This lesson is flexible and can be used in large group/small group, age-graded classrooms, and one-room classrooms.
LESSON AT A GLANCE
IN GOD’S BIG STORY
Jacob is left alone with his thoughts and doubts, and God sends an angel who wrestles him and gives him a new name.
God Is Faithful
WORD OF WONDER
“Before you created the whole world and the mountains were made, from the beginning to the end you are God.” Psalm 90:2 (NIrV)
CURIOSITY (15 MINS) | Large Group or Small Group
An object lesson, experiment, or activity that sparks curiosity, encourages exploration, and gets kids thinking about the wonder of God.
- Welcome Question: What is the first letter of your name? What is your favorite describing word that also begins with that letter?
- Curiosity Questions
- Multisensory Activity: The Notable Name Memory Game
- Declaring God’s Wonder
BELIEF (25-35 MINS) | Large Group
A deep and interactive dive into Scripture that guides kids into knowing God more deeply, exploring His big story, and marveling at His wonder.
- Prayer of Invitation
- God’s Big Story: Hear It, Watch It, Experience It!
- Connecting the Wonder Truth
- In Awe of God’s Wonder
- Word of Wonder: Psalm 90:2
FAITH (15 MINS) | Small Group
An intentional conversation that helps kids see the wonder of God’s story and how it connects to their own, emboldening their faith and fostering a deeper understanding of their place in God’s kingdom.
- Word of Wonder Activity
- Discussion Questions for Younger and Older Kids
- Small Group Prayer Time
IDENTITY (10 MINS) | Large Group or Small Group
An interactive worship response activity that creates space for God to remind kids of these core truths: I am known, I am loved, I am led, and my life can tell of God’s wonder.
- Responding in Worship: A Name from God
- Blessing Your Kids
INVITATION FOR LEADERS
We invite you to pause, listen, and shift your gaze toward the Father …
One of my favorite moments before Jacob wrestles with God is in Genesis 32:7 when we discover Jacob was worried and afraid. I’m so grateful that, amid the pages of Scripture, we find real, human emotions.
I mean, how would you feel? You have stolen your brother’s birthright, masquerading in goat hair; you have run away and been hoodwinked by your now father-in-law; you know it’s time to come home and face the music, but look around you. Look what you have done!
Yet, following Jacob’s very honest look at how the next few days could go, he prays. After taking stock of the situation, Jacob does the only thing he knows to do in the face of his future: he talks to the Author. And amid reminding God of His promises, he asks God to save him from his brother. Jacob did all he could do to prepare for this encounter with Esau; now he is asking God to do what only He can do.
READ IT FOR YOURSELF
Read Genesis 32–33 for context, and then go back and read Genesis 32:22–32. What do you question in this event? If you could ask Jacob three questions about this experience, what would they be?
I am curious about the limp. Did it give him pain all his life or simply remind him of the thing he could never forget? But I don’t question Jacob winning the wrestling match. I think he won for so many reasons, but mostly because every good father lets his child win at wrestling at least once. God allowed it, and Jacob never forgot it.
So how did you get your limp? Where has He conceded so that you would continue to lean in and ask questions about who He is? What has His faithfulness looked like to you, as you look back at how far you’ve walked with Him by your side?
DID YOU KNOW? FOUNDATION BUILDING BLOCKS
Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah, and twin brother to Esau, deceived his brother and lived in hiding for many years. While Jacob was in hiding, he married and had a family.
Years earlier, Jacob tricked Esau and received their father’s blessing, so Jacob was afraid Esau might kill him. After Jacob prayed for God’s protection, an angel who looked like a man came and wrestled with him until morning.
Jacob had been in Haran living with his uncle. When the time came, he returned to Canaan and settled in Bethel, where he previously had seen God and built an altar because he knew God was there.
Twenty years after he fled to safety, Jacob left Haran with his family and all he had accumulated to head back to the place God had shown him. That 20 years allowed for reconciliation between him and Esau.
Jacob was afraid of Esau and prayed for God’s deliverance. God sent an angel and blessed Jacob. Despite all his deceptions and lies, God still chose to protect Jacob and use his family to fulfill the promise He had made to Abraham.
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