Teaching the Divisions of the Bible: Poetry | Sunday School Solutions
by Aubrey Kyle
Poetry has been around for ages—it even goes back to biblical times! In fact, many of the hymns and worship songs we sing today come from biblical poetry. Today we’re going to look at the Poetry section of the Bible and how you can teach it to the kids in your Sunday school class. So far in this series, we have talked about the books of the Law and History. The Pentateuch, or Law, is made up of the first five books of the Bible, and the History section of the Bible continues with the next 12. The third section of the Bible is the Poetry section. Like the Law, it is also made up of five books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. The first book, Job, can help children learn how to deal with suffering. Three main truths you can teach the children in your Sunday school from this book are that:
- Job’s suffering was not a punishment
- God doesn’t owe us an explanation for what He does
- If we listen to Him during hard times, He will teach us about Himself
The first book, Job, can help children learn how to deal with suffering.
The next book, Psalms, is the longest one in the Bible. Psalms means “songs,” and you can tell the children that this portion of the Bible was written to be sung by God’s people both alone and when they were together. Several different authors wrote the psalms, and these psalmists all had one thing in common—they all expressed what they were feeling to God. Whether they felt afraid, lonely, sad, glad, thankful, hopeful, or any other emotion you can think of, they told God about it. Teach the kids in your children’s church that there’s nothing they can’t tell God. He wants them to talk to Him no matter what they’re feeling. The Psalms can help believers—including children—know how to talk to God about their feelings.
David wrote many of the Psalms. God: The One Who Knows My Heart is a lesson series from CEF Press® you can use in your Sunday school class to teach children about David and his relationship with God. The final three books in the Poetry section of the Bible are Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. These three books were written by David’s son, King Solomon, who was known for his wisdom. Proverbs is a collection of wise sayings we can remember in our everyday lives. Have some fun using examples, like Proverbs 6:6-11, with its lesson on the hard-working ant when teaching kids. Finally, Ecclesiastes shares the meaning of life, and Song of Solomon talks about the love of a husband and wife that also points to the greater love of God. As you teach from the Poetry section of the Bible, have children repeat the names of the five books to learn the order.
Have some fun using examples, like Proverbs 6:6-11, with its lesson on the hard-working ant when teaching kids.
“Card Race”Write the names of the books of the Pentateuch, History, and Poetry divisions of the Bible on 3”x5” cards (for 22 books total). Make two or more sets of these cards. Shuffle each set so the books are out of order. Divide your Sunday school class into teams, giving each team a set of cards. Teams race to see which can put their cards in order first! You can continue adding cards to the decks as more books of the Bible are taught, until you have complete decks of cards for both the Old and New Testaments, or huge decks with all 66 Bible books. The Poetry section of the Bible teaches many valuable things to believers, including the saved children in your Sunday school class. You can use the books of Poetry to show the children:
- God cares about individuals.
- God wants you to talk to Him.
- God wants you to tell Him how you feel. God cares about what you’re thinking.
- You can trust God even in hard times.
- God’s ways are best.
- God cares about and loves you with great love.