Answer 199- “GROWING GOD’S WAY”

Key Verse

Who is on the Lord's side? let him come unto me.
— Exodus 32:26

A chioice for God

Judges 6:11-40





Oscar jumped off the Sunday school van, and Marcus, Kingston, and Tanner followed. “Race you to the door,” Oscar shouted, dashing for the entrance to the church. Tanner ran after him, but Marcus and Kingston hung back.

“C’mon, you guys!” Oscar shouted over his shoulder. “It’s almost 9:30.” Tanner went on inside, but the other two boys were still in the parking lot. Finally Oscar walked back over to his friends. “C’mon,” he repeated. “It’s almost time for Sunday school to start. Why aren’t you guys coming in?”

Marcus dug into his pocket and pulled out a few dollar bills. “Kingston and I don’t really want to go today. I’ve got money, and we thought we’d walk over to the store and get a Slurpee. Wanna come?”

For a minute Oscar didn’t answer. He really liked Marcus and Kingston, and he liked to be with them. But after a moment, he shook his head. “Nah . . . I’m going inside.” In his mind he thought, You guys know that when we come on the van, we’re supposed to go to Sunday school.

It almost seemed like Marcus read his mind, because he gave an insulting look and said, “Who cares about their old rules. I don’t feel like Sunday school today.” He hesitated, and then added by way of excuse, “I don’t really like our new teacher.”

“You’re kidding,” Oscar looked at him in surprise. “I thought he was pretty nice. Sure, it’s only been two Sundays since we were promoted into his class, but he seems like an okay guy to me.”

“Well, I don’t like him,” Marcus repeated. “And Kingston doesn’t either. Right, Kingston?” He went on without giving the other boy a chance to answer. “So we’re skipping. Don’t worry, we’ll be back before the van leaves to go home. The driver will never know we weren’t in Sunday school.” And with that, the two boys turned and sauntered out of the parking lot.

Oscar turned and headed back toward the church door, a troubled frown creasing his normally cheerful face. He walked slowly into church and into his department. Tanner met him just inside the door. “Hurry up, Oscar, it’s almost time to start. If you want to say your verse to the secretary and get your points, you’d better do it quickly.”

Oscar opened his Answer for a quick glance at the verse. He’d learned it last night, but his mind was suddenly blank. Oh, yes. “Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me.” That was an easy one. He went over to the verse chart where the secretary was standing.

“Hi, Oscar,” she greeted him warmly. “Know that verse today?” Nodding, he said it to her and she marked a check beside his name. “Good work. You haven’t missed knowing your verse for three months. You’re right up there at the top of the list.”

Oscar hardly absorbed what she was saying. He was thinking about Marcus and Kingston. And he was also thinking about the words he had just said, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” All through the singing time, those words kept echoing through Oscar’s mind. He had read them before. He knew they were Moses’ words to the Children of Israel, so he had never thought they had much, if anything, to do with him. But the incident in the parking lot this morning had started him thinking. He knew that for a moment he had been tempted to go with his two friends.

His mind went back over the past few months at Sunday school. Marcus and Kingston really hadn’t seemed interested in anything that went on. They were always the last ones into class. And sometimes they had been kind of rude to the teacher, Oscar remembered. Oh, nothing really terrible. Just some talking during class, stupid remarks behind their hands, and things like that. Sometimes Oscar had even joined in. Now he wondered if that was part of making a choice about whose side they would be on.

As Oscar listened to his teacher talk about Gideon in their Bible story for the week, something else caught his attention. When Gideon sent messengers to the tribes of Israel, many men from there joined him. He influenced them to have courage and fight for the Lord too.

By the time class was over, Oscar had made his decision. He was going to do what he knew was right. He wasn’t sure how Marcus and Kingston would respond. But who could tell? If he set the example, maybe they would make the right choice too.