Big Picture

Teaching the Divisions of the Bible: History | Sunday School Solutions

Apr 15, 2020 | Sunday School Solutions

By Aubrey Kyle
History. When most of us hear that word, we immediately go back to the history classes we were required to take in school. Maybe you hated history as a kid, or maybe it was your favorite subject. In addition to American, world, and many other cultural histories, there is also biblical history. In the History division of the Bible, we learn about many historical events surrounding the Israelites, God’s chosen people. Keep reading to see how you can teach about this section of Bible books to the kids in your Sunday school!

Previously, we looked at the Pentateuch, or Law, division of the Bible. This division is made up of the first five books in the Old Testament. The History section picks up with the next 12 books. These 12 books, starting with Joshua and ending with Esther, tell the history of God’s chosen people, the Israelites. There are many exciting stories within these books that you can share with the children in your Sunday school class!

In Joshua, we learn about the exciting ways God helped the Israelites defeat the people living in Canaan. This is also where we read of the unique battle of Jericho. You can use the stories found in this book to teach children that God gives victory when they obey and worship Him and that disobeying Him always leads to consequences.

You can use the stories found in this book to teach children that God gives victory when they obey and worship Him and that disobeying Him always leads to consequences.

From Judges, you can teach kids how the Israelites consistently chose not to worship God which led to some very dark days. However, the book of Judges also teaches God’s patience. You can use the story of Ruth to show how God loves, saves, and cares for people, including the children in your Sunday school.
See our God’s Faithfulness: Return to Canaan lesson series, available at CEF Press®, for lessons you can use to teach exciting stories about Joshua and Ruth.

The History section of the Bible is where the nation of Israel begged for a king, and their first king was appointed. The books of 1 Samuel through 2 Chronicles tell us many stories of the famous kings Saul, David, and Solomon. This is also where we read of several prophets and how God spoke through them, along with how Israel split into the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Understanding this split will keep the children from much confusion as they learn to read the Bible on their own.

Understanding this split will keep the children from much confusion as they learn to read the Bible on their own.

The History section of the Bible ends with the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. Each book shares stories of its namesake and how God used each of these people for His glory.

Throughout the History books of the Bible, we see God at work in people’s lives. You can help the children in your children’s church learn the order of these 12 books by using the fun game below.

“Clothesline Review”

For this game, you need 12-3”x5” cards (one per Bible book), two long pieces of string or yarn for the “clothesline,” and 12 clothespins (one pin for each card). Write the names of the 12 books of the History division, Joshua through Esther, on the cards. Hang up the two clotheslines loosely on the wall at the children’s height. Pin all of the cards in random order on the first clothesline. Have children go up one by one to rearrange the cards in the correct order. The first child should find Joshua, remove the card from the first clothesline, and place it on the far left side of the second clothesline. The second child should find Judges and so forth until all the books are in order on the second line. You could also make cards for the Pentateuch division with the first five books of the Bible, and keep adding cards for the new divisions and books the kids in your class learn as the weeks go on.

Throughout the History books of the Bible, we see God at work in people’s lives. Use the History section of the Bible to not only teach kids about the history of God’s people, but also how God rewards obedience, punishes disobedience, and uses the lives of those who follow Him in powerful ways.

For lessons that can help you easily teach about David, Esther, and more to the kid’s in your children’s church, visit CEF Press®.

Join us next time as we share teaching tips for the Poetry division of the Old Testament.

Find Lessons to Help You Teach Biblical History!