about?  Kings  Since this is a Bible story, what  nation might these kings reign over?  Israel, Judah, the Israelites, the Jews, the Hebrews are good answers.   Can you think of any famous kings in the Bible?  Hopefully, someone will mention King David and King Solomon, and you can say that these kings are in 1 Kings.  If they mention King Saul,say that this book starts after Saul’s  reign.  After King David and King Solomon, there were many kings of Israel.  One is a king named Ahab.  He is a very bad man and bad king.  Ahab “did evil in the sight of the LORD more than all that were before him.”  (1 Kings 16:30, RSV).  Ahab does not worship God.  He worships made-up beings, called Baal and Asherah.  Ahab is trying to make all the Israelites worship Baal.  God sends Elijah to encourage the Israelites to worship only God.  Our passage today takes place during Ahab’s reign.  Another character you will hear in the story is Obadiah, who is a Godly man who works for bad king Ahab.  


Read the Scripture Passage 1 Kings 18:16-46 from the CEV (see note about who should read the Bible during class at the end of this lesson):


1 Kings 18
16Obadiah left and told Ahab where to find Elijah.
Ahab went to meet Elijah, 17and when he saw him, Ahab shouted, "There you are, the biggest troublemaker in Israel!"
18Elijah answered:
You're the troublemaker--not me! You and your family have disobeyed the LORD's commands by worshiping Baal.
19Call together everyone from Israel and have them meet me on Mount Carmel. Be sure to bring along the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel's table.
20Ahab got everyone together, then they went to meet Elijah on Mount Carmel. 21Elijah stood in front of them and said, "How much longer will you try to have things both ways? If the LORD is God, worship him! But if Baal is God, worship him!"
The people did not say a word.
22Then Elijah continued:
I am the LORD's only prophet, but Baal has four hundred fifty prophets.
23Bring us two bulls. Baal's prophets can take one of them, kill it, and cut it into pieces. Then they can put the meat on the wood without lighting the fire. I will do the same thing with the other bull, and I won't light a fire under it either.
24The prophets of Baal will pray to their god, and I will pray to the LORD. The one who answers by starting the fire is God.
"That's a good idea," everyone agreed.
25Elijah said to Baal's prophets, "There are more of you, so you go first. Pick out a bull and get it ready, but don't light the fire. Then pray to your god."
26They chose their bull, then they got it ready and prayed to Baal all morning, asking him to start the fire. They danced around the altar and shouted, "Answer us, Baal!" But there was no answer.
27At noon, Elijah began making fun of them. "Pray louder!" he said. "Baal must be a god. Maybe he's day-dreaming or using the toilet or traveling somewhere. Or maybe he's asleep, and you have to wake him up."
28The prophets kept shouting louder and louder, and they cut themselves with swords and knives until they were bleeding. This was the way they worshiped, 29and they kept it up all afternoon. But there was no answer of any kind.
30Elijah told everyone to gather around him while he repaired the LORD's altar. 31-32Then he used twelve stones to build an altar in honor of the LORD. Each stone stood for one of the tribes of Israel, which was the name the LORD had given to their ancestor Jacob. Elijah dug a ditch around the altar, large enough to hold about thirteen quarts. 33He placed the wood on the altar, then they cut the bull into pieces and laid the meat on the wood.
He told the people, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it over the meat and the wood." After they did this, 34he told them to do it two more times. They did exactly as he said 35until finally, the water ran down the altar and filled the ditch.
36When it was time for the evening sacrifice, Elijah prayed:
Our LORD, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Now, prove that you are the God of this nation, [1] and that I, your servant, have done this at your command. 37Please answer me, so these people will know that you are the LORD God, and that you will turn their hearts back to you. [2] 38The LORD immediately sent fire, and it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones. It scorched the ground everywhere around the altar and dried up every drop of water in the ditch. 39When the crowd saw what had happened, they all bowed down and shouted, "The LORD is God! The LORD is God!"
40Just then, Elijah said, "Grab the prophets of Baal! Don't let any of them get away."
So the people captured the prophets and took them to Kishon River, where Elijah killed every one of them.

