KING AHAB 1
Narrator, King Ahab, Elijah, Widow, God
Narr: He really thought he was the Big Cheese! Well, He was a mighty King after all. All he had to do was give a command, and his servants scrambled to do it.
He was King Ahab. He married a woman named Jezebel – and the Bible says of him that ‘he sinned against the Lord God more than any of his predecessors. He did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than all the kings of Israel before him.
King Ahab: I don’t need God. Why should I trust him. He won’t let me do what I want to. I’m happy to trust myself. Ha ha. After all I am the king. I am in charge. I’m happy with my idol gods - because they will let me do things MY way.
Narr: At least that is what King Ahab thought.
But God was about to teach him who the REAL Big Cheese is!
And so God sent the prophet Elijah.
Ahab: Elijah. What are you doing here. Speak your bit.
Elijah: King Ahab, I am telling you this… It will not rain, nor will there be even any dew on the ground for the next 2 or 3 years until I say so.
Ahab: What! Are you threatening me?
Elijah: God has decreed it.
Narr: Then God told Elijah to go and hide away.
God: Go and hide near the brook Cherith Elijah. You will have water to drink. I have commanded ravens to bring you food there.
Narr: So Elijah went to live in a cave beside the brook Cherith. King Ahab was on his own now. Now he would learn who REALLY is in charge of all things.
And so, just as God had promised through Elijah, the rain stopped.
It did not rain for days...
It did not rain for weeks...
It did not rain for months.
Meanwhile, God was taking care of Elijah.
He showed him where there was a small stream so he would have water to drink, and he sent ravens that brought him meat every morning and meat every evening.
This was an amazing thing! But then, our God is an amazing God, and even in the toughest times, he takes care of those who trust in him.
But, after a while, the stream dried up because there hadn’t been any rain for so long. Now what was Elijah going to do?
God: Elijah, it is time to pack up your things and go to the land of Sidon. There is a widow there, and I have commanded that she will provide you with food.
Narr: And so Elijah did exactly what God told him to do (that’s always a good idea!). He packed up his things and made the hot dusty walk to Sidon.
You should know that Sidon was not part of the kingdom of Israel. The people who lived there were not Elijah’s people. They were not Jews, they were Gentiles. They weren’t descendants of Abraham, they didn’t follow God’s laws, and, many times they were enemies of Elijah’s people. Still, that’s where God told Elijah to go, so that’s where he went.
Under the blistering sun, Elijah walked off to the town of Zarephath.
When Elijah came to the town gate, he found a widow there. A lady whose husband had died. She was gathering up a few dry, dusty sticks.
Elijah: Please, would you bring me some water in a jar to drink?
Widow: Certainly sir. Just wait there and I will bring it to you.
Elijah: And please, bring me some bread!
Narr: Well, that did it! This guy must be crazy! Didn’t he know it hadn't rained for months?! There was barely any water, and hardly a scrap of food left.
Widow: Sir, as surely as the Lord your God lives, I don’t have any bread!
Narr: At least the poor widow seemed to know there WAS a God in heaven, she just wasn’t sure who he was, or why he was making life so difficult with this drought that was over the land.
Widow: Sir, all I have left in this world is a handful of flour and a little jar of oil. I am gathering up these sticks so that I can make one last meal for my son and me. And then we will die.
Narr: Things looked pretty bad. But, no matter how bad things might have seemed, God was still there.
Elijah: Do not worry. Go home and do just what you planned to do. But before you do, make a small loaf of bread for me. And then, from what you have left, make a loaf of bread for you and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel has promised, ‘The flour will not be used up and the jar of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.
Narr: What a simple plan for life! Don't worry. Make your plans, do what you think is best - but give to God first, and God will take care of the rest.
And so, that is exactly what the widow did.
And day after day there was water to drink and food to eat. The flour was not used up, and the jar of oil did not run dry - just as God had promised!
One day at a time, God provided for Elijah and the widow.
Now, the thing is, God didn’t deliver 20 giant stone jars of oil to the widow’s door the next morning. She didn’t open her pantry, and find it filled with jars of oil. Elijah and the widow couldn’t see where the oil was going to come from. But they found that if they just trusted God each day, he would provide.
They didn’t say, ‘Everything will be okay because, look! we have lots of oil and bread!’ Instead they learned to say, “Everything will be okay - because God will take care of us!”
They didn't put their trust in their own riches, like King Ahab had, because, no matter how much they had - even if they had great store houses full of oil and bread - one day it would come to an end.
But there is no end to God and his love for us.
And that is worth more than all the treasures in the world.
Next week we will see how God sent the rain.
KING AHAB 2
Narrator, God, King Ahab, Elijah, Obadiah, Servant
Narr: What happened last week in our Bible story? (God stopped the rain and sent Elijah to a widow. Her flour and oil never ran out while the drought was on so they all had enough food to eat.)
