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Jacob Wrestles With God - Lesson on Persistence

Kids, have you done anything that was really hard to do? How about an assignment in school? a test in Math or Science? Do you simply give up? Let's see at a story of Jacob and a lesson about never giving up.

In the last lesson, Jacob just married Leah and Rachel. He worked for another 7 years for Laban and had many children. Afterward, he decided that he wanted to finally take his whole family and possessions and go back to his homeland. At first, they fled from Laban but Laban caught up with them. At the end, they agreed that they would part peacefully.

Jacob wrestles with a man. Wikipedia.
Jacob sent messengers to his brother Esau that he is coming home. When they returned, they told Jacob that Esau is coming with 400 men. In great fear, Jacob divided into groups all the people with him including the flocks, herds and camels and sent them ahead of him. He also sent ahead of him his wives, maid servants and children. So, he was left that night in the camp.

When Jacob as alone, a man wrestled with him until daybreak. Do you know what to wrestle mean? It's like fighting and overpowering another person by holding.

When the man saw that he cannot overpower Jacob, he touched the socket of his hip and it was dislocated. Who do you think is this man that he could do that to Jacob's hip by just touching it?

Though Jacob is now limping, he did not let the man go. So the man said, "Let me go for it is daybreak." Jacob answered, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." The man asked, "What is your name?" He said, "Jacob." The man then said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."

Jacob called that place "Peniel" because he saw God face to face and yet lived to tell about it. As he went to be with his family, he walked limping.

Read this story in Genesis 32:24-32.

  1. What did Jacob want to do after working for Laban for a very long time?
  2. Do you remember what happened between Jacob and Esau in the past?
  3. Why was Jacob afraid when the messengers returned from Esau?
  4. What did Jacob do to the people with him?
  5. What happened when Jacob was left alone in the camp?
  6. Who is the man Jacob wrestled with? 
  7. What happened to Jacob while they were wrestling?
  8. Why is it that Jacob still doesn't want to let the man go?
  9. Did Jacob receive what he wanted? Why? (Jacob knew what he wanted; he did not give up)
  10. What lesson can we learn from this story of Jacob? (We should not give up; God is always there to help)

MEMORY VERSE: Psalm 145:18
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him.


  1. Coloring page: Jacob Wrestles with God
  2. Jacob Wrestles with God worksheet: This is for bigger kids who know how to read and write.
  3. Can you do this? This is a simple activity that the children can do. Ask them to do some action like: stand on one foot; say his or her name extending the last syllable as long as he or she could; balance a book on the head, etc. The purpose is to show that if they can't do it the first time, if they do not give up and try again, they could do it especially with the help of God.
  4. Name game: Remembering that the angel asked Jacob his name, ask the children what is their name. Then, describe each child and let the children guess the name of the person being described. Example: I am short, with black hair, my father is a fireman, my mother is a nurse. I am ____. You can also do this name game with Bible characters previously learned by the children.


Freelancer On Fly - Charlot said...

Your blog is very informative and has a lot of great information. Thank you for always sharing your thoughts and insights about God's word. God bless you more.

Family Christian Resources

Mrs. VanderLeek said...

Great resources! This is very helpful! I would however offer up another perspective regarding Jacob's story: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0239.htm Read here to see Spurgeon's (and many other theologians) take on Jacob wrestling with God!

Unknown said...

This is a confession. I'm a Sunday school teacher and I went to church unprepared for any topic but with this information it helped me alot and I taught like I was prepared thank you for sharing this information God bless you

Chin chin said...

I'm glad that this lesson was helpful to you when you had to teach maybe all of a sudden. We do still need to prepare whenever we teach. Thanks for visiting this site.