Read Together: For many years, Jacob worked for his Uncle Laban, but he was not happy. Sensing his discontent, Laban agreed to give some of his sheep to Jacob in payment for his labor. Before long, Jacob’s flocks thrived, and he began to become very wealthy.
Now it was Laban’s turn to be unhappy. As his jealousy and envy deepened, Jacob knew it was time for his family to escape. While Laban was gone, Jacob and all his family made their getaway. Ten days later, Laban and his relatives caught up. What happened? You’ll have to read the story! Don’t worry…they parted ways and no-one was harmed.
But just when Jacob thought things were going better, he found out that his brother Esau was headed his way…with four hundred men! Remember Esau? He was Jacob’s brother. The last thing we heard from him was a promise that he would kill the brother who took his blessing. Things did not look good for Jacob and his family!
Thankfully, things did eventually take a turn for the better for Jacob. He survived yet another hostile encounter, and lived a long and prosperous life, as he passed on God’s promise to Abraham to his twelve sons.
To find out how Jacob survived these adventures, and also wrestled with God, read the chapters below! Oh, and did I mention, he also wrestled with God!
Read Together: Genesis 30-35
- Ask your child why they think Jacob left Padan Aram in secret. How does Proverbs 22:3 apply to what Jacob did? How does this principle apply today?
- Remind your child that Jacob left Canaan with next to nothing, but he returned a wealthy man. Explain that Jacob’s wealth was a result of God’s blessings.
- Help your child see that God names things what they are. Jacob was no longer the schemer he had been, and his new name, Israel, better reflected his new character. Note the humility Jacob expressed when he met his brother Esau.
- Explain to your child that the promise of national prominence and great riches were passed down from Abraham to Isaac, and from Isaac to Jacob who became Israel. The nation of Israel is named for this patriarch.
Genesis 32:28 “And He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.’”