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Changed By Knowing God–Story of Jacob and Esau

Supplies: ladder

Choose children to play the parts of Jacob, Isaac, Esau, Rebekah, and two angels. Instruct the children to act out the story as it is told. Begin by having Esau stand, pounding his fist into his hand, because he is angry with Jacob deceiving their father, Isaac, and stealing the blessing that was to be his.

Esau was so angry that he was planning to kill Jacob. It wasn’t long before Rebekah found out and had Jacob come to her. (Have Rebekah look very worried as she instructs Jacob to go to her brother’s house in Haran.) She told Jacob to go to his uncle’s house in Haran; she would send for him when Esau had forgotten all of what happened and gotten over his anger. Jacob then went to see Isaac. (Have Jacob kneel on the floor as Isaac blesses Jacob and sends him on his way.) Isaac told Jacob, “Go to your uncle Laban’s house and find a wife.” He did not want Jacob to marry a Canaanite woman. Isaac then blessed Jacob and sent him on his way. When Esau heard that Isaac did not want Jacob to marry a Canaanite woman, he went to see Ishmael and married the daughter of Ishmael, the son of Abraham.

(At this time, have the children roleplaying Esau, Isaac, and Rebekah return to their seats.) Jacob is beginning to look tired from his long trip; he decides to go to sleep. Jacob lays his head on a large stone. (Bring the ladder and set it up. Have an angel stand on a higher step and an angel stand on a lower step.) Jacob began to have a dream from God of the angels walking up and down the large stairway coming from heaven. (For safety, do not have the children try to walk on the ladder.) Then Jacob heard God say, “I am the Lord, the God of you father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Remove the ladder and have the two angels return to their seats. Have Jacob excitedly jump up as he awakens.) Jacob thought to himself, “God is in this place and I didn’t know it.” (Have Jacob pretend to stand the stone on its end and pour oil over it.)

Jacob set up a large stone as a remembrance, like a memorial, of his vision and promises from God. He named the place Bethel which means ‘house of God.’ Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s house, then the LORD will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” (Have Jacob return to his seat as you explain to the children that.)

Jacob’s dream changed his life. He realized that God was with him. Knowing God was with him removed Jacob’s fear of the future; he trusted God to take care of him and do what was best for him. Jacob made a commitment to obey God with his life. God has given us many promises as well. In fact, He has promised to always be with us; no one else can do that. Like Jacob, knowing God is always with us should help us trust Him and choose to obey Him with our lives.

The Prayer Time called, “Knowing God Changes Me” in the Vault goes well with this same topic.

Copyright 1997 Children’s Ministry Today

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