It Starts To Rain
41Elijah told Ahab, "Get something to eat and drink. I hear a heavy rain coming."
42Ahab left, but Elijah climbed back to the top of Mount Carmel. Then he stooped down with his face almost to the ground 43and said to his servant, "Look toward the sea."
The servant left. And when he came back, he said, "I looked, but I didn't see anything." Elijah told him to look seven more times.
44After the seventh time the servant replied, "I see a small cloud coming this way. But it's no bigger than a fist."
Elijah told him, "Tell Ahab to get his chariot ready and start home now. Otherwise, the rain will stop him."
45-46A few minutes later, it got very cloudy and windy, and rain started pouring down. So Elijah wrapped his coat around himself, and the LORD gave him strength to run all the way to Jezreel. Ahab followed him.

Example of Discussion after the Passage: 



Who is real, God or Baal?  God.  Whom do we worship?  God.  Why do you think God had Elijah do this show on the mountain?  He wanted Israel to stop worshipping the non-existent Baal and worship only God, so He had Elijah set this up so that God could show how powerful he is and how non-existent the other gods were.  God wants us to choose to worship only Him, and He will help us make that choice just like he helped these Israelites many years ago.  Has God ever sent someone to help you worship only God?  Definitely—your minister, your Faith Quest teachers, even parents, relatives and friends can be messengers from God to help us know him.


Puppet Application:


Note:  Today, there are two short skits that can be performed either by a few well behaved children or by adults and teenagers for the children.  After these skits, there is a third skit (a set of lines) to be performed by each child.     


  1. The puppets can already be out on a table.  Let the children line up to choose a puppet.  Any puppet will work for these characters.
  2. You can explain how to work the puppets, letting them practice operating the mouth while talking, etc.  Depending on the time of the school year, most children may be fairly familiar with puppets. 
  3. For the first two skits, the content is important, so you can choose adults and teenagers or really good and loud readers from the children.  If you choose children, you might choose children who have been especially well behaved during the workshop or puppet selection and give them the roles. 
  4. After skit 1 and 2 and the discussion questions (below), give each child a copy of skit 3.  Allow the children 3-5 minutes to practice their lines.  Space out all the adults in the room to help with the script practice.  Grades 1 & 2: The shepherd and workshop leader should help with the words in the scripts.  If some child is not a strong reader, have an adult read the line in phrases and let the child repeat after the adult.
  5. Read the narrator part yourself (or have another adult read it.)  Go around the room having each child say his or her lines with a puppet.   (If children seem disappointed about not using the stage, you can use it.) 


Discussion Questions:


Skit 1:  Who is the most powerful being?  God.  Who is in control of everything?  God. 


Skit 2:  Did this sound like a strange test?  Yes  Have you ever had a test like that?  Probably will say no.  You may think you’ve never had a test like this, but from the time you are born, God has given you a test like this.  If you read the Bible and study what God is telling us in the Bible, it really is exactly like this test.  Who is the Teacher in God’s test?  God, the Bible, Jesus, and representatives of God and Jesus, like ministers and Sunday teachers, parents—lots of answers are possible as long as they are teaching God’s instruction to choose only Him.  Who are the students?  All humans  What are our choices?  Worshiping God, choosing Jesus as our Savior.   God makes is easy for us—he tells us what to choose—but for some reason, God wants us to make the choice ourselves. 


Skit 3:  There doesn’t need to be much discussion after this.  If there seems to be extra time, ask the children whether anyone would like to say the lines themselves without the puppet.


Reflection Time:

At 10:35 a.m., ask the shepherds to pass out the journal sheets and pencils/markers. Ask the children to draw a picture of Jesus helping children choose him.  The workshop leader(s) and shepherd(s) can help parents by writing a caption on the picture.


At 10:45 ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer.



Prayer:  Write you own or use this example.  Thank you Father for being so powerful that you are in control of everything.  Thank you for helping us know you and making a choice to worship only you.  We ask this in the name of your son, Jesus Christ.


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Close/lock the door and turn off the lights.


Teacher preparation in advance:

1.     Pray that God will guide you to teach what He wants taught during this workshop and scripture passage.  Pray for a loving and patient attitude toward the children.  Pray for time management during the workshop.  Pray that the child will know the LORD as a result of this lesson.

