Arrest your kids’ attention with this FREE Bible lesson Introduction Activity! This simple activity for the Old Testament story of Esau and Jacob (Genesis 25-27) is easy for you to prep, but it will get your kids interested in the lesson—perfect for your Sunday School class, kids’ club, or homeschool Bible time! Scroll down for detailed activity instructions.
This world is messed up.
It’s full of ugly, sinful people who do nasty, dreadful things. Sometimes, it can seem like so much wrong happens that God’s good purposes can’t possibly be fulfilled.
And sometimes, I’ll admit, I personally do such awful things that I wonder whether God can possibly do anything good with me.
Have you ever felt that way?
It can be disheartening to look at all the evil going on in the world around us. And it’s even more discouraging to look at our own hearts and realize we are full of selfishness & rebellion & sin.
But God is never thwarted by the wrong actions of men.
The story of Esau and Jacob (from Genesis 25-27) clearly illustrates how God’s purposes are never ruined by the man’s sins. Use this Old Testament story to teach your kids an enduring truth—God is able to use even man’s wrong choices to fulfill His word!
In this post, I’ll give you instructions for a simple activity that you can use to introduce your lesson on Esau and Jacob. This activity isn’t hard to prepare or to do, but it will grab your kids’ attention! And once you have their attention, you’ll be set to dive into the story of Esau and Jacob—and help your kids remember that God always keeps His promises!
Click here to get a free printable outline for the preceding lesson (Isaac & Rebekah). Then scroll down to get the Introduction Activity instructions for Esau and Jacob’s story.
for Esau and Jacob Bible Lesson
Use this activity to illustrate how even disobedience and wrong actions can still be used to accomplish a purpose.
You can do this activity immediately before your lesson as an attention-grabbing introduction to the lesson plan for Esau and Jacob.
- A blindfold.
- A single chocolate.
- Before your lesson, ask another teacher or a helper (or even an older child, if you have one who would be able to handle this task) to participate in this activity.
- Explain that you need him/her to disobey every command you give.
- If you say to turn right, he/she needs to turn left (and vice versa).
- And if you say to walk 4 steps, he/she needs to walk only 2 steps.
- Call your teacher/helper/child participant up to the front of the class & blindfold him/her.
- Pull out the chocolate and show it to the kids in the audience. Explain that you plan to direct your blindfolded participant to get the chocolate.
- Place the chocolate across the room from your blindfolded helper.
- Then give an instruction such as, “Walk 10 steps forward.” Your participant should only walk 5 steps forward.
- Stop and ask the kids if your participant is doing the right thing and obeying your commands. Ask if your plan will work out, since your participant isn’t cooperating very well.
- Note: it’s okay if your kids give a variety of answers here. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer. You just want them to think about the problem.
- Give another command, such as, “Turn left.” Your blindfolded participant should turn right.
- Continue to give commands and allow your participant to disobey them. You may want to stop and talk again to your kids about how badly your participant is straying from your plan for him/her.
- Take into account that he/she will turn the opposite direction and take half as many steps as you direct. Give a series of commands that will still direct your participant to the chocolate candy (even though he/she is disobeying).
- Take off the blindfold and give your participant the candy.
- Talk with the kids about how, even though your participant did the wrong thing and didn’t follow your instructions, you were still able to accomplish your plan. And even though your participant probably didn’t deserve it, you still gave him/her a chocolate at the end.
Teach your kids that God keeps His promises, in spite of man’s wrongdoing.
Throughout Esau and Jacob’s story in Genesis 25-27, God demonstrates that He can use even man’s sinful actions to accomplish His purposes.
- Jacob sinned by tