Monday, May 11, 2009

Make a Scene:
Elijah vs. the Prophets of Baal

Scripture Reference: 1 Kings 18:16-39, Proverbs 15:8

The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him. - Proverbs 15:8 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again. - 1 Kings 18:37(Note: Kids love to be in the skits, and the "Make a Scene" framework is an easy and fun way to tell a Bible story that has good action in it. Below is a paraphrase of the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. The bolded parts are the bit that the kids act out or say. You can include as many kids that want to participate by casting them as the prophets or the people. You can include the whole class if they are game.)

Director - the teacher telling the story

Select kids to play Elijah, Ahab, the prophets of Baal, the people


SETTING: Mount Carmel (near Haifa, Israel)

DIRECTOR: King Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, "Is that you, you troubler of Israel?"

Elijah replied, "I have not made trouble for Israel. But you and your father's family have. You have abandoned the Lord's commands and have followed the Baals."

Elijah had Ahab summon the people from all over Israel to meet him on Mount Carmel and bring the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah.

So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him."

But the people said nothing.

Then Elijah offered a challenge. Each would prepare a sacrifice. He would call upon the Lord, and the prophets of Baal would call upon Baal. The one who answers by fire—he is God.

Then all the people said, "What you say is good."

Elijah let the prophets of Baal go first. When they were ready, they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. they shouted, "O Baal, answer us!" But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder! Maybe he is thinking about it. Maybe he is traveling. Maybe he is in the bathroom. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened."

So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, and he built an altar in the name of the Lord He dug a trench around it large enough to hold about 2 gallons of water. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces, and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood."

And the people poured water over the altar and the wood.

Then Elijah said, "Do it again."

And the people poured water over the altar and the wood.

Then Elijah ordered, "Do it a third time."

And they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.

At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed, "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."

Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the soil, and even the water in the trench.

When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The Lord -he is God! The Lord -he is God!"

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