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People of the Bible: Elijah

Who was Elijah?

Elijah - 1 & 2 Kings

  • He was a prophet in the Northern Kingdom of Israel

  • He lived during the reigns of Kings Ahab and Ahaziah

  • He helped save Israel from the worship of Baal

Elijah emerged suddenly on the scene and proclaimed a drought because God’s people had been worshiping the Canaanite god, Baal. Elijah eventually meets up with 450 prophets of Baal and they hold a contest to see which of their gods is the one true God. The prophets of Baal and Elijah made separate altars and piled wood on top of them. They were to pray for their god to consume the altar with fire.

The prophets of Baal went first and they prayed for hours, but nothing happened. Elijah was so confident in God that he poured water over his wood then prayed. After Elijah’s first prayer, God sent fire from heaven and consumed Elijah’s altar. This proved to everyone in Israel that Baal was not God.

Because of this, all the prophets of Baal were killed. After the people accepted God as the only God, he ended the drought that Elijah had proclaimed and it began to rain.

This was an incredible victory for Elijah, but it was short lived. An evil queen named Jezebel ordered to have Elijah killed, which made him flee into hiding. While in hiding God renews Elijah’s faith and he becomes strong once again. He returns and speaks against King Ahab who had been unjustly. Elijah helped Israel see the moral laws of God and that everyone is subject to God, even the king.

Eventually Elijah was called up to heaven on a fiery chariot and he left his ministry to his predecessor, Elisha.

Elijah walked in close fellowship with God and had many experiences with Him. He was a champion for the monotheistic cause (belief in only one God). The name Elijah even meant, “Yahweh is God”. He performed many miracles in his life and is held in high regard all throughout Scripture. He even appears with Moses at Jesus’s transfiguration.

Near the time of Jesus, many people believed that Elijah would return to make a way for the Messiah. We later find out that John the Baptist fulfilled this role for Jesus. John the Baptist preached and lived in a similar way to Elijah. He preached the coming of the kingdom of God which prepared the way for Jesus and his ministry. Elijah, John the Baptist, and many others prepared people so they could experience and accept Jesus’s salvation which is available to all who believe in him.

Key Takeaways:

  • God is the only true God

  • We can be confident in God & His power

  • Salvation is made available to us when we believe in Jesus and confess that He is Lord

Parents, 3treesKIDS will also be learning about Elijah this Sunday, both in-person and online. Be sure to check out their lesson at

To find service times and locations, visit


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