God is All Powerful!
Shoutout from Joelle:
Say: We’re learning that God is all-powerful. In today’s Bible story, he sure proved that! While the fake god, Baal, couldn’t do anything, our real, all-powerful God lit a soaking wet altar on fire by sending fire from heaven!
Ask: Retell today’s bible story in your own words.
Say: Awesome job! Let’s see what this bible story would look like as told by kids.
Watch: “Elijah’s Big Showdown.”
Ask: Which parts of this video do you think were really accurate about what happened?
Which parts do you think were a little silly?
Say: God is all-powerful. The kids who told this story had fun and got a little silly, but the most important thing is that God showed his power in a big way! Wow, God!
Follow along below as a family:
Have kids form two groups. Give each group a set of blocks or Legos, and challenge them to build an altar. You may need to explain that an altar is kind of like a table where people put sacrifices.
Allow several minutes for kids to build. Then say: In the Bible, a man named Elijah had a contest with a bunch of guys who worshipped a fake god named Baal. Elijah wanted to show them that God is all-powerful. So each group built an altar and put a sacrifice on it. A sacrifice is a valuable gift you give to God, even though it costs you something to give it up.
So let’s think of sacrifices your group could put on your altar. Don’t worry—you’ll get it back. You might choose a really nice sneaker someone is wearing, cash, a phone, or anything else you think has value. Allow time for kids to choose a sacrifice and place it on their altar.
Say: When Elijah built his altar, he did something a little different. He didn’t just pile up stones and wood to build the altar; he dug a trench around it. Then he poured four big jars of water all over the altar. Spray one of the altars. If kids put something like a phone that could be damaged by water, spray around the sides of the altar but avoid getting the sacrifice wet.
Say: Here’s what’s weird about what Elijah did: The contest was to see whose god could light the sacrifice on fire.
Ask: • What happens when you try to light something wet on fire?
Say: If you wanted to lose a contest where you had to light something on fire, water would be a good strategy. But Elijah didn’t want to lose! He just trusted that God is all-powerful and could do the impossible…like light something wet on fire. In fact, he had people pour four more jars of water on it.
Spray the altar with water again.
Say: And then he said to do it a third time! Spray the altar one more time.
Say: By now, the altar was soaked. In fact, it was flooded! The water surrounded the altar and filled the trench around it. Here’s something else you should know: Samaria, the place where this contest took place, was in the middle of a drought. There hadn’t been rain in three years, and all the plants had died. That meant a lot of people were thirsty and hungry, because crops weren’t growing for them to eat.
Ask: • What do you think of Elijah wasting all this water during a drought?
• What does it show you about how Elijah viewed God?
Say: Elijah knew that God is all-powerful. Not only could God light something wet on fire, but God is also the one who sends rain and provides food. Elijah wasn’t worried about wasting water because God had promised rain was coming soon, and he trusted in God’s power to send rain.
Point to the wet altar. Say: Let’s say this altar represents Elijah’s altar and the other one belongs to the prophets of Baal. Let’s see what happens when you try to light up your altar.
Light It Up
Give each group a flashlight, making sure to give the one with batteries to the group with the wet altar.
Say: Ready? Let’s see who can light up their altar! On the count of three, turn on your flashlight! 1, 2, 3! Have both groups try to turn on their flashlights.
Say: God is all-powerful, so he was the only one able to light the altar on fire. Listen to this.
Read 1 Kings 18:36-38.
Say: God is all-powerful! He won the contest! But why did only one flashlight win our contest? Let’s open the battery compartments and see if we can find out more about where their power comes from.
Have groups open the battery compartments and explore what’s inside.
Ask: • Why do you think your flashlight did or didn’t work?
• Why does a flashlight need batteries to turn on?
Say: Your flashlight had a working light bulb. It might have felt heavy enough to have batteries inside. But because it was full of rocks, it just didn’t turn on. It didn’t have power!
The prophets that competed against Elijah worshipped an idol named Baal. He was a made-up god, and he had as much power as the rocks in your flashlight—none!
But God is all-powerful. When we need power, we can turn to him.
Talk About It
Gather kids to discuss these questions. Whenever anyone answers, that person can hold the lit flashlight.
Ask: • What’s an area of your life where you need God’s power? After each child shares, pause and pray for that child to experience God’s power.
Say: Elijah was outnumbered in this story. It was just him on his team, but listen to who was on the other team. Read 1 Kings 18:19.
Ask: • How could God’s power help you when you feel alone or outnumbered?
Say: Elijah wasn’t scared in this story…but another guy was! Obadiah was a guy who loved God but worked for the evil king who followed Baal. He was afraid the king would kill him!
Ask: • How could God’s power help you when you feel afraid?
Say: Whether we’re alone, afraid, or have other problems in our lives, God is all-powerful. We can turn to him and believe that he’s stronger than what we’re up against.