“That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 13:35
Have you ever been told a secret? Did you want to keep it a secret, or tell someone else? Secrets are hard to keep, yet the most important “secret” ever is not shared near enough. God had secrets, and He told many of them to His people. We can know those secrets today if we will just read His Word. In this lesson we will begin to look at the prophets and see that they revealed secrets that had been “kept secret from the foundation of the world.” At first we will just become familiar with who they are. In the future, we will study them deeper. Notice: God wanted us to understand the “mysteries” or “secrets” of the Old Testament. He wanted us to realize that it all centered on the coming of Jesus, God’s Son. Romans 16:25-26: “25. Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26. But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”
When God’s people were in sin and rebellion, God would send a prophet to speak His words to the people. The word prophet means “one who speaks in place of another.” Often, they would say, “Thus saith the Lord.” Many times they brought a message to the people warning of the chastisement that was to come if the people did not repent and turn their hearts back to God and His commands. Their primary job was not to foretell the future, although at times they did. Prophets were usually unpopular in the land.
This lesson is just an introduction to the prophets, to become familiar with the names and in which books of the Bible the events of the prophets’ lives are found (when they prophesied). Just because they are listed at the back of the Old Testament, this is not necessarily the time frame in history they occurred. This lesson ends with an event in the New Testament that helps understand why we need to know the prophets.
In this lesson, we want to recognize that God wanted us to understand the “mysteries” or “secrets” of the Old Testament, for they were all centered on reminding us of the coming of Jesus, God’s Son.
Optional Worksheets to be downloaded:
Ideas for children:
In any lesson, you may want to work on your coloring timeline – especially when it relates to the lesson.
Review the 3×5 cards if you made them, practicing the divisions. Focus on dividing the Major and Minor Prophet books and putting them in order for today’s lesson.
Another idea: One teacher wrote the name of each book of the Old Testament on 39 different clothespins and clipped them in order on a hanger. You could have your students practice putting them in order! (See picture below.)
You may find a coloring sheet of one of the events that take place in the books of the prophets. You may also have some stickers about Jesus. Remind them much of the books of the prophets reminded the people to look for Jesus.
Refer to the wall in your classroom that has become a mural. For this week, have them each add the picture, news article, poem they have written, picture they may have drawn, etc. of something they believe is relevant to the lessons we have been studying. Encourage everyone to participate. Watch as it grows weekly, as they express what God is revealing to them through our study of how the Bible fits into His plan to help us become more like Him.
Today, have them think about the world we live in. Should there be a voice to the world with words from God? Who is the voice today? (they should recognize that Christians are ambassadors in the world today.) What should that voice say? Have them make headlines for a newspaper or magazine with bold messages that need to be shared with our world today. Add them to your mural. For this week, you may also have them each think of someone they know who is lost. Have them make a list of friends or family that needs to be saved. Add that list to your mural to remind you to pray for these lost friends and family each Sunday. Help them understand the important job they have. They have the Words of Life for the lost world. Encourage them to share Jesus with those on this list (and anyone they meet).