Elijah

ELIJAH

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Scripture Reference: I Kings 17-19, 22, II Kings 1-2. The prophet Elijah arose during the reign of the evil King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. The people of Israel turned to worship Baal, and Elijah had to stand up for God against formidable odds. But, later, Elijah ran from Jezebel’s anger. Have each student (or a group) read one chapter. Ask him or her to summarize the chapter with a single drawing on a sheet of paper. Have each student (or group) explain its drawing. What 2 miracles occurred in Zarephath? Why did Elijah go to speak to King Ahab? What was God’s curse on Israel? Why did Elijah destroy all the prophets of Baal after he won the challenge? Why did Elijah run from Jezebel? Was he cowardly? Why or why not? When Elijah was in the wilderness, why did he want to die? What made him willing to return and face Ahaziah, Ahab’s successor?

 

  1. History: We are entering a very confusing period in Jewish history and one with which few Christians have much acquaintance. Therefore, with each of the next several lessons, we will attempt to keep track of the kings, prophets, and events and see the interconnection between them. So far, we’ve seen the kingdoms of Saul, David, and Solomon. After the death of Solomon, the kingdom was divided – Israel in the north with its capital of Samaria under Jeroboam and Judah in the south with Jerusalem as its capital under Rehoboam. There followed in both kingdoms a series of mostly wicked kings, while in the rest of the world Assyria was rising to power. Finally we reach Ahab, king of Israel and the worst so far, while Judah was ruled by Jehoshaphat, one of the best ever. These were the times into which Elijah was born and during which he prophesied. I have included after this lesson a summary of the kings and prophets; use it frequently as a reference.

 

  1. Service References: The most striking reference to Elijah is at the feast of the Transfiguration, where he appears with Moses talking to Jesus (at vespers): “Talking with Christ, Moses and Elijah showed that He is Lord of both the living and the dead, the God who spake of old through the Law and the prophets.” And “Moses who saw God and Elijah who rode in the chariot of fire, passing across the heavens unconsumed, beheld Thee in the cloud at Thy Transfiguration…” The story of Elijah and the “still, small voice” is read at vespers of the Transfiguration. Why was Elijah chosen of all the prophets?

John the Baptist is in his synaxis called “a new Elijah, like him displaying

before the world an immaterial life; and with boldness thou hast openly reproved the transgressions of the King and Queen.” Which king and queen for Elijah? For John? In what way was John like Elijah returned?

But several of Elijah’s other miracles are also the subject of the

hymnographers. His flaming chariot gets mention at Pentecost: “Of old the fire-breathing, zealous Elijah did mount with joy the all-flaming chariot. Wherefore, this sign did explain the rising of the gentle breeze illuminating the Apostles from on High, through which they were lighted, making known to all the Trinity.” How was the chariot like the flames of Pentecost? The story of the resurrection of the widow’s son in I Kings 17 is read on Holy Saturday – a type of the Resurrection of the Lord.  Elijah passed through the Jordan on dry land before his death, just as Moses passed through the Red Sea; this story from II Kings 2 is read at Theophany. Why? The story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal is read on Theophany at vespers, and at the blessing of the water at Theophany, God is referred to as “our God who by water and fire through Elijah hast brought back Israel from the error of Baal”. Why is this important?

 

  1. Discussion: Elijah stood up for what he believed, but he struggled with opposition. Have each student think of an issue that he feels strongly about – at school, at home, in the church, in the world. This could be something as personal as cheating in school or as far-reaching as abortion. Have the student write a “Letter to the Editor” of the paper discussing the reasons for his concern, potential consequences, and suggestions for improving the issue. Why is this issue so important to you? Are there other ways we can stand up for something we believe in? Can you write a letter from Elijah to Ahab’s newspaper? 

Are there any times when you have stood up for what you believed in even

when others were opposed? What happened? Are there consequences? Is there any occasion when you had strong feelings about something and remained silent? What happened?

