Who wrestled with God and won?

That was the question given to the children last Wednesday night. The answer is…Jacob.

What does wrestle mean? Wrestling means to toss back and forth knowing you have to make something right that you did wrong, but on the other hand you can’t control how it will turn out. You give it all you have trusting God to come through because you’ve never been in this place before and you have no other option if you want to obey God.

Jacob and Esau were twins. Their dad was Isaac and their mom Rebekah. Esau was born before Jacob. Esau liked to hunt and make stew, his dad liked him the best. Jacob was quiet and stayed home more, his mom liked him best.

One day Esau came home very tired and hungry and saw his brother Jacob making stew and demanded some of it. Jacob really didn’t want to give him any, however, he saw an opportunity and told Esau that he could have some if he gave him his “birthright” (e.g., he got twice as much from his father’s money as Jacob because he was born first). Esau gave in and traded his entire inheritance for the stew.

Years later, Isaac was weak and blind and he knew it was time to pass on his blessing to Esau, his oldest son. Isaac asked Esau to make him a meal of char-grilled wild meat and after that he would bless him. Esau was excited.

Rebekah heard Isaac and decided she would put Jacob in Esau’s place so that Jacob would get the blessing. Remember, she liked him best. She cooked the food and dressed Jacob in Esau’s clothes and covered his hands and neck with goatskins to resemble Esau’s hairy skin. She sent Jacob into Isaac’s bedroom telling him to pretend to be Esau. His dad couldn’t see very well so he reached out to touch him and wondered if this really was his son, Esau. Jacob lied to his dad two times while still pretending to be Esau. Isaac ate the food and blessed Jacob instead of Esau with a double share of everything forever. It was done.

Pretty soon Esau came in with the food he prepared and discovered that his mom and his brother robbed him of everything he was going to inherit. He was so angry and planned to kill Jacob. Rebekah quickly sent Jacob to live with relatives until Esau got over his anger.

Jacob lived with the relatives for more than 20 years; he got married and had a large family. Then God told him to go back and meet with his brother, Esau. He wanted to meet him with respect and wasn’t sure if he still planned to kill him. Along with his family, he took a large gift to Esau:

  • Two hundred female goats, 20 male goats
  • Two hundred ewes
  • Twenty rams
  • Thirty female camels and their young
  • Forty cows and 10 bulls
  • Twenty female donkeys and 10 male donkeys.

He put them in care of his servants and sent messengers ahead to tell Esau he was coming. When they returned they said Esau coming with 400 men.

Jacob wrestled all night and in the morning he asked for the blessing so that he could go forward and he got it.

What would you do to make things right?

Have you ever felt that someone liked your brother more than they liked you?

Does that ever happen in your family?

Did you ever lie to your dad?

Easier said than done, but worth the wrestling. 

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