Jacob and Esau
“Look, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.” Genesis 28:15a
In His covenant with Abraham, God promised land, descendants, and a blessing to all the nations of the earth. (Gen. 22:17-18) God would keep His promise through every generation, choosing one person to carry the line until one day, a child would be born into the family who would be the promised One. God reaffirmed the promise to Abraham’s son Isaac. Isaac was the next child chosen to carry the family line.
After 20 years of marriage, Isaac and Rebekah still did not have children. Isaac prayed that God would give Rebekah a child, and God answered his prayer. Rebekah became pregnant with twins, but the pregnancy was difficult. The twins fought inside her, and Rebekah asked God, “Why is this happening to me?”
God explained His plan for the twins. The boys’ families would become two nations (from Esau, the nation of Edom; from Jacob, the nation of Israel), one stronger than the other. And the older son would serve the younger. This was uncommon; the firstborn had a birthright—a double portion of the inheritance. But this prophecy showed God had chosen the younger twin to inherit the promise made to Abraham.
Jacob and Rebekah’s boys were born and the older, Esau (EE saw), was unlike the younger, Jacob. Esau became a hunter, and Jacob stayed at home. One day, Esau agreed to give his birthright to Jacob in exchange for some bread and a bowl of stew.
Isaac may have perceived the conflict between brothers as a threat to the covenant. But God appeared to Isaac at Gerar reaffirmed His promise of land, descendants, and a blessing to all the nations of the earth. (Gen. 26:4) He encouraged Isaac to be faithful like Abraham. God was at work in each generation. He showed grace by extending the promise to those who had no innate right to it, to those who did not deserve it.
As you share this story with your kids, remind them that God’s covenant with Abraham continued to the next generation. Esau sold his birthright, giving Jacob the right to the wonderful blessings God promised to his father Abraham. Through Jacob’s family, God would send the promised Savior to bring blessing and salvation to the world.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
- Rebekah wanted Isaac to bless Jacob instead of Esau.
- Jacob tricked Isaac into giving him the blessing.
- God showed Jacob in a dream that He would bless him and his family.
KEY PASSAGE: Genesis 28:15a
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- Does God keep His promises? God always keeps His promises.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- Did Rebekah and Jacob make a right choice or a wrong choice?
- Did Rebekah and Jacob’s wrong choice stop God’s plan for their family?
- How does God bless us through Jacob’s family?
- Find a place where the whole family can climb stairs safely. Imagine what it would be like to see a staircase from earth to heaven.
• Invite another family to join you on a rock hunt. Review the Bible story and talk about how Jacob set up a rock to remember where God spoke to him.