God calls us to be peacemakers. Includes a teaching guide and 2 games.
Needed: Soft play balls or paper wads
Intro Game: Monkeys in the Middle
Form students into three groups. Two groups stand on either side of your play area. The third group stands in the middle. The two groups on the end throw or rolls the balls (or paper wads) back and forth to each other. The third group tries to intercept them.
When someone from the group in the middle gets one of the balls, it’s out of play. Set it to the side. Play continues until the middle group intercepts all the balls. Then, switch which group is in the middle. Play until all groups have been in the middle at least once.
Ask students, What would you do if someone else had something that you wanted?
Would you try to steal that thing from them?
Would you be mad at them because they had that thing?
Would you be mean to them?
What would you do if you had something that someone else wanted and they tried to take it from you?
What would you do if they were being mean to you because you had that thing?
Last time, we started learning about Abraham’s son, Isaac. You remember that when Isaac grew up, he married a young woman named Rebekah. Today, we’re going to learn about a time when someone did something wrong to Isaac and what Isaac did about it.
Summarize Genesis 26 with the following Bible story, asking the included questions as you read.
Isaac planted his farm and when his crops grew, God gave him a hundred times what he planted! God blessed Isaac and gave him so many crops and animals and servants, that Isaac became very rich. His neighbors saw how rich Isaac was and they became jealous of him. They wished that they were as rich as he was.
So, Isaac’s neighbors were angry with him and came and filled in all of Isaac’s wells. All the places where Isaac had dug holes to get water out of the earth, his neighbors filled back in with dirt so that he couldn’t get water anymore.
What do you think Isaac should do about his neighbors filling in his wells?
Isaac didn’t want to fight with his neighbors, so he moved away from them and dug different wells to get his water. But then, his new neighbors fought with him and said that the wells he dug were theirs.
What do you think Isaac should do about his neighbors saying that his wells were theirs?
Isaac didn’t want to fight with his neighbors, so he let his neighbors have those wells, and he went and dug different ones. But his neighbors said that those wells were theirs too.
So, because Isaac didn’t want to fight with them, he moved away and dug still different wells.
What do you think will happen with the wells this time?
No one fought with Isaac about these wells, so Isaac thanked God for giving him peace from his neighbors. Then God said, “Isaac, I am with you. I will bless you and give you many children and grandchildren.”
Do you think Isaac did the right thing by not fighting with his neighbors?
Isaac did do the right thing. Instead of fighting about things, he moved on and God blessed him for it. God gave him a well that no one fought about and said that He would give Isaac lots of children and grandchildren.
God wants us to not fight with other people. If we don’t fight with people, then God will be happy with us and will reward us.
Game: Alex and Alicia
Use the following fictitious stories to help students apply the lesson to their lives.
Story #1: What to Do?
Alex and Alicia are cousins. One Sunday after church, Alex went to Alicia’s house to eat lunch and play while their parents talked.
What do you want to do?” Alicia asked Alex.
“I don’t know,” Alex answered. “What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know,” Alicia answered.
While they were thinking about it, Alex pulled out his pocket video game system and started playing.
“Hey, is that a new video game?” Alicia asked.
“Yep, sure is,” Alex answered, not looking up from his game. He was getting into it now.
“I want to play it,” Alicia said. “Can I?”
Alex didn’t really want to let Alicia play right now. He was having fun.
What should Alex do in this situation?
(Alex should let Alicia play the game. Otherwise, she might get angry and they might get into a fight. God will be happy with Alex if he avoids fighting with his cousin.)
Story #2: The Last Cookie!
After Alicia played Alex’s game for a while, she suggested that they go outside.
“Okay,” Alex agreed.
While they were walking to the door, they passed by the kitchen. On the counter, Alex saw a homemade chocolate chip cookie. “Oooh, cookies!” Alex exclaimed as he reached for it.
Alicia saw him reaching for the cookie and wanted to tell him to stop. That was the last cookie and her mom had told her that she could have it.
What should Alicia do in this situation?
(She should let Alex have the cookie. If she tries to keep it for herself, Alex might get upset and they might get into a fight about it. God will be happy with Alicia if she avoids fighting with her cousin.)
Game: Monkeys in the Middle (with a Twist)
This time, tell the students that their goal is to rotate as quickly as possible. The groups on the end want to throw their balls to the group in the middle and then rotate as quickly as possible. The group in the middle goes to side A. The group on side A goes to side B. And the group on side B goes to the middle. Time each round to see if they can get faster and faster.
Lord, we thank You for the example of Isaac, who was generous and didn’t fight with other people. We pray that You’ll help us to be like him. Help us to know when we can give other people what they want so that we can avoid fighting with them. Amen.
This lesson is included in my book, Father Abraham: Children Sunday School Lessons on Genesis 12-50.