We’re making our way through the Old Testament in our midweek kids’ program and we’ve made it to the books of prophecy. These are a little tricky, because even though they are all grouped together in the back of the Old Testament, they actually occurred interspersed between many of the historical books. To get a quick chronological view of the Old Testament, here are a few charts that might also be helpful in piecing it all together.
Chronological Old Testament Charts
And one with pictures!
Too blurry? Check it out here.
Another great resource in helping to see the Bible as one continuous timeline is The Story, NIV: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People.
Large Group Time
In Large Group, I’m going to try to give a brief summary of the job of a prophet as well as highlight a few of the messages that the prophets gave. The main focus will be that “God always does what He says He will”, whether that concerns the destruction of Israel or the coming Messiah. The When You Rise blog has a fun way to introduce the lesson (and a great lesson too!) with a cell phone and special messenger.
Small Group Time
Talk with your small group about whether or not they make promises to other people. Do they usually keep their promises? What about the adults in their life? Do they keep their promises? Discuss why it’s important to keep your word and emphasize that God always keeps His word, even when it doesn’t seem like it. Remind the group that Israel had 400 years of silence before the promised Messiah came. What would it be like to wait all those years? Do they ever to wait for a promise to be fulfilled?
For the younger group, this is a great week to play a telephone game. Israel had to listen very carefully to the message of the prophets, but that didn’t always happen. In the same way, a message can get pretty distorted in a game of telephone if we don’t listen very carefully. Have kids sit in a circle and whisper a message to one. Have them pass it on to their neighbor till it goes all the way around the circle and have the last kid say it out loud. How well did the message get passed along?
Find the Alarm Clock
In the video clip below from What’s in the Bible, prophets are likened to alarm clocks. Staying with the same theme, hide a ticking alarm clock somewhere in the room. Have kids work to find it before the “alarm” goes off. A kitchen timer might work better for ease of setting each time. If it’s too easy, have kids go one at a time. Blindfolded.
Pick a Prophet
There are many books of prophecy in the Old Testament, and sometimes it’s tricky to keep them all straight. In later weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at Ezekiel, Daniel, and Jonah, but maybe kids would like to spend some time studying a minor prophet as well. Using these Bible character study sheets from Proverbial Homemaker, pick a minor prophet and work together as a class to fill out as much as you can. Be sure to grab some cool Bible tools as well such as Kids Bible dictionary or concordance for further study.
Adventures in Mommydom also has similar worksheets which are specific to each prophet.
Here’s a few word puzzles on Ministry to Children to use an way of introduction to the minor prophets.
There are plenty of coloring pages on What’s in the Bible featuring the various prophets. There is also a helpful video about the prophets from the video series.
Muffin Tin Prophets
Take a set of ping pong balls and write all the Old Testament books of the Bible on them. Have kids race to pick out only the OT prophets and place them in a muffin tin. Find all the directions on the Lifeway Blog.
Finding kid-friendly activities on the Old Testament prophets is tough to do! But you might have some luck in the following resources as well: