This free one year kid’s devotional study thru the Bible is designed to hit the highlights, provide practical application and requires no preparation. If you have a little more time, I encourage you to read the whole section of scripture (Genesis 32) while we focus in on just a few verses in 5 minutes.
Background: God inspired Moses wrote the first five books in the Bible. The very first book, Genesis, emphasizes beginnings. Beginning of the world and mankind, beginning of sin (man’s disobedience to God) and the beginning of God’s special nation.
Jacob had a broken relationship with his older brother Esau for a long time. God led Jacob to meet his brother and to ask for forgiveness and to restore their relationship. Jacob was afraid of what Esau would do to him for Esau had become rich and powerful. The night before the meeting, Jacob went out and asked the Lord’s blessing. God met him in a very unusual way and gave Jacob something he didn’t expect.
Ask the children…
Who came to Jacob during his prayer time and what happened?
“This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. 25 When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. 26 Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!’” (Genesis 32:24-26)
God appeared to Jacob in the form of a man a man and they wrestled. What did the man say to Jacob?
“But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ ‘What is your name?’ the man asked.’ He replied, ‘Jacob.’ ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob,’ the man told him. ‘From now on you will be called Israel,[c] because you have fought with God and with men and have won.’” (Genesis 32:26-28)
Jacob was given a new name, Israel, which means, ‘wrestles with God’. God welcomes us to come and wrestle with Him in prayer. He wants us to bear our hearts to Him and tell Him our burdens and to cry out for God to do what we cannot possibly do. God honored Jacob’s prayer and wrestling by giving him a new name. A name that Jacob’s descendants would be known by to this day, Israel.
Ask your children what it would feel like to wrestle with God? Have they ever wrestled with God in prayer? What area in their life needs God to really work in? Take some time to wrestle with God and don’t stop until He answers.
If you like what you read about ways to teach children the Bible, check out the children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents and kids because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible. CHECK OUT A FREE SAMPLE OF CHAPTER ONE BELOW.