“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,” Hebrews 1:1
Understanding the key verse: “God, who at sundry times (refers to the incremental and progressive manner in which God disclosed Himself up until the appearance of the Son. It was fragmentary, piece by piece – kind of like pieces of a puzzle) and in divers manners (this word is used to qualify the manner in which divine revelation during the Old Testament time-frame was given. It shows the diverse ways through which God disclosed His word, such as dreams, visions, angelic visitation.) spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,”
The first nine Minor Prophets are included in the final division in the Old Testament: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah. Once again we see there is an obvious division: these are pre-exile – before the people were expelled from Israel. Something of interest: we know very little about these prophets. Amos was a herdsman (Amos 7:14), Micah was from an obscure town 25 miles SW of Jerusalem who preached to the poor and oppressed, and Zephaniah was a descendant of good King Hezekiah. NOTE: They were just ordinary men that God chose to use.
Our emphasis today will be to understand that God revealed himself to people through the ages in different ways at different times. He had an extra special job for the prophets. God has an extra special job(s) for His people today as well – if we will only obey! Make our time on earth count for God – live for him daily. Allow God to use us. Respond when God calls. It may be a minor thing God asks of us in our eyes, but very important to the kingdom of God.
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 putting the Minor Prophet books in order for today’s lesson.
Display the poster of the books of the Old Testament (may be downloaded from the Lesson 4 Blog). Review the Minor Prophet books (showing them on the poster). You may have them write or draw a picture of their favorite event from the first nine of the Minor Prophets. Because Jonah’s life is such a popular event in the Bible, you may find some Jonah stickers to work on to help them remember the Minor Prophets. Or you may find a coloring picture that fits today’s lesson. There are many free coloring sheets online. Just type in a favorite and search away!
Younger classes: You could have the room in disarray when they come to class. Assign different children to “clean” or “organize” the clutter (i.e.: crayons out, papers scattered, books off of the shelf, marker on the board to be erased, etc.) Help them understand the importance of doing what they are asked to do. God had a special job for the prophets. God has special things for His people to do, also. Hand out the first worksheet to complete. After the lesson, help the students do the worksheet that reinforces what they learned in the Bible lesson.
Younger classes: Play “Simon Says” to reinforce obedience. Remind them the Prophets obeyed God.
Youth: Think of a time when you were told to do something you didn’t really want to do (Have someone share, but if no one says anything, give some examples: clean your room, be home by curfew, be nice to a sibling, etc.) Help them see the importance of obeying (once again, give examples.) Today, we will learn about some men that God called for a special purpose. One of these disobeyed God. See what happened to him!
On the wall you have chosen in your classroom to become a huge mural: For this week, have them each choose a Minor Prophet (1 or more to include all of them.) Have them write a few things that they learned that helps identify them from the other prophets. Encourage them to include the time God called them to become a spokesman for God. Have them look for opportunities that God places before them (especially this week) to be a voice for God in this world.
Continue to have them bring a picture, a news article, a poem they have written, a picture they may have drawn, etc. of something that is relevant to each week’s lessons. 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.