VERSES: 1 Kings 21:1-29
MEMORY VERSE: 1 Kings 21:12. "They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Ezekiel. Write "Ezekiel" on small slips of paper for the students to take home after class.
PRAYER: May we pray for God to forgive us of the wrong things that we do and that we might always do good to everyone because God can see us all the time.
SPECIAL SONG: Elijah (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 in this blog)
VISUAL AID: Make a huge letter like the one in the Activity (see below) and see if you can make a seal with wax to seal the letter. (Maybe I had the wrong kind of candle wax, but mine did not work, so I used a sticker like the students will use.)
- There was a man named Naboth who owned a small vineyard right next door to wicked King Ahab. Ahab wanted Naboth's vineyard for his own, so he could grow a garden of herbs. When Ahab demanded that Naboth give him his vineyard, Naboth said he could not sell or trade his land because it was an inheritance of the LORD.
- Ahab went home to his palace displeased and very sad. He laid down on his bed and turned his face to the wall. He would not eat any food. He was behaving badly, wasn't he? Just like a spoiled child when he doesn't get his way. Shame on Ahab!
- Wicked Queen Jezebel, Ahab's wife, came into his room and asked him why he was so sad and why wasn't he eating any food. Ahab told her that he wanted Naboth's vineyard, so he could grow a garden of herbs and Naboth had said, "No." Jezebel told Ahab that he was king over Israel! She said to get up, eat, and let his heart be happy. Jezebel said SHE would give Ahab Naboth's vineyard.
- So, wicked Jezebel wrote letters to the elders and the important people that lived in their city, pretending to be King Ahab and sealed the letters with King Ahab's seal. Inside the letters, she had commanded the men to proclaim a fast and to set Naboth on high above all the people. She said to get two men to lie about Naboth and to say that he had said terrible things about God and to stone him with stones until he died. Was this a good thing to do? NO! Jezebel got her way, though. All the men of the city did exactly as she commanded and, in the end, they stoned Naboth and he died. Jezebel will answer to God for doing such wicked and evil things!
- In time, when Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and had died, she went to King Ahab and told him to get up quickly and take Naboth's vineyard for his own because Naboth was dead. King Ahab did as his wicked wife, Jezebel, told him.
- But...on his way guess who King Ahab met? That's right! Elijah, the prophet of God. Elijah was not afraid of Ahab because Elijah told Ahab that God said that he had done wickedness in the sight of God. God said that He was going to treat Ahab just like Jeroboam and Ahab would die and all of his family would die just like they had died. Elijah said that God said that the dogs would lick up Jezebel's blood as a terrible consequence of her sin. Elijah said that there was no one like Ahab who had done such wickedness and Ahab would surely pay for his sin.
- Now, Ahab did something very surprising! Ahab had done many wicked things in his life, but the things that Elijah said made Ahab reacted differently than a person would think! Ahab tore his clothes, put sackcloth on, did not eat any food, and the Bible says he went around softly. God knew Ahab's heart and told Elijah that because Ahab had humbled himself before God that God would not bring the evil in Ahab's days, but He would wait until Ahab's son's days to bring upon the evil to Ahab's house. God was being compassionate to King Ahab because Ahab had humbled himself before God. God knows our hearts, doesn't He?
- We can learn from this story that God knows everything, doesn't He? God knows it all. He knows what we do when no one is around and we think we are all alone. We always need to do good. Always.
- In the times of the kings, they sealed their letters with hot wax and usually the king's ring or something that was of the king's would be pressed in the soft wax. That way whomever received the letter would know that the letter had been sent by the king and that it had not been tampered with. That is why Jezebel sealed the letters she had written with King Ahab's seal. She meant to deceive the elders and nobles of the city and she succeeded.
ACTIVITY: "Jezebel Pretends To Be Ahab And Writes A Letter."
Materials needed: 4" x 12" strip of white construction paper, crayon, sticker.
- Hand out paper to students.
- Fold the paper into thirds.
- On the inside of the paper, write "This letter is from the king. Proclaim a fast and set Naboth up on high. Get two men to tell lies about Naboth, then stone him until he dies."
- Sign the letter "King Ahab."
- Fold letter back up.
- Place a sticker on the letter, so the letter does not open.
- Write "Ahab's Seal" above and below the sticker.
- One the front side of the letter, write "To the elders and the important men."