Unit 3, Session 2: Jacob’s New Name (Pre-School- Gr. 4)
This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, our journey takes place 20 years after Jacob ran away from Esau. Jacob had lived with his uncle Laban for many years, and God had kept His promise to bless Jacob with a large family and riches. Now God said it was time for Jacob to return home. But uncertainty awaited Jacob in his homeland. His brother Esau was there. The last time Jacob saw Esau, Esau wanted to kill him.
Jacob tried to prepare for his meeting with Esau. He strategically divided his family into separate groups. He sent gifts ahead of them to appease Esau. That night, Jacob anxiously awaited word from Esau, and that is when he encountered the Lord. Jacob wrestled with the Lord all night.
Explain to your kids that Jacob did not win by strength but by confessing his dependence on God’s blessing. Jacob had nowhere else to turn. He could not succeed by his own strength. Jacob held onto God and would not let go. God poured out His grace on Jacob. He blessed Jacob and gave him a new name, Israel. From Jacob’s descendants—from the nation of Israel—God would bring into the world His Son, Jesus.
Memory Passage: Genesis 26:24
Family starting points
|Babies and Toddlers||Preschool||Kids|
FLYTE: Is there Hope for my Family? (Gr.4-6)
Preteens want answers in knowing how to deal with the problems in their families. When parents split up, fathers put work ahead of their families, or mothers are short-tempered, preteens feel hopeless and they want answers. But what are they supposed to do?
This week’s passage is so important because it shows over and over Joseph’s response to tough situations. When Joseph was asked to interpret dreams for Egyptians, he put others’ needs first. When Joseph was called to a big job to save a country that was not his own, he put others’ needs first. And when confronted with the brothers who had betrayed him, Joseph put others’ needs first. Joseph didn’t have much control over his life, but he repeatedly did the only thing he could—live in harmony with those around him.
This is a common story that many people scan right over. Dive into Genesis 40–45 this week and look at each choice Joseph faced. Try to find a parallel to the choices in your own life. Is there a big job you aren’t really excited about that deserves your best? Is there someone you need to forgive? Is there someone you need to help?
Preteens can be selfish. They need guidance in learning how to put others first. This week’s lesson is critical for them to dig into instead of skimming it over. Pray. Ask God to convict you of areas in which you need to make others a priority. Pray that preteens will be able to do the same.
Memory Passage: Psalm 133:1