Jacob and Esau were rivals before birth. They struggled in the womb, and Jacob was born grabbing onto Esau’s heel. Even though he was younger, Jacob convinced Esau to sell him his birthright for some stew. When Isaac was old and blind, the time came for Isaac to bless Esau. With the blessing came the privilege afforded to the firstborn—leadership over the family. With Rebekah’s guidance, Jacob deceived his father and stole his brother’s blessing.
In his anger, Esau planned to kill Jacob. Rebekah sent Jacob away to her brother Laban until Esau calmed down. Isaac blessed Jacob before he left and told him to find a wife among his relatives.
Jacob had a 500-mile journey ahead of him. Along the way, he stopped and camped under the stars. He used a rock as a pillow and fell asleep. That night, Jacob dreamed and saw a stairway from the ground to the sky, and God’s angels were going up and down on it.
The Lord stood beside him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac” (Gen. 28:13). God promised to give Jacob’s family land and numerous descendants, and He promised they would be a blessing to all the nations of the earth.
In the morning, Jacob set up the stone as a marker and poured oil on it He named the place Bethel, which means “House of God.” He vowed to follow God if God kept His promise to be with him and take care of him. Then Jacob continued on his journey
As you share with your kids, remind them that Jacob was the child chosen by God to carry the family line—to follow God, to lead the family, and to teach the next generation to follow God too. The promises for Abraham and Isaac also became the promises for Jacob. At Bethel, God showed that His plan was to continue the covenant through Jacob’s family and eventually a whole nation, leading to the birth of Jesus—the promised Savior.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS
Why didn’t God reject Jacob after he tricked Isaac?
Did Rebekah and Jacob trust God’s promises?
How can we grow to trust God more?
Cook dinner as a family. Discuss the events of the story, and remind your kids that God can work His plans even when we make sinful choices.
Use fake fur to play dress-up with your kids.