Lech Lecha(Genesis 12-17)
Doing the Right Thing
Abraham and his wife Sarah lived a long time ago in a town called Haran. They lived with Abraham's father Terach and his family. Terach had a store where he sold idols, which were statues that people bowed down to and called gods. This made Abraham really sad. He knew that it was wrong to worship idols. He tried to teach his father and neighbors that it was silly to bow to idols and that only God is God. But most people didn't want to listen.
One day when Abraham and Sarah were already getting old, something amazing happened. God came and spoke to Abraham. He had never done this before and Abraham was quite surprised. But he was even more surprised by the incredible things that God told him.
He said, "Abraham, I want you and Sarah to leave your father's house and leave the land you were born in. I want you to come with Me to where I'll take you. I'm going to make you into the father of a great nation. The whole world is going to know about you, and learn from you that I am God."
Abraham didn't know what to say. He thought, "How am I going to just leave everything and everybody behind? What about my family and friends? What will people think? But if God wants me to go and to teach the world what I know is true, then I'm sure it's the right thing to do." So without wasting any time, Abraham and Sarah packed their things and began an exciting journey into the unknown.
LEAVING THE BUSINESS
"Whadaya mean you don't want to be a pirate!" thundered Tom's uncle. "Your father was a pirate, and his father before him. You could say it's our family business, ha ha!"
Young Tom Cooke had just told his uncle, who was a pirate, that he was leaving Pirate Island and going to England to get an honest job.
"Uncle Blue-beard," sighed Tom, "it's just not right to be a pirate and spend one's life robbing and sinking ships, hurting people who never hurt you -- I can't do it and I won't!" he declared.
His uncle tried to talk him out of it. "But ya don't know anyone in England. Your whole life is here, boy. Why give it all up?"
Tom felt like crying. He loved his uncle and the others even though he knew what they were doing was wrong. It would be hard to leave, but he knew he had to.
Tom told his uncle good-bye. He said, "I love you Uncle Blue-beard, but I can't do what's wrong no matter what. Somehow I'll get a job in England. A pirate's life is not for me!"
Q. It must have been exciting to live on an island and be a pirate. So why did Tom want to go away?
A. He knew that what the pirates did was wrong, that they hurt people.
Q. But wasn't he scared to leave and go off all by himself?
A. Yes, but he knew it was right, so he went.
Q. How did Tom's uncle try to pressure him to stay?
A. He made him feel guilty that he would be letting his family down, and made him feel afraid that he wouldn't make it without them.
Q. Imagine everyone in your class teasing somebody and wanting you to join in. What do you think you would do? Why do you think it's hard to do the right thing sometimes?
Ages 10 and Up
Q. Tom decided to take a stand and leave the pirates. In which of these cases should a person go along with those around him and not make a scene, and when it is time to take a stand? Why?
a. Everyone is picking on the new kid and they expect you to join the "fun."
b. The guys all want to go to a basketball game and you really feel like going to a movie instead.
c. There's a cheat sheet being passed around for the big test. If you could see the answers you would maybe do better.