Elijah had a full life of ministry. He was God's chosen prophet who brought God's word the evil kings of the Northern Kingdom.
Right after the altar contest on Mount Carmel with the prophets of Baal, Elijah had to flee. You see, Ahab's wife Jezebel was a very evil woman. She was none too happy to find out about what Elijah did to the prophets of the false gods of Baal and so she sent a messenger to Elijah to tell him that she was going to kill him. So Elijah fled to a place called Horeb. On the way, Elijah became very discouraged and he thought that would be the end of his life. But God sent an angel to feed Elijah and give him the strength to get to Horeb (it took him 40 days to walk there).
God Speaks to Elijah in the Gentle Whisper
This is the context of the story today. This story is pretty straightforward, and you can read it in 1 Kings 19:10-21. God spoke to Elijah and told him to choose Elisha (most confusing transition in Bible history) to replace him after he died. This story has such great detail (the wind, fire, and earthquake did not contain the word of the Lord, but only in the still small voice). It is a great reminder to us that as we learn about all these amazing stories in the Old Testament, knowing the One who performs the miracles is more important than knowing about the miracles!
Elijah is Taken Up to Heaven
The second part of our story can be read in 2 Kings 2:1-18. This is the story of Elijah being taken up to heaven with horses and chariots of fire. Elijah was one of two people in the Bible who did not die. See the story of Enoch in Genesis 5:23-24 for the other one.
For some inspiration as you are studying this lesson, listen to the Rich Mullins song called "Elijah".
Elisha Succeeds Elijah
Before Elijah was taken to heaven, he was preparing Elisha to take over his prophetic ministry. Elisha had been following Elijah around as he was travelling and ministering. Surely he was learning from Elijah. God revealed to Elijah that he was going to be taken from the earth, and so before he left, he asked Elisha if there was anything he could do for him. Elisha asked for a double-portion of his spirit. It seems Elisha was asking for a similar ministry and for the same kind of effectiveness and ability to perform miracles, if not more!
Sure enough, Elijah was taken up to heaven and Elisha took his cloak and continued his ministry.
As you start the lesson, start speaking to the children using a soft whisper. This is actually a great way to get children to be quiet, but has special meaning for this lesson. Tell them (in a whisper) that we are going to learn about a time when God spoke to Elijah in a whisper.
Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.
For older children, read story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself.
Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud 1 Kings 19:10-18, 2 Kings 2:1-18
First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?