Explore the Bible at Home - Week of January 27
Most of us can probably identify with the main character of this week's Bible lesson, Jacob. Jacob spent his youth making some poor choices. As a result, his relationship with his brother was broken. He also struggled with other family relationships from time to time. Jacob suffered from a common human condition - he often messed up. But God had a plan for Jacob. God chose Jacob and renewed the covenant God also had made with Abraham and Isaac, Jacob's Grandfather and Father. Eventually, Jacob learned to turn to God and seek His help. God gave Jacob a spiritual inheritance beyond the physical one he had sought many years before. As a family, think about times when you, like Jacob, have messed up. When you realized your sin and asked God for help, what did He do? Take a look at this week's Explore the Bible at Home worksheet to continue these conversations throughout your week!
Younger Kids Text Truth: God uses us even though we sin.
Older Kids Text Truth: God can redeem our sin and create something good.
God’s Plan for Jacob, Genesis 27–28; 32:1-32; 33:1-4
Isaac had twin sons, Jacob and Esau. As our story opens, Isaac was old, nearly blind, and feeble. One day he asked Esau to go hunting and bring back some wild game, food that Isaac enjoyed. Isaac planned to bless Esau upon his return. Rebekah, Esau and Jacob’s mother, overheard Isaac’s plan and she came up with a plan. With Rebekah’s help, Jacob tricked his father into thinking he was Esau and he was given the special blessing that was intended for Esau.
When Esau discovered what happened, he was furious. Rebekah sent Jacob away to live with her brother because she feared for Jacob's safety. On Jacob’s journey, he stopped for the night. Jacob had a dream. He saw a staircase come down from heaven. Angels were going up and down the staircase. Then Jacob saw God and God said, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.” God promised to Jacob the same things that he promised to Isaac and Abraham. God said that one day Jacob’s future family would live in the land that Jacob was, at that point, leaving.
The next morning Jacob set a stone up as a marker. He poured oil over the stone and named the place Bethel. Jacob promised to follow God.
Years passed. Jacob got married. He had many children. And one day, God told him it was time to go back home. Jacob packed up his family and all of his belongings and began the trip. Jacob sent messengers to Esau to tell him that he, Jacob, was coming home. The messengers came back and told Jacob that Esau and 400 of his men were coming to meet them. Jacob was worried. What if Esau was still mad? What if Esau wanted to harm Jacob and his family? Jacob prayed to God and asked for His help.
The next night, Jacob took his family and sent them across the river ahead of him. While Jacob was alone, a man wrestled with him until daybreak. The man told Jacob, “Let Me go.” But Jacob refused, “Not until you bless me.” So the man told Jacob, “Your name will now be Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.” Then the man blessed Jacob. Jacob knew that something special had happened. He understood that he had seen God and was amazed.
Jacob went to meet Esau. Esau wasn’t angry with Jacob anymore. The brothers hugged and cried when they saw each other.
God was with Jacob and had a plan for him.