Family Connections by Children at IBC

By Jeremy Varnell
In Children
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3 3 Bible Story Picture

What's in a name? Well, names used to mean so very much. We learned a couple of weeks ago that Jacob's name meant "trickster" or "deceiver". I'm not sure anybody would want that name, but it did accurately depict several events in his life. But that makes the story we learned today even more amazing. In Genesis 32 and 33, Jacob is returning to the home of his family when he encounters a man. This man wrestles with Jacob throughout the night, dislocates Jacob's hip, and then renames Jacob, Israel. Israel realizes that the man was God, and the name he was given means, "struggles with God". This week, as you talk about Jacob/Israel, share with your kids about times that you have wrestled with God, and how you have learned more about Him through the struggle.  

Starter questions: 

Elementary

  1. Why do you think God chose not to reveal himself before the all-night wrestling match?
  2. After wrestling with God, Israel still has to confront his brother, Esau. Are you surprised by Esau's reaction? Is there anything important about the timing, i.e. the wrestling and then the confrontation with his brother? 

Preschool

  1. What do you think it was like to wrestle with God all night long? 
  2. God gave Jacob a new name to help him remember the struggle. His name used to mean trickster. How was God being kind to Jacob/Israel by changing his name?

As usual, please don't hesitate to contact me with questions at jvarnell@irvingbible.org.

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