Family Journey Through the Poetry Books

"Do you take the Bible literally?" This question is often asked by skeptics to refute the validity of the Bible, but a wise answer to this question would be, "I take the literal parts of the Bible literally and the figurative parts, figuratively." The poetry and wisdom literature of the Old Testament can be challenging to understand, but "What's in the Bible?" wants to help! Take time with your family to watch these episodes and grow together in your understanding of and affection for the Lord through "the Writings" of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.

Family Guide for Volume 8, Episode 1: Poems in the Bible

  • Why does this episode talk about poetry when we’re supposed to be talking about the Bible? (because the Bible, especially the Old Testament is full of poetry)
  • How is the poetry in the Old Testament different from the poetry we might read today? (Poetry in Old Testament times focused on the "rhyming" of ideas, not so much the rhyming of sounds)
  • What is “parallelism” in poetry? (two lines of poetry work together to communicate one idea) Read Psalm 19:1 together to see an example.
  • Why do we need to know if something written in the Bible is a poem or not? (The writers in the Bible use their words differently when they write poetry than they would if they were writing down history. So we need to know what kind of writing the author is using so we will know how to understand his words.)
  • What did God want to teach us from the story of Job? (We learn that God can be trusted no matter what the circumstances)
  • What is the second book in the Writings? (Psalms) What does the word Psalm mean? (It is a book of songs) What are some of the types of songs found in the book of Psalms? (Songs of lament, praise, thanksgiving, celebration of the law, wisdom, royal, historical, prophetical) Who is the most famous of the song writers in the Psalms? (King David, he wrote 73 Psalms).
  • PUT IT INTO ACTION: One of the types of poetry that we see in the Psalms is using an acrostic. Explain to your kids what an acrostic is and then use your last name or your kids first names to have them write an acrostic poem of praise to God using those letters.

Family Guide for Volume 8, Episode 2: Wisdom from Above

  • What is the book of Proverbs all about? (It is a book that tells us how to live wisely and make wise choices) What is the difference between being smart and being wise? (book smart vs. good choices in life) Can you think of some examples of being smart, but not wise? See how many your family can think of.
  • What does the book of Provers say is the beginning of wisdom? (The fear of the Lord. Only when we respect God’s holiness and following His law will we truly become wise)
  • What does it mean that “Proverbs are PRINCIPLES, not PROMISES”? (It means that Proverbs tell you what is likely to happen if you follow the advice, but it doesn’t promise that it will happen) How does this help us understand the Proverbs when we read them?
  • What is the book of “Ecclesiastes” about and who do we think wrote it? (It is a man who is speaking about his search for the meaning of life. Most people think Solomon probably wrote it.)
  • What does the writer of Ecclesiastes figure out about how he can find happiness in life? (He figures out that life is hard and this world is passing away, so true happiness comes from living life by looking beyond this world to God. Trust God. Follow His commands, and you will find true life) Read Ecclesiastes 12:13 together and talk about it.
  • What is the “Song of Solomon” about? (It is a collection of love songs between a man and woman) Why are a bunch of love songs in the Bible? (Because God made romantic love, made it good, it is a powerful thing and He wanted to teach us how to use it rightly)
  • PUT IT INTO PRACTICE: The book of Proverbs has many topics. With your child, look up the following verses and discuss with them the topic the verses have in common. In a journal, have your child write down the verses from Proverbs and draw a picture to represent the topic the verses have in common.
    • Guarding your speech: Proverbs 12:19, 15:1 & 15:4
    • Wisdom: Proverbs 15:14, 15:33 & 16:22
    • Trust: Proverbs 3:5-6, 22:19 & 30:5

As usual, be sure to check out these tips for planning your “Family Journey Time”. If you need help with how to access or purchase the videos, click here and/or come see us at the Kids Welcome Desk on Sunday! For more resources including coloring pages and family activities, check out the “What’s in the Bible?” website!

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