Archive for June, 2016

Jacob’s Wrestling Match

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God protects, disciplines, and blesses his chosen ones

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Proverbs 30:5

(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 32:1-32) Jacob was heading back home to face his brother Esau. This made him very fearful because he had stolen Esau’s birthright and blessing. One night while he was still on his journey, he met a man who began to wrestle with him. They wrestled all night until Jacob realized that he was wrestling God. With one touch God threw Jacob’s hip out of joint, but Jacob would not let go until he was blessed. We all struggle and wrestle with God because of sin, but when we keep holding on we are blessed with the gift that God gave us when he sent down his son in the form of man. After this Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, which means “one who wrestles with God”

The Jesus Connection:
Read John 12:13. Can you imagine what Jacob must have thought when in the middle of the night a stranger appeared and began to wrestle with him? Jacob may have thought it was a robber or one of Esau’s men. They wrestled all night, but Jacob did not give in. Then, toward morning, the man put Jacob’s hip out of joint with one small touch. Suddenly Jacob realized he had been wrestling with God. Despite the pain, Jacob held on and refused to let go until God blessed him. So God blessed Jacob and gave him a very special name: Israel. From that time on, God’s people would be known as the people of Israel. When Jesus came riding into Jerusalem just before going to the cross, the crowds waved palm branches and shouted, “Blessed is … the King of Israel.”


Jacobs Dream

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jacob’s true birthright is given by God who draws near

 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.
Genesis 28:15a

(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 28:10-22) Rebekah overhears Esau planning to kill Jacob after their father Isaac dies. So she tells Jacob to flee and not to return until Esau’s anger subsides. As Jacob leaves, Isaac blesses him a second time. On his journey Jacob has a dream. The dream was God reaching out to Jacob, repeating the promise He made to Abraham. Jacob realizes God is with Him and when he awakens he sets the stone he has been sleeping on and sets it up as a memorial. God has used dreams as a way to communicate with individuals he is calling on a mission. Although God uses dreams, we don’t have to wait for dreams to discover the will of God.   

The Jesus Connection:
Read John 1:43–51.
God came to Jacob in a dream of a ladder between earth and heaven. In the dream, God promised Jacob the same thing he had promised Jacob’s grandfather Abraham— to bless all families of the earth through his offspring. This blessing refers to salvation through Jesus Christ. In John 1, Jesus lets us in on a little secret: He is the ladder of Jacob’s dream! Jesus is the only way to cross from earth to heaven. Jesus made it possible for man to be forgiven and go to heaven to live with God. He is the one who made the way for us

Jacob and Esau  

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God directs all things from babies to birthrights

19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 19:19

(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 25:19-34) When Rebekah was pregnant with twins she could feel the children wrestling inside of her. God revealed to her that she would have twins, where the older would serve the younger. It was unusual that the older would serve the younger, but we see it come true when the boys are older. Jacob who was the younger had made a bowl of stew. When Esau returned from hunting and was hungry, Jacob took advantage of him and offered the stew for Esau’s birthright. That meant when the father dies, the inheritance goes to the one with the birthright. God had a purpose and a plan for Jacob. We can see that God directs all things.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Romans 9:8–15. Have you been wondering why God told Rebekah that her older son would serve the younger? Here, in the book of Romans, God gives us the answer. God wanted to show that he controls everything. By choosing the meeker, younger son over the firstborn, stronger son, God was showing us that he didn’t need man’s strength to accomplish his plans. In the end, God wanted everyone to see that his people are saved by our faith in God alone, not because of when we were born or because of anything we do. God does not save us because we are strong or because we were born first. We are saved by faith (trusting in God’s plan), and even our faith is a gift God gives to us. The most important part of God’s plan to save us was the death of his Son Jesus upon the cross, who died to take our sins away.