Perhaps you're a little bit behind on The Journey like we are behind in posting these discussion guides for the corresponding "What's in the Bible?" episodes! Our apologies! But we hope you will continue journeying through the remainder of the books of the Bible with us alongside our friends Buck Denver and the gang!
The prophetic books can be challenging, confusing, and even discouraging, but when we step back and see how they all fit together in the big picture of God's purposes, we begin to see the power, justice, grace and love of God! Enjoy these episodes to help your family grasp how big and great our God truly is!
- How many books did we learn about in this episode? (17) What are these books called and how are they divided? (These are the books of the prophets and they are divided into the Major Prophets and the Minor Prophets)
- What is a prophet? (A prophet is one who is called by God to speak for Him to His people) Who are some of the prophets that you can remember from the history books of the Old Testament? (Elijah, Elisha, Moses, Nathan, etc.)
- How were prophets like “alarm clocks”? (The prophets were sent by God to wake His people up and sound an alarm when they were ignoring or disobeying God’s Law) What were the three times of crisis that the prophets showed up for? (1. Assyrian invasion, 2. Babylonian invasion, & 3. Persian invasion)
- What did they call it when the prophets got messages from God? (They were called “Oracles” and would start with the words “Thus says the Lord . . .”) How did God give the messages? (sometimes in dreams, sometimes he would talk to people, but we don’t know exactly how all of the oracles were given).
- What are the 4 types of oracles given in the Old Testament (indictment - what you’ve done wrong, judgment oracle - what is going to happen as a result of the bad choices, instruction oracle - a warning to remind the people what the Law said, aftermath oracle — a picture of what God was going to do after the people had been punished)
- MAKE IT FUN: Play a simple game of "Simon Says" as a family. Talk about the importance of listening and of paying careful attention in that game. Then talk about how much more important it is for us to listen to the words that God has spoken in His Word, His warnings, promises and instructions to us! Pray together that God will help your family to listen carefully to His Word and obey His voice!
- What is the first book of the prophets? (Isaiah) What does the name of that prophet mean (Isaiah means “Yahweh is salvation” and Yahweh is the Hebrew name for God)
- What is important for us to remember from the book of Isaiah? (that God is holy and He will judge sin, but that God wants to save His people from their sins and is big enough to do it; He also points us to the Messiah who is coming to rescue His people). Read Isaiah 53:5. What does Isaiah tell us the Messiah will do to save the world from our sins? (He will suffer and die to take the punishment we deserve for our sins)
- Why was the prophet Jeremiah’s life so tough? (He was around to see thousands of God’s people taken away as slaves and then to see Babylon capture and destroy Jerusalem. It was also tough because he was telling the people the truth while false prophets were telling people what they wanted to hear. He was not popular, but he stayed faithful to what God wanted him to do)
- What were some of the crazy ways that the prophet Ezekiel was told to give his messages to the people? (lying on his side, staring at a brick for 390 days, cooking bread over dung to eat)? Why did God ask Ezekiel to do this? (He used these crazy things to help the people remember what he was saying so that they might hear and remember the warning He was giving them)
- After hearing about all of the prophets, what book, story or prophet did you like the most? Why? Are there any that you want to read together and learn more about?
- Talk about the message of the gospel with your kids (i.e. that we are all sinners, that we deserve to die for our sins, but that God loves us so much he sent Jesus to save us from our sins). Is this a popular message in our world? Why or why not? Talk about how your family can be prophets in our world today and what that might look like for us.
- See if your family can learn the “Prophet Rap” that the Sunday School Lady taught us so you can memorize the names of those books of the Bible. Make up a dance! Put on some costumes! Make it fun!
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 in Dallas on Sunday! For more resources including coloring pages and family activities, check out the “What’s in the Bible?” website!