Jacob was on his way to meet his brother. He and his brother were at odds since Jacob stole Esau’s blessing AND Esau’s birthright. So, on Jacob’s way he met a man and wrestled him. When the man realized that Jacob wouldn’t relent, he blessed Jacob.
While driving though town, ask your family if they’d jump out and wrestle someone. I doubt it, right? So why did this happen to Jacob? Jacob was alone and was wrestling God. He was getting ready to do something big! Discuss how we ‘wrestle’ with God, talking with Him while trying to decide what to do.
Jacob had just made amends with his father-in-law and was now getting ready to meet his brother. In short, Jacob had some worries, doubts, and fear running through him during this time. He wasn’t sure if he’d live after meeting up with his brother or if his brother would still be angry. Jacob was lying down at night and a man appeared and wrestled him. When He blessed Jacob, He gave him a new name: Israel!
Discuss bringing your fears and worries to God. Discuss what it means to endure the hard parts of life to receive the blessings of God.
A couple of things happened to Jacob after he wrestled with God: his hip was permanently hurt so he walked with a limp, and he got a new name. These were pretty big things in his life. Then, when he met up with his brother, he forgave him and asked him to come live with him. Things seem to be looking up for Jacob (Israel)!
Discuss as a family things you have wrestled or are wrestling with God about. Talk about how God has blessed you through the time you have spent with Him.
GO DEEPER: Talk about things that might be a tough wrestling match. Talk about ways to engage God with things that are difficult, like doubting your faith.
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