Narr: It was 3 years since the drought had come. No rain had fallen in that time. There was no grass, animals had died, hardly any water to drink. People were starving. God spoke to Elijah…
God: Go and present yourself to King Ahab. I am going to send rain again. This is what I want you to do…
Narr: So Elijah set out on the long journey to the King. Meanwhile in the palace…
Obadiah: Yes your majesty.
Ahab: Go and search every stream in the land to see if there is grass anywhere for my animals.
Obadiah: Yes your majesty.
Narr: Obadiah worshipped the true God like Elijah. While he was out searching for grass, Obadiah met a man coming towards him…
Obadiah: Elijah. Is it really you sir?
Elijah: Yes it is. I want you to go and tell the king that I want to see him.
Obadiah: You have to be joking. Don’t you know the king has searched the whole land for you. He even sent soldiers to the kings around threatening them with death if they were hiding you. If I go and tell him you are here he is likely to kill me for bringing him such news! He will send men out to get you and you will disappear. I will then die!
Elijah: No Obadiah. Today I will present myself to the king. I promise.
Narr: So Obadiah went back to King Ahab and told him that Elijah was coming to see him.
Ahab: So there you are Elijah. The worst troublemaker in Israel.
Elijah: I’m not. You are! You are disobeying the Lord God of Israel and worshipping idols. Now order all the people of Israel to meet me on Mt Carmel. Bring along the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah.
Ahab: What is the point of that.
Elijah: We will see whose god is God.
Narr: King Ahab did as Elijah directed. All the people of Israel came at the kings command. Also all the prophets of the King and Queen came. Elijah spoke…
Elijah: All you foolish people. How much longer will it take you to make up your minds. If the Lord is God then worship him. If Baal is god then worship him. I am the only prophet of the Lord God here, but there are 450 prophets of Baal. Let us see who is God.
Narr: 2 alters were set up. An animal was killed and laid on each of the alters. Elijah stood by one alter and all the prophets of Baal stood by the other alter. The people of Israel stood aside and watched.
Elijah: I have done this today so you can choose. We have 2 alters and we are going to sacrifice this animal to our God. We will not light the fire beneath. We will pray to our God. Let him light the fire. Whose God answers with fire, He is God.
Narr: the people shouted their approval.
Elijah: Since there are so many of you, you go first. Call on your god, but don’t set fire to the wood yourself.
Narr: the prophets of Baal prayed all morning. They danced, shouted, called louder, but all to no avail. There was no fire.
Elijah: I think your god is sleeping. You need to wake him up. Shout louder.
Narr: so the prophets shouted even louder. They began to cut themselves with knives until they drew blood. But here was still no fire. When it was about 3 in the afternoon, Elijah spoke again…
Elijah: It is now my turn.
Narr: Elijah set 12 stones up for his alter. He put his wood on it and then the animal he had killed. He dug a trench around the alter and then had some people bring large jars of water. He poured water all over the sacrifice. That’s not going to help it burn is it! But that’s what he did – everything to make it harder to burn because he wanted to show the people the power of God.
Elijah: O Lord, The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, prove now that you are the God of Israel and that I have done this at your command. Answer me Lord so that these people will know that you are the one and only God.
Narr: the fire fell from heaven. It burned up the sacrifice….. and the wood …. and the stones. It even scorched the earth all around. When the people saw this they fell to ground and worshipped God.
Elijah: Now is the time to turn back to God. If you mean it, seize these false prophets. They must be killed because they lead people away from God.
Narr: And Elijah killed the prophets of Baal. King Ahab was horrified. His prophets had been shown up, and then killed by Elijah. But he couldn’t do anything because of all the people there. Then Elijah turned to him…
Elijah: King Ahab. Go and eat. I hear the roar of rain approaching.
Narr: the Elijah went to a high point on the Mt and prayed to God.
Elijah: Servant, do you see anything out over the sea?
Servant: No I see nothing.
Elijah: Look again.
Narr: 7 times Elijah sent his servant to look out over the sea. On the 7th time the servant came running back.
Servant: I see a little cloud. It is no bigger than a man’s hand but it is coming in over the sea.
Elijah: Go to the King and tell him to get in his chariot and back to the palace before the rain stops him.
Narr: Soon the sky was covered with dark clouds, wind began to blow and then the rain came. King Ahab started back to the palace in his chariot, but the power of God came on Elijah in another miracle. Elijah pulled his clothes up around his waist and ran ahead of the chariot all the way back.
The God of the Bible is the one and only true God. He created the universe and us. He is the only one we should worship. The people of Israel had forgotten God and many had turned to idols like the king. But God showed his power to the people of Israel by sending the drought, and then showing them that he was the one who could send fire, and rain again.