2.     Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

3.     Please practice reading the scripture passage out loud several times.  See Who Should Read section of this lesson for encouragement.  

4.     Make at least 3 copies of the skit 1.   Make 20 copies of skit 2.   

5.     Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you will know where everything is located.

6.     Make a poster of the memory verse to hang on the wall.  This poster needs to be taken down each week and re-hung on Sunday.

7.     Prepare a closing prayer.


Who Should Read the Bible in Class


As the writer of this lesson and also as a Faith Quest teacher, I strongly encourage you, the workshop leader, to read the Bible passage yourself and only after practicing it before your first Sunday. 


Catherine Devins, who helped Rev. Joan McCarthy bring the workshop rotation to the Kirk, suggests that “the workshop leader be sure to prepare a reading with emphasis and energy and excitement as appropriate.”  Drawing from personal experience, she says, “When I teach, I do the reading and ask the kids to follow along. Often I set up the story in an animated way, then read with as much drama as I can get away with.”


Suggested Supply List


Copies of the script

Poster for memory verse




Notes supplied by Lori Houck for curriculum writers' Bible study





Skit 1



Carrie:  “Do you read action stories?  I like the superheroes in the stories.  I wish I had a friend who was that powerful.”


David:   “I like superheroes, too, but they aren’t real.  But I do have a friend who is powerful.”


Carrie:  “Are you talking about your older brother who is always protecting you?”


David:  “He is strong, but I’m not talking about him.  I was talking about God.  My mother says that God is the most powerful being in the universe.”


Carrie:  “How come we don’t see him doing powerful things all the time?”


David:  “I think we do.  I think we just don’t always give God the credit for all that God has done.  God created everything—earth, sun, stars, moon, trees, animals, food--everything.  God made people come alive just with breath.”


Carrie:  “You’re right.  I can see all those things, and they do seem very powerful—I guess I don’t always think about God’s part in these things when I see them.  And I had never really thought about how powerful it was to create all of those things.  God is very powerful.  But do you think God can control everything?” 


David:  “My mom says that the Bible tells you a lot of things about the way God is, and the Bible says that God is totally in control of everything, even when it doesn’t seem that way.”




Skit 2


Teacher:  “Class, here is a writing test you must take.  There are two different questions you can choose from.  Your answer must be at least one page.  If you choose to answer question one, you will pass automatically.  If you choose to answer question two, your answer is going to have to be very, very wonderful in order to pass the test.  It is your choice which one you answer.”


Student1:  “I don’t understand.   It seems like if I choose question one, I will pass.  Do I get more points if I try to answer question two?” 


Teacher:   “No, the best thing that can happen with either question is that you pass the test—that is all that you want to do.”


Student2:  “Why would anyone choose question two?”


Teacher:  “I’m not sure, but maybe the question looks more fun to answer.”


Student1:  “I don’t care how much fun it looks, I’m going with the sure pass.”


Student2:   “Oh look, it’s a question about playing on the computer.  Maybe I could do a good job on it.”


Student1:  “Don’t do it!  Answer question one, pass the test, and you can play on the computer yourself later. ”


Student2:   “I guess you’re right.  The Teacher made it very clear what we had to do to pass.  I’m glad she told us.”


Narrator:   “After the test…”


Teacher:  “Congratulations, students.  You all chose question one and passed the test.”






Skit 3



Each child will get a puppet and help the puppet choose God and Jesus.  After the narrator reads their part, each child will say the following line.  The Bible reference is from  Romans 10:9-10.


Narrator:  “Do you know what it means to be saved?  It means that Jesus died so that God will forget anything bad that you have done.  Then God will make a place for you in heaven after you die.  Do you know what a Lord is?  It is someone who you follow, listen to and obey—almost like a master of you.  The Bible says “that you will be saved, if you can truthfully say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death. God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this and tell it to others.”  Today we’re going to practice saying this with our puppets so that one day, if you haven’t already, you can make this choice and say this for yourself.”


Puppet:  "Jesus is Lord.  I believe with all my heart that God raised him from death.  I will tell this to others.”