TEXT: 2 Kings 4:1-7; 6:1-7
The students will be able to relate how God demonstrated His power through the miracles of Elisha.
BIBLE LESSON OUTLINE
Introduction: Take an empty pot or jar, and an ax or ax head to class. Ask your students if they can fill the pot without having anything to put in it, or if they can make the ax float. Help them conclude that only the power of God could make these things happen.
- A widow told Elisha that a creditor was demanding the payment of a debt she owed or else her sons would be taken into servitude.
- He instructed her to borrow vessels from her neighbors, shut the door of her house, and fill the vessels with the little oil she had.
- The oil miraculously filled all the pots, and she was able to sell the oil and pay the debt.
- A borrowed ax head fell into the water, and the person using it cried out to Elisha.
Climax: Elisha threw a stick into the water, and the ax head floated to the surface.
Conclusion: God used Elisha to demonstrate His miraculous power.
Response: Your students will be able to tell some of the miracles Elisha performed through the power of God upon his life.
Elisha's reception of a double portion of the Spirit is demonstrated by the fact that he performed a greater number of miracles than any other prophet except Moses.
The oil miraculously provided for the widow in today's text was a valuable commodity. It was an essential ingredient for cooking in every home. It also provided fuel for the wick lamps used in that day, it was used to promote healing of cuts and scrapes, women used it to condition their skin in the hot dry climate, kings were anointed with it, and offerings were made of it. The widow would have no trouble selling the oil which filled the borrowed vessels.
Elisha's story is told with vigor and vivid detail, making him stand out above many of the Old Testament characters. The miracles he performed through the power of God are not all told in chronological order, but they bear the marks of historical truth in the simplicity of their narration.
- Use a toy juice pitcher. When you tip it over it looks like the juice disappears but it fills up again when you hold it upright.
- Use the divided picture with empty faces (see Patterns). Have the children draw in the people's "before and after" faces for each incident.
- Let each child use people and objects made from construction paper to go with both incidents (see Patterns). Have the children help you tell the story using this material.
- Give each child a doll that represents a person in the story. Have each child use his/her doll to play the role of the person.
- Make an ax head of styrofoam or Ivory soap to illustrate the ax head that floated. Drop something heavy into some water so they can see that a real ax head could never float without God's power.
- Bring as many small and different pots as you can to illustrate the story.
- Do miracles still happen today? Give an example.
- Could Elisha have done these miracles without the help of God? Why or why not?
- What was it about Elisha that drew the poor widow to him with her problem?
- How important is it to live so that others know we are in touch with God?
- What was the widow's need and what did Elisha suggest to her? What did the widow do?
- The woman had only one pot of oil. Where did the extra oil come from that filled all the borrowed vessels?
- What did the sons of the prophets ask of Elisha? Did he agree to their wishes?
- The men were doing a good work, but something distressing happened. What was that? Even though you might be doing something God led you to do, working for Him, it is possible that setbacks will come. What purpose can there be in this?
- Use Fisher-Price figures in a sandbox or on the table to show the widow and her sons and Elisha. Show little play pans and jars and the sons getting them from the neighbors. Pretend to pour out the oil. Make little cardboard houses for the widow and her neighbors.
- If using a flannelgraph, let the children hold the figures until you need them in the story. They really learn when they have a part in the story.
- On the child's level, emphasize the thought of being a helper for Jesus. There are pre-school books available on the subject. Talk about things a child can do, such as helping to keep God's house clean, inviting a friend to Sunday school, singing and behaving nicely in church.
Role-play the lesson:
Before the review give some pots to a few of the students. During the review have two boys (sons) go to the students to borrow the pots and bring them one at a time to you to fill. Have somebody hidden who will keep your "oil" supply full.
Stage a mock interview with one of the widow's sons, or with someone who observed the miracle of the ax head. Pretend you are a reporter for the "Jerusalem Gazette" and are looking for an eye-witness account. Use their answers to bring out the objective.
Use an overhead review using overlays to add action.
- One time a widow came to Elisha for help. (Show widow.)
- She said, "I have two sons (Overlay sons.) and lots of bills to pay. (Draw in $ signs.) A bill collector wants to take my sons (Remove sons.) because I cannot pay him."
- Elisha asked her what she had at her house. (Overlay pot of oil.)
- She sent her two sons to borrow empty pots. (Remove widow and overlay houses one at a time.)
- Boys brought the vessels. (Remove houses. Overlay vessels.) She started to pour her little bit of oil. (Overlay cut-outs of yellow transparencies to fill the pots.) Remove entire scene.
- Elisha used God's power to help a man who had lost an ax head. (Lay in an ax head on a loose piece of acetate, below a wave line, or piece of blue transparency to represent water.)
- The man was upset because the ax head was borrowed. (Use overlay of a sad face.)
- Elisha tossed a stick on the water, and the ax head floated. (Move ax head above wave or water line.)
- The man was very happy that he could return what he had borrowed. (Overlay happy face.)
Conclude by relating to the students that God's miracles are very real today.
- The Life of Elisha — Coloring book, Bethany Fellowship