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.