Minor Prophets - Digging Deeper into God's Word
Introduction to The Minor Prophets:
Even though the Bible was written and compiled a
long time ago it is still relevant today. It is applicable in the lives
of people of all ages, even young children. The Old Testament can be
particularly difficult for a child to tackle and it is sometimes
overlooked. In this series, we will study characters in the Bible who
seem obscure but have excellent messages that can be used in everyday
life. We will be looking at prophets. "A prophet is one who speaks for
God and interprets his will to people."
The lessons will look specifically at the minor prophets. There are a
number of prophetic books in the Bible. "The prophets customarily were
divided into two groups, Former and Latter. The Former prophets are
historical books: Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings. The Latter prophets
are the great preachers of Israel: Isaiah, Jeremiah and the prophets
included in the Book of Twelve. Sometimes called minor prophets because
of their comparatively brief writings."
We have selected three of them to base this series on. These three
prophets address questions that often trouble people today.
(All references in this section were taken from a book called "Old
Testament Survey " listed in our resource section)
Introduction to the Miner
All of the content of this series will be taught
within a Miner Theme. Old fashioned coal mining equipment and miners
will be used to make an exciting program. This lesson was planned for a
small space . This space will be
decorated to give the illusion that it is a small dark mine.
Lesson #1 - Habakkuk
The first lesson in this series is based on the
content of the book called Habakkuk. Habakkuk is considered a minor
prophet. Habakkuk was troubled by the nature of God. He thought that God
wasn't dealing with the sin in Judah and he didn't understand why.
Habakkuk was an honest seeker after the truth. God deals with his
questions. God wasn't angered by Habakkuk's questions. God used the
questions as a means of grace to draw Habakkuk closer to himself.
Many things happen in the world that we don't understand. Life is
filled with questions. Sometimes the questions are too big and difficult
for anyone except God to answer. God wants us to bring these questions
to him. He is not upset by our questions. He loves us and He wants us to
- - to teach the children that God loves them
- - to teach the children that it is ok to have
- - to emphasize that we can bring those
questions to God.
Sometimes, we have found that the program runs
better when we do not have an opening activity. Depending on the
children and their mood , it is often best to launch right into the
rules. This helps to maintain control immediately.
It is important to repeat the rules each week. This
ensures that all the children (including those who are new to the
program) are aware of the boundaries. This will actually help newcomers
to feel more comfortable because they will know exactly what is expected
Prayer is vital. It is essential for any program.
Make it simple so that the children can clearly understand what you are
saying. This sets a good example for the children teaching them that
they can pray in their own words.
Singing is a time to worship and praise God. This
is an excellent teaching opportunity. Share with the kids that God hears
them when they sing to him. Encourage them to actually think about the
words that they are singing and think about God.
All the games in this series are adapted to suit
the miner theme.
- Coal Quiz
This is another one minute game. One player will be selected from
each team. This participant will answer a number of "Zoo Trivia"
questions. For each correct answer the contestant will receive a sack of
coal. At the end of the game the player will cash in their bags for a
Sample Questions (These can be altered to suit any group) :
1. In the song "I'm Adopted" who are we being adopted by?
2. Last week's memory verse talked about God being like what object?
3. What color is the Zoo Bus?
4. Name two books in the Bible.
5. Why do we have Easter?
6. When we do something wrong that makes God unhappy, it is called
7. Why do we celebrate Christmas?
8. Say the words to the song "Jesus Loves Me".
9. How do you talk to God?
10. Name the guy in the Bible who built a big boat.
11. How was Jesus killed?
12. True or False
God can't hear you pray when you are in your bedroom with the door
13. True or False
God loves you and He knows everything about you, including the number
of hairs on your head.
14. If you took a plane across the ocean and then took a bus for five
hours and climbed a mountain, would God be there?
15. Is it wrong to use God's name in vain? Like when you say "Oh my
16. Why did Jesus die?
17. Did Jesus die for people who live in Russia and Cuba?
18. What is the first book in the Bible?
19. The Bible is divided into two parts, name them.
20. Is there anyone named Obadiah in the Bible?
This memory is an interaction between a puppet, a
leader and the children. The puppet will be dressed as the mine boss. He
is in charge of the verse. The verse is a "hangman" type puzzle. The
children will be asked to fill in the blanks. As they fill the verse in,
any incorrect guess will cause the mine boss to react. The mine boss
will place a bag of coal in a mine cart. Each bag of coal will cause the
amount of weight in the cart to increase.
