Summary: Trusting in God’s foresight, wisdom and care reduces stress
Unit 9 – Family
Lesson 24 – Jacob’s Journey to Haran – Genesis 28:1-22
Preparation for the Teacher
1. Aim: To lead the children to understand how to trust in God’s providence (His foresight, His timely care and His generous kindness).
2. Explanation of the Aim: Jacob put conditions on his trust in God indicating that He had to learn how to rely on the Lord’s providential care in all things. Jacob said, “If God will be with me and watch over me on this journey 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 a tenth.” (Gen. 26:20-22) The Lord recognizes the weak faith of people like Jacob who put conditions on God before they are willing to fully trust Him. People of great faith know and believe that God will work out all things together for good because they trust in His providential care. Help the children realize that God will bless us according to the quality of our faith in His ability to know what is best in all things.
3. The Bible Story: Our lesson begins when we discover Jacob is forced to flee from his own country into Syria. Even though he was blessed with corn and wine yet he went away poor and had to engage in hard service. The Lord taught Jacob that he must reap what he had sown for the deceitful manipulation of his brother Esau. God corrects us since He wants us to be more mature, holy and complete in Him. Throughout his journey to Haran Jacob learns how weak his faith is by putting conditions on his trust in God. Let us learn that we cannot put conditions on God as if He were our servant. Everything we have is a gift of God. We must thank, worship and obey Him in all aspects of our life without putting conditions before we do His will.
4. Prepare to Teach: The INTRODUCTION helps the children consider some of conditions that people give to God before they consent to trust and obey Him. Give the children some examples of how people say to the Lord, “If I can be successful, then I will give some of my money to the church.” What are some of the other ways that some people falsely presume on God’s good will? The BIBLE STORY gives us great insights into how Jacob grew in faith. Let us explore the ways that some of us can avoid the hesitations that Jacob expressed before He trusted God’s providential care. THE MEANING FOR OUR LIVES helps the children find ways that they can avoid the mistakes of Jacob and follow his obedience.
CLASS TIME (Begin With Prayer)
Give the children several examples of people who try to put conditions on God before they are willing to trust and obey Him. For instance, a person might say, “I will serve you Lord after I finish my twenty years of civil service for the government and then I will go wherever you want me to go.” What is wrong with that kind of presumptuous attitude? What is wrong with someone like Jacob when he told God he would trust him provided that he be given journey’s mercies and safe arrival back in his Father’s house? Why is it wrong to presume upon God’s will for our life?
The Bible Story
God gave Jacob a great vision when he was at a very low point in his life. Often the Lord gives us some of the best encouragement and wisdom when we have reached a point of feeling destitute. Be humble enough to acknowledge that you are weak in yourself so God can show His power in and through you. When our duties abound so will the grace of God abound all the more. Jacob saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven with angels ascending and descending from it. God’s providential care is constant over all of our lives. Everything on earth is known in heaven and every perfect gift comes down from above. Without the Lord’s timely care we would be completely helpless, miserable and in great distress. Providence does its work step by step not only in special miraculous moments. Let us learn to trust the Lord for the way He wants to work in our lives every second of every day during the course of whole lifetime. Jacob needed to learn this lessons before the Lord could use Him for greater purposes. People who are unwilling to trust and obey the Lord’s providence will always be prisoners of their fears, anger or faulty assumptions.