1 Kings 17: Elijah the Prophet

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 108–109

When people will not listen to the message of the Lord’s servants, the Lord will sometimes use something more dramatic to bring them to repentance. At the end of 1 Kings 16 we learned that Israel was becoming increasingly wicked, was led by a wicked king, and did not listen to the servants of God inviting them to repent. In 1 Kings 17 we learn about a prophet named Elijah who was sent by God with power to seal shut the heavens and cause a drought in Israel (to learn more about the prophet Elijah, see Bible Dictionary, “Elijah,” p. 664).President Spencer W. Kimball wrote a book entitled Faith Precedes the Miracle (1972). 1 Kings 17 gives some great examples of that principle. Both Elijah and a widow exercised faith in some way before they later experienced a miracle. Look for the miracles as you read.
raven bringing food to Elijah

Understanding the Scriptures

1 Kings 17

But according to my word (v. 1)Unless I say 
Flesh (v. 6)Meat 
Sustain (v. 9)Feed and house 
Cruse (vv. 12, 14)Jug 
Waste (vv. 14, 16)Be empty 
Fail (vv. 14, 16)Be empty 

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study 1 Kings 17.

Activity A iconDemonstrations of Faith

The miracle of raising a young man from the dead in 1 Kings 17:17–23 is one of the most rare and impressive miracles in the scriptures. Those types of events occur only when the faith of all involved is great and when the event is according to the Lord’s will. We demonstrate our faith when we obey what the Lord and His servants tell us because we believe what they tell us—even though we may not fully see or understand why we should or how certain actions will turn to our good. This principle was best expressed by Nephi in 1 Nephi 3:7.

  1. 1.

    Write about ways Elijah showed faith in the Lord.

  2. 2.

    Write about ways the widow showed faith in the Lord.

  3. 3.

    List ways the Lord cared for or blessed Elijah and the ways He cared for or blessed the widow.

Activity B iconUse the Principles

Consider the following modern situation: The Jones family were not members of the Church. They were very poor and often struggled to provide for their basic needs. When they were taught the gospel, they felt the Spirit and wanted to learn more and join the Church. Then the missionaries taught them about tithing, and they became discouraged because they felt they could not afford to pay it.

  1. 1.

    What gospel principles would you teach this family?

  2. 2.

    Think of a time you or someone you know had to rely on faith to obey a commandment, and write about it.