If the cart is filled too much it will exceed the weight limit which
will cause a mine disaster. The weight is indicated on a large dial. So
the children will try to fill in the blanks in the verse without our
filling the cart.
Leader: Today we have a very special friend of ours
here to visit. His name is Orangeo.
Orangeo: Hi everyone. I have been hard at work here.
Leader: It looks like you work in the mine.
Orangeo: Well, you're right I do work in the mine.
In fact I am the Boss here at Black Rock Mine.
Leader: That is a really important job, good for
you! Do you have a memory verse for us?
Orangeo: Yes I do. Let me just slip into my office
and grab it for you. (exits and returns with the verse)
Leader: Thanks. I see that it is missing some words.
Orangeo: Yes. You have to try to fill them in. Every
time you guess a letter and you are wrong I will have to add a bag of
coal to this cart. But when I do that the dial will turn and the weight
Leader: What happens if it gets to overload?
Orangeo: (very flustered) Oh you don't want to do
that you don't want to get it there. It would be terrible, try hard not
to let that happen.
Allow time for the leader to work with the children to construct the
verse and repeat it so that they will remember it.
"The Lord has heard my crying and my questions. He will
answer my prayers." Psalm 6:8,9
Although the content of the lesson is based on the book of Habakkuk,
one of the Psalms seemed to sum it up in one verse. This verse was
written in Psalm 6. The Psalmist is asking God for mercy. He knows that
God has heard his cries. He knows that God hears all of the things in
our hearts and our minds and God answers prayers. God will answer, not
always in the manner that we want or expect but He does answer.
In this lesson which is the first one in the mining
series it might be helpful to talk about what a mine is. Use the time to
brainstorm mining. Use large bristol board and bright markers.
This story will involve a narrator who will read a
brief introduction to the puppet skit. The puppet skit will be about
two mining characters. They are puppets who are dressed to look like
Narrator: Not too long ago, not too far from here,
there was a large coal mine. It was very deep and very dark and many
people worked there. One day Garbanzo and Joshua were on the job. They
had worked a very long shift and were about to take the cart to the
surface when Joshua heard a strange rumbling. It was like nothing he had
heard before. Suddenly, there was a huge crash. The ceiling began to
cave, rock fell around him just missing him. When the dust settled
Joshua got up. He was ok. He fixed his headband and began to search for
his friend Garbonzo.
Joshua: (appears behind stage, calling loudly)
Garbanzo..... Hey Garbonzo are you ok?
Garbonzo: (Appears rubbing his head) I'm right here
and I'm ok. A rock hit me in the head but my helmet protected me.
Joshua: Oh I'm glad you are ok. Let's get out of
Garbonzo: I don't think we are going to be able to
get out here. It looks like the entrance is blocked.
Garbonzo: I think we are stuck. (starting to get
Joshua: Don't panic, maybe we will think of
something. Let me look around.
Garbonzo: (both look around) I found my shovel.
Joshua: That's good, we can use that. Why don't you
try to dig through to the entrance?
Garbonzo: Ok (tries)
Joshua: I think it is solid rock
Garbonzo: Let's take a break for a few minutes.
Garbonzo: Why are we stuck in here? Why did this
have to happen to happen to us?
Joshua: I don't know Garbonzo
Garbonzo: How could this have happened? I don't want
to be here.
Joshua: Neither do I.
Garbonzo: I want to go home (Silence)
Joshua: You know, when I was little I used to go to
Sunday School. I remember learning all kinds of stories from the Bible.
Garbonzo: Were there any about two guys stuck in a
Joshua: No, I don't think so but I remember a book
where someone had a lot of questions to ask God. He didn't understand
the things that were happening so he asked God.
Garbonzo: Why don't we ask God about this mine
Joshua: Good idea. God always answers prayers.
Garbonzo: I hope he answers ours...
Narrator: Joshua and Garbonzo sat on a rock in a
dark mine and brought all of their questions to God.
Leader's Conclusion: No matter how bad our situation
is or how difficult it is to understand what is happening, we bring our
questions to God. Don't be afraid to ask. God always answers our
Dismissal: Quiet seat prizes, closing prayer.
Copyright 1997, Bread of Life Ministries