God doesn’t show Himself at all times. We may have times when we are seeking Him, His guidance or answers and, for a time, it feels like we aren’t hearing anything from heaven. Our faith increases when we endure and trust in Him anyway. He is there–even if we can’t see Him, hear Him, or feel Him for a time.
And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him.
Through a still small voice, the Spirit speaks to me
To guide me, to save me from the evil I may see.
If I try to do what’s right, he will lead me thru the night,
Direct me, protect me, and give my soul his light.
Listen, listen. The Holy Ghost will whisper.
Listen, listen to the still small voice.
Read and Explain: 1 Kings 17:1-6
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
[The prophet, Elijah, told the people that there would be no rain in the land for years. This would make it very hard to grow crops because they would have very little water.]
And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.
[The Lord told Elijah to go to a brook or stream to have water and the ravens–birds like large crows–would bring Elijah food to eat.]
So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
[The Lord fulfilled His promises and Elijah drank water from the stream. The ravens brought him food to eat every morning and every night.
Teach: Sometimes we have to go through really hard things. Wouldn’t it be hard to have no water? To have little food? But if we only think about how hard it is, we might not see the ways Heavenly Father is blessing us.
Ask: What blessings did Elijah receive even though he was going through a hard time? [He was told where to go to get food and water–even if it wasn’t in the way he was used to.]
Teach: Sometimes when we go through hard things, we can think God has forgotten about us. Maybe we are asking for our trials to end (like a drought), but the trial keeps going. If the trial keeps going, then God is giving us blessings in another way–even if it’s not a way we are used to.
Share about Compensatory Blessings:
Elder Richard G. Scott: “Find the compensatory blessings in your life when, in the wisdom of the Lord, He deprives you of something you very much want. To the sightless or hearing impaired, He sharpens the other senses. To the ill, He gives patience, understanding, and increased appreciation for others’ kindness. With the loss of a dear one, He deepens the bonds of love, enriches memories, and kindles hope in a future reunion. You will discover compensatory blessings when you willingly accept the will of the Lord and exercise faith in Him.”
Elder Neil L. Andersen: “As evil increases in the world, there is a compensatory spiritual power for the righteous. . . . as evil increases in the world, there is a compensatory power, an additional spiritual endowment, a revelatory gift for the righteous.”
Elder Neil L. Andersen: “As we are righteous, compensatory blessings always come—even in the most difficult times of our lives.”
Teach: If we haven’t found the blessings during the trials in our lives, it isn’t because there aren’t any. God is blessing you. Keep looking to find the gifts and blessings He is giving you and it will help you feel happy even if you’re going through something hard.
Video: Watch this video about how God provides and comes through even when it seems like He can’t. Elijah knew that the true God of Israel saves us. No matter how impossible it seems, He can still bless us.
Testify: As Roger Terry put it, “He specializes in miracles, which we might define as things He can do for us that we can’t do for ourselves.”
The miracles may be different than we were expecting, but if we trust that the Lord still remembers us, He can make a way for us to still have everything we need.
FOR TEENS & ADULTS
Teach: Although Obadiah is only mentioned briefly in these chapters, we know that “Obadiah feared the Lord greatly” (1 Kings 18:3). It seems, in fact, that he feared the Lord more than he feared Jezebel, the wife of Ahab who was king of Israel. She used her influence to bring about false worship among the Israelites.
Read: 1 Kings 18:4
When Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord . . . Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.
Teach: Jezebel had great power which Obadiah could have feared, but instead he chose to fear God and protect the prophets.
Ask: Have you ever had a time when it was risky to do what was right? Have you ever had to stand up to someone to defend or protect someone else?
Video: Watch this video to see how one person can make a difference among a group. Sometimes it just takes one person to do the right thing, to treat people the right way, to create a wave of change among others.
Teach: In the midst of a terrible drought, the Israelites were turning to the false god Baal, but Elijah wanted them to turn their worship to the true God of Israel. Elijah issued a challenge to the worshippers of Baal. They and Elijah would each prepare a sacrifice to their God. They would bring the bullock, prepare the altar and the wood for the fire, but they would not light the fire. Read the rest of the challenge below.
Read: 1 Kings 18:24
And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
Teach: After both offerings were prepared, the priests of Baal prayed all morning, but there was no answer, and there was no fire for their offering. Elijah joked that maybe their god was busy or sleeping. They continued to pray until evening and still there was no answer and no fire. Then Elijah prepared the altar for sacrifice.
Read: 1 Kings 18: 32-39
And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.
Testify: Elijah knew the true God of Israel would show up for the Israelites. Sometimes we also know that Christ is the answer, but we hesitate to commit to Him for fear of offending someone else. Elijah has a response for that, too. He said, “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him” (1 Kings 18:21).
If we have felt the Holy Spirit, if we have gained a witness for ourselves, no matter how small, then we know who God really is. If we know who He really is, there is no reason to hold back. Go all in. Trust the Lord, and He will deliver you from your trials, too.
FOR SINGLE STUDY
Video: Watch this depiction of Elijah the prophet requesting food from the widow of Zarephath.
As moving as this account is, it’s interesting that the widow’s faith was tried further when her son fell ill.
Read: 1 Kings 17:17-24
And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?
[The woman had seen a miracle before her eyes–the preservation of her life and her son’s life through the barrel of meal and cruse of oil that did not fail. Yet, in her fear, she forgot her blessings and doubted God and His prophet. Do we ever allow our fear to overcome our faith?]
And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.
And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.
This dear woman had now witnessed two powerful miracles, but she almost missed or forgot the first one.
Consider or Journal: What miracles are taking place in your life right now that you may be missing because it’s not the miracle you were looking for? God is always blessing us more abundantly than He is trying us. When we see the blessings and miracles, even while the trials rage on, we can have gratitude, peace, and joy.
No-Bake Cookie Dough Bites
Keep the house cool with these No-Bake Cookie Dough Bites!
Read: 1 Kings 19:11-12
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
Give each of the children something distracting. It could be a ribbon wand for waving, an instrument to play loudly, a pot and spoon to bang, a toy microphone to sing in, etc. Then, have a parent whisper sing the song, “The Holy Ghost” from the Children’s Songbook.
Challenge each child, in turn, to hear the song over all the noise and other distractions. Testify that when we focus on Him and His voice, we can hear Him even in the midst of the world’s noise and distractions. Read more about this idea here.