“What Did I Ever Do to Deserve THIS?”: Life and Death of a Scapegoat


Ten Interesting Stories of Animals in the Bible

Welcome to Week Seven

How it works:

  • Listen to the story, then think about the questions.
  • Finally, hear what Sophie and Timley have to say about it!

Click on the picture to hear a reading from Leviticus 16:7-10, 15, 20-22; Hebrews 9:28.

  1. Did anything in this story surprise you? remind you of anything?
  2. Why was one goat killed and the other goat sent out into the wilderness? What do you think happened to it?
  3. It is clear from the stories about the Israelites’ rebellion and sin (think about Week 6 and the Golden Bull Calf story) that God thinks of sin as a matter of life and death. Why do you think it is such a serious issue to God?
  4. Do you take sin (anything that goes against God’s will) seriously? Why or why not? Why would Jesus say that it matters?

Now let’s hear from Sophie and Timley. What have they got to say about it?

Sophie Topfeather (rubbing her chin thoughtfully with her wing): I wonder who Azazel was. In the story, they say that one goat was sent into the wilderness “to Azazel.” Do you know, Timley?

Timley Mouse: There are two ideas about that. One is that it is a word that means “sent completely away,” so the people’s sins were sent as far away as possible. The other idea is that he was a fallen angel–someone who led the people into great wickedness.

Sophie (putting her wings to her mouth, shocked): A FALLEN angel?! I thought all angels were good and powerful and could sing beautiful songs to the Lord!

Timley: I guess not all of them. I don’t know very much about it. I think that the idea is the same, though–the idea that God wants to take the things we say and do and think that are wrong as far away from us as possible! So we can have our best chance.

Sophie: Our best chance?

Timley: Remember how we learned that Jesus means “God with us”? Well, God wants to give his people their best chance to be with him forever, because despite all the bad things we do, he really loves us! The Israelites didn’t have Jesus yet, so God gave them other ways to take their sin far, far away.

Sophie (looking wistful): I want to be in heaven surrounded by the good angels, forever!

Author’s Note: Sophie and Timley are characters from a novel for kids ages 8-12, Sophie’s Quest, by Sonja Anderson.

About Sonja Anderson

I write novels and short stories for children, and occasionally a book or article for adults, too. I grew up in Ohio, and I have lived in Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Tokyo, and Seattle. The beautiful Pacific Northwest inspires me every day.
This entry was posted in Bible Stories, Faith, Sophie Topfeather, Sophie's Quest and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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