Parents' Corner | March 4, 2019
Jacob found himself stuck between a rock and a hard place. After stealing his older brother’s blessing, he fled his home to escape Esau’s anger. He spent time with his uncle Laban, got married, and fathered many children. Overall, Jacob prospered. God blessed him, but Jacob’s time with his uncle Laban did not end well. Laban’s sons accused Jacob of taking their father’s wealth.
God was with Jacob and when He told Jacob to leave, Jacob did not hesitate. He gathered his family and all of his possessions and headed home to Canaan with Laban in pursuit. But uncertainty awaited Jacob in his homeland. His brother Esau was there. The last time Jacob saw Esau, Esau wanted to kill him.
God had reaffirmed to Jacob the promise He gave Abraham and Isaac, and He had promised to be with Jacob. But with Laban behind him and Esau before him, how could Jacob possibly survive? Jacob tried to prepare for his meeting with Esau. He strategically divided his family into separate groups. He sent gifts ahead of them to appease Esau. That night, Jacob anxiously awaited word from Esau, and that is when he encountered the Lord.
Did Jacob win the wrestling match? Was he stronger than the Lord? The victory was ironic; Jacob did not win by strength (God proved His power by crippling Jacob with just a touch) but by confessing his dependence on God’s blessing. Jacob had nowhere else to turn. He could not succeed by his own strength. Jacob held onto God and would not let go. God poured out His grace on Jacob. He blessed Jacob and gave him a new name, Israel. From Jacob’s descendants—from the nation of Israel—God would bring into the world His Son, Jesus.
As you talk with your kids about this story, emphasize that God changed Jacob’s life and gave him a new name, Israel. Jesus came so that we might have a changed life, forgiven of sin. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Jesus’ death and resurrection provided sinful people the way to be adopted into God’s family. When we are adopted into the family of God we also receive a new name—children of God. (John 1:12)
Family Ministry Director
The Well Community Church
Family Starting Points
March 3, 2019
Scripture Memory: Matthew 17:20
If you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there," and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
Big Picture Question:
What can stop God’s plan? Nothing can stop God’s plan.
Bible Story: “The Stolen Blessing” (Genesis 25:27-34; 27:1-45)
- God told Jacob it was time to go home.
- Jacob was afraid to see his brother Esau.
- Jacob wrestled with God, and God changed his name to Israel.
Family Discussion Starters:
- Jacob was afraid Esau was still angry with him. Tell about a time you had a disagreement with a family member and how you forgave each other.
- Jacob prayed, asking God to rescue him from his brother. What is something that scares you? Talk to God about it?
- Host a family “thumb war.” Remember Jacob would not let God go unless He blessed him.
- Go further: Look online to discover the meaning of each family member’s name. Discuss if the name is a good fit.
- “Joseph Sent to Egypt” (Genesis 37:1-36; 39:1–41:57)