 

  1. Close with prayer: Have each student identify something he has strong feelings about and pray for the courage to stand even when others are opposed.


KINGS AND PROPHETS

  DATES                KING OF ISRAEL               KING OF JUDAH            PROPHETS      OTHER KINGS

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------933 BC          Death of Solomon and division into northern and southern                     Ahijah        Shishak (Egypt)         

                                                kingdoms – concubines and idolatry                                                   

33 BC    Jeroboam (22 years) – Bad                               Rehoboam (17 years) – bad    Shemaiah

915 BC                                                                  Abijah (3 years)–bad mostly

912 BC                                                                  Asa (41 years) – good

911 BC  Nadab (2 years) – bad

910 BC  Baasha (24 years) – bad

900 BC  Rise of Assyria to world power                                                                               Assur-nasipal II

887 BC  Elah (2 years) – bad

886 BC  Zimri (7 days) – bad

886 BC  Omri (12 years) – horrible                                                                                         

875 BC  Ahab (22 years) – the worst                                                                   Elijah         Shalmaneser II

874 BC                                                                  Jehoshaphat (25 yrs.)–good                       Ben-hadad (Syria)

855 BC  Ahaziah (2 years) – bad                                                                          Elijah         Mesha (Moab)

854 BC  Joram (12 years) – bad mostly                                                              Elisha        Hazael (Syria)

850 BC                                                                  Jehoram (8 years) – bad                                      

843 BC  Jehu (28 years) – bad mostly            Ahaziah (1 year) – bad           Elisha

843 BC                                                                  Athaliah (6 years) – horrible

843 BC                                                                  Joash (40 yrs.)-good mostly     Joel

820 BC  Jehoahaz (17 years)—bad                                                                               

806 BC  Joash (16 years) – bad                      

803 BC                                                                  Amaziah (29yrs)–gd mostly

790 BC  Jeroboam II (41 years)-bad                                                                   Jonah

787 BC                                                                  Uzziah (52 years) – good        Amos

749 BC                                                                  Jotham (16 years) – good       Hosea

748 BC  Zechariah (6months) – bad                                                                    Isaiah

748 BC  Shallum (1month) – bad                                                                         Micah

748 BC  Menahem (10 years) – bad                                                                                   

741 BC                                                                  Ahaz (16 years) – wicked                                  Rezin (Syria)

738 BC  Pekahiah (2 years) – bad                  

748 BC  Pekah (20 years) – bad                                                                                                      Tilgath-pileser II

730 BC  Hoshea (9 years) – bad                                                                                                     

721 BC  Northern Kingdom Fell.                                                                                                   Sargon II

726 BC                                                                  Hezekiah (29 years) – best                                                Sennacherib

697 BC                                                                  Manasseh (55 years) –worse                             Esar-Haddon

641 BC                                                                  Amon (2 years) – the worst                               Assur-banipal

639 BC                                                                  Josiah (31 years) – the best     Zephaniah

608 BC                                                                  Jehoahaz (3 months) – bad      Nahum

608 BC                                                                  Jehoiakim (11 yrs) –wicked     Jeremiah         Necha II (Egypt)

607 BC  Fall of Assyria and Rise of Babylon                                                   Habakkuk      Nabopolassar

597 BC                                                                  Jehoiachin (3 months)–bad                               Nebuchadnezzar

597 BC                                                                  Zedekiah (11 years) – bad       Obadiah

586 BC                                                                  Fall of Judah.

606-536 The Captivity                                                                                           Daniel               Belshazzar

                                                                                                                                     Ezekiel

536 BC  Fall of Babylon and Rise of Persia                                                                               Cyrus

536 BC  Return from Captivity

                Joshua                                                                                                        Haggai

                Zerubabbel                                                                                                Zechariah         Darius I

485 BC                                                                                                                       Esther                Xerxes I

457 BC  Ezra                                                                                                                                        Artaxerxes I

444 BC  Nehemiah                                                                                                  Malachi