Teacher BIBLE STUDY. Preschool Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 3 Session LifeWay Christian Resources

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1 Teacher BIBLE STUDY Jacob and Esau were typical sibling rivals. Rebekah had a difficult pregnancy because the twins struggled in her womb. Outside the womb, things didn t seem to get much better strife still ruled their lives. Once, when Esau was hungry, Jacob offered to give him some stew in exchange for his birthright. The birthright was an important part of the patriarchal culture. Upon the death of his father, Esau, as the older brother, would be given twice as much property and goods as Jacob. Esau satisfied his hunger and left, despising his birthright. The Hebrew term baza (baw-zaw ) can have any number of meanings, but basically it means to undervalue. Esau was more concerned with his grumbling stomach than with his right to succeed his father as family patriarch. Isaac, blind and getting older, planned to bless Esau before he died. With instructions to cook savory food, reminiscent of the stew Esau received earlier, Esau went on the hunt. Not to be outdone, Rebekah took up the cause of her favored son and set into motion a plan that would ensure that Jacob, not Esau, received the blessing from Isaac. After finding out about the deception, Esau planned to kill his brother. Jacob left home and lived with his uncle, Laban. Similar to other stories we ve seen, when people make their own plans and try to help God, their plans never prosper. Share with kids that God s plans are always perfect, and nothing can stop God s plans, even when we get in the way. God s plan from the creation of the world was to send Jesus Christ to be the Savior. No matter what plans people make to circumvent God s plan, His plan is always the best LifeWay Christian Resources

2 The BIBLE STORY The Stolen Blessing Genesis 25:27-34; 27:1-45 Everyone in today s Bible story either wanted the wrong things or tried to get good things the wrong way. A father in Bible times would give his oldest son two important things: the birthright and a blessing. When his father died, the son who received the birthright would receive more money and property than his brothers. That son would become the leader of the family. He would make all the family decisions. When someone received a blessing, it could not be changed. Esau was older than Jacob, so Esau expected Isaac would give him the birthright and the blessing. But before Esau and Jacob were born, God told their mother, Rebekah, that Esau would serve Jacob. That meant that God planned for Jacob to become the head of the family instead of Esau. As Esau grew up, he became a very good hunter. Isaac liked to eat the meat Esau brought home. Esau did not seem to care much about things like birthrights and blessings. Jacob liked to stay at home better. His mother loved him. She taught him how to cook. Jacob did care about birthrights and blessings. He wanted them even though he was not the older brother. One day, Jacob was cooking stew. It smelled wonderful! Esau came home from hunting. He was very hungry and asked for some stew. But Jacob said, First sell me your birthright. Esau replied, What good is a birthright if I am so hungry I m about to die? So he promised to trade his birthright for a bowl of stew. Was Esau really about to die because he was so hungry? No! But right at that moment, Esau cared more about eating than about his birthright. His birthright would have been important for the rest of his life. Esau made a bad choice. When Isaac was old, he sent Esau out hunting and told him to come home with meat to make a delicious meal. Then Isaac would give Esau his blessing. Rebekah heard what Isaac told Esau. She wanted Jacob to have the blessing. She made a plan to trick Isaac and get the blessing for Jacob. She made a tasty meal, and she dressed Jacob in Esau s clothing. She put goat skins on Jacob s hands and neck to make him seem hairy, like Esau LifeWay Christian Resources

3 She told Jacob to pretend to be Esau. Rebekah and Jacob were doing a bad thing. Jacob took the meal to Isaac. Isaac could not see well, and he was surprised that Esau had come home so quickly from hunting. He wasn t quite sure that the person in the room was really Esau, because the voice sounded like Jacob s. But Jacob said, I am Esau, which, of course, was not true. Jacob smelled like Esau and felt like Esau. Isaac blessed him with a wonderful blessing for wealth, success, and leadership of the family. When Esau returned and learned what Jacob had done, he was very, very angry. He begged Isaac for a blessing. Isaac said Esau would have a hard life, he would fight a lot, and he would serve Jacob. Esau was so angry that wanted to hurt Jacob, so Rebekah and Isaac sent Jacob away until Esau would not be so angry. Everybody in Isaac s family had sinned. They all chose to make their own plans instead of waiting on God to work out His plan. Did that change God s plan? No! God always knows what He is doing. What can stop God s plans? Nothing can stop God s plans. Christ Connection: Jacob is a perfect example of why a Savior was needed. Like Jacob, we seek a birthright and blessing that is not ours, but we cannot lie, deceive, or trick to receive it. Instead Jesus shared His birthright and blessing with us when He paid for our sins on the cross and gave us His righteousness. The Covenant Renewed LifeWay Christian Resources

4 Small Group OPENING Session Title: The Stolen Blessing Bible Passage: Genesis 25:27-34; 27:1-45 Big Picture Question: What can stop God s plans? Nothing can stop God s plans. Key Passage: Genesis 28:15 Unit Christ Connection: Despite difficult circumstances, God remained faithful to the people to whom His promise was given, in preparation for the salvation that would come through Jesus Christ. Prepare: Play Starry Night in the background. Set an offering basket near the door. Post the allergy alert for the snack ingredients. Set out a few favorite toys such as puzzles and blocks.. LOW PREP crayons Then and Now 1 per kid Welcome and Session Starter (15 20 minutes) Welcome parents and preschoolers; follow your church s security procedures for signing in preschoolers. Offer the preschooler one or both activities to set the stage for today s lesson. Activity Sheet: Then and Now Life for Jacob s family was like life for families today in some ways but very different in some ways. Ask kids to circle pictures that show life for Jacob s family. Why did they choose those pictures? Say Even though Isaac s family members were sometimes selfish, God still had plans for Jacob, and God keeps His promises. What can stop God s plans? Nothing can stop God s plans! LifeWay Christian Resources

5 cooking pot pictures or actual ingredients: red lentils, water, celery, carrot, onion, salt, tomato nonstew items: shoe, cake, spoon, crayon, candy countdown video or bell (optional) What belongs in the stew? Arrange the food items on the table around the pot. Ask preschoolers to sort them by what belongs in the stew and what doesn t. Put the ingredients for the stew into the pot. Talk about how healthy this stew is. (Red lentils are high in protein a superfood; other vegetables are nutritious and flavorful.) Have fun with the silly items. Say Esau traded his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew. Was that a wise trade? Hear more about that in today s story from the Bible. Transition to Bible study time Use your cue for getting everyone s attention. If you know the birthdays of the kids in your group, choose the oldest boy or girl in the class to be the line leader. Choose the youngest boy or girl in the class to be the door holder or caboose. The Covenant Renewed LifeWay Christian Resources

6 Large Group BIBLE STUDY Session Title: The Stolen Blessing Bible Passage: Genesis 25:27-34; 27:1-45 Big Picture Question: What can stop God s plans? Nothing can stop God s plans. Key Passage: Genesis 28:15 Unit Christ Connection: Despite difficult circumstances, God remained faithful to the people to whom His promise was given, in preparation for the salvation that would come through Jesus Christ. Large Group Bible Study Time (10 15 minutes) sack or pillowcase piece of faux fur The Stolen Blessing video Bible Use the timeline from the Timeline Map or Small Group Visual Pack. Big Picture Question Poster Introduce the Bible story Pass around a sack with a piece of something furry inside. Ask children what it feels like. Say Something that felt like this was used to trick a man who could not see. Listen to today s Bible story to hear what happened. Tell the Bible story or watch the video Tell the Bible story, or, if you choose, show the Bible story video The Stolen Blessing. Review Examine the timeline, big picture question, and key passage. Look at the timeline map and point to Abraham. Say Do you remember what God promised about the number of Abraham s descendants? (like the number of stars in the sky cannot be counted) Because Abraham showed that he believed God s plan, many, many people today all over the world are descendants of Abraham LifeWay Christian Resources

7 Key Passage Poster Look! Tip: Do activities one of these ways: at the same time as a group in small groups that rotate through each activity set up as centers, allowing preschoolers to browse and choose the ones they prefer How did people know God s plan? God told people His plan. In our Bible story, Jacob and Rebekah, Jacob s mother, tried to make God s plan work out by stealing from Esau and tricking Jacob s father. Could they change God s plan by doing things their own way? No! What can stop God s plans? Nothing can stop God s plans. Read the key passage from the poster. Sing the key passage song Look! Talk about what the words mean. Say Where can we read this key passage? (Genesis, in the Bible) Show the verse in the Bible. Transition to small groups Describe the activities you have chosen to set up and explain how you will organize working in them. Send a few preschoolers at a time to do or choose an activity. This time, consider letting the youngest go first. The Covenant Renewed LifeWay Christian Resources

8 Small Group ACTIVITIES Session Title: The Stolen Blessing Bible Passage: Genesis 25:27-34; 27:1-45 Big Picture Question: What can stop God s plans? Nothing can stop God s plans. Key Passage: Genesis 28:15 Unit Christ Connection: Despite difficult circumstances, God remained faithful to the people to whom His promise was given, in preparation for the salvation that would come through Jesus Christ. Tip: Select activities you can staff and which interest your class. Limit the number who can work an activity if necessary. tempera paint, 2 or 3 colors of tempera paint white paper craft sticks bowl and spoon for each paint color or a squeeze bottle for each color painting smocks Small Group Activities Time (20 25 minutes) During each activity, repeat the big picture question and answer; part of its purpose is to help kids verbalize and remember a Bible truth. Make a color-blot picture Help each preschooler fold a sheet of paper in half lengthwise. Open the sheet and squeeze or drop three dollops of paint along the fold or on one half of the paper; leave space between each color and space at the edges of the paper. Let the child specify which colors to use where. Refold the paper, and tell the child to rub a craft stick from the fold to the edge. When paint colors mix, talk about the new colors they make. Open the paper and admire the result. Say Are these two sides of the paper alike or different? Were Isaac s twin sons alike or different? How were they different? LifeWay Christian Resources

9 several different pairs of socks LOW PREP rhythm instruments (optional) blocks or paper plates (optional) Match socks Separate the pairs of socks into two piles with no matching socks in the same pile. Dump one pile on the floor or on a table. Distribute the remaining socks among the boys and girls. See how fast they can find the matching socks. Dump all the socks together and scramble them. Play again, seeing whether the kids can match the socks faster. Talk about Jacob and Esau s clothing, suggesting they probably did not dress like twins. Say Why did Jacob wear Esau s clothing? (to make Isaac think he was Esau) Play music in a praise parade Use rhythm instruments or make instruments by clapping blocks or paper plates together or patting thighs or shoulders. Talk about Isaac s blessing for Jacob: good farming, leadership of the family, and blessings for those who blessed Jacob s family. Help preschoolers list some blessings that God has given them. Sing about them (tune Farmer in the Dell ): Thank You, thank You, God; Thank You, thank You, God. Thank You *that You bless us, Yes, thank You, thank You, God. *Substitute specific blessings such as for Your plans for us or for our parents or for our friends at church or whatever the children list. The Covenant Renewed LifeWay Christian Resources

10 masking tape large sheet of black or brown construction paper blindfold Stew Vegetables (print and cut out a vegetable for each kid) Tip: Make this game fun, not embarrassing. If a vegetable does not make it into the stew, everyone jumps 5 times. Some children may be uncomfortable with a blindfold. Let them cover their eyes with one hand. large shallow tub of play sand newspapers or plastic cover for floor or table small objects: construction toy blocks or toy vehicles Play Put the vegetable in the stew This game is a version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Prepare a stew vegetable for each child. Place a rolled piece of masking tape sticky side out on the back of the vegetable. Cut a piece of large construction paper into a rough cooking pot shape, wider than deep, and tape it to the wall at shoulder height for your girls and boys. Give each child a turn to be blindfolded, place her at arm s length from the wall, turn her around once, and let her stick the vegetable in the stew. Check how many vegetables made it near the stew pot. (The measuring cup in the picture holds broth.) Say In this Bible story, Isaac was an old man and could not see. Both of his sons could cook good-smelling stews. Even though this family tried to make their own plans, nothing could stop God s plan. God used them even though they tried to do things their own way instead of God s way. Overcome obstacles Play in sand. Set the box of play sand on newspapers or a piece of plastic on the floor or a table. Preschoolers take turns finger-walking or pushing a small object through the sand from one end to the other end of the sand box. The other children may put obstacles in his way that he must go around. Say What can stop God s plans? Nothing can stop God s plans! LifeWay Christian Resources

11 countdown video or bell (optional) paper napkins and cups apple slices or thin carrot sticks crackers or cookies water allergy alert selection of books or puzzles journal Bible story coloring page crayons Snack Time and Transition (20 minutes) Announce that it is time to clean up and put away supplies. Take a bathroom break; wash hands before the snack, or use hand sanitizer. Recruit helpers with clean hands to help set napkins and cups of water on the table. Remind kids to wait before eating until everyone has been served and the blessing has been said. Encourage them to say thank you to teachers and helpers. Distribute a few pieces of apple or carrot and whatever cracker or cookie your church offers to each child. Talk about the good food in the story. Pray briefly or ask a volunteer to pray. Do not insist that a child pray aloud. Transition When a child finishes his snack, tell him to throw away his trash and select a book or puzzle to look at, color the Bible story coloring page, or work quietly. Kids might draw on the journal page their idea of a good lunch when they are very hungry. Welcome the parents or next session teachers. Softly tell teachers what they need to know about the children who are present. Tell parents something their child heard today about Isaac s family. The Covenant Renewed LifeWay Christian Resources

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