Jacob’s journey in Genesis is one of unexpected and undeserved blessing after blessing. With a name that literally means he cheats, Jacob was unlikely to receive the privilege and opportunity God gave him.
Jacob was a cheater, a liar, and a deceiver. He was quiet and not strongly gifted. And he was gullible, too. We cannot miss that the deceiver was deceived at times too—easily convinced by his mother and tricked by his uncle. But God would work through Jacob when no circumstances or characteristics made it seem possible.
In Genesis 32:10, Jacob expressed his own bewilderment to the Lord. “I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. Indeed, I crossed over the Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two camps.”
Jacob came to realize that nothing that he had accomplished or accumulated was the result of his own doing. He was not capable or competent enough to produce the many good things he had received and especially not to be the recipient of the promise of God to make his family like the dust of the earth. Jacob was humbled by the reality that through him and his offspring, all of the families of the earth would be blessed.
Have you ever had a moment of astonishment at the magnitude of what God has given you through Christ? Have you taken the time to recognize that all that you have is from God? Does it cause you to rejoice when you think about God’s grace?
It’s easy to look at Jacob and say he didn’t deserve what God gave him. It’s hard to feel that way about ourselves. But it’s just as true.
Paul wrote in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Salvation should bring about this astonishment in us as well. It should remind us that we are not worthy, and it should lead us to rejoice in the undeserving gift of God’s grace.
FAMILY TALKING POINTS
This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.
- Babies & Toddlers: God calls us His children.
- Younger Preschool: God gave Jacob a new name, Israel. When we follow Jesus, God calls us His children.
- Older Preschool: God changed Jacob’s life and gave him a new name, Israel. By dying and rising from the dead, Jesus made the way for us to be adopted into God’s family. When we trust in Jesus, we get a new name, too—children of God.
- Kids: 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. Jesus’ death and resurrection provided sinful people the way to be adopted into God’s family. When we trust in Jesus, we also receive a new name—children of God.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER
This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Younger Preschool: Who makes everything happen? God makes everything happen.
- Preschool: Who is in control of everything? God is in control of everything.
- Kids: Who is in control of everything? God is in control of everything in heaven and on earth. Nothing is outside of God’s good plan.
This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Babies & Toddlers: The Lord is great. — Psalm 135:5
- Younger Preschool: The Lord is great. — Psalm 135:5
- Older Preschool: The LORD does whatever he pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths. — Psalm 135:6
- Kids: I know that the LORD is great; our Lord is greater than all gods. The LORD does whatever he pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths. — Psalm 135:5-6
** Next week: God Had a Plan for Joseph (Genesis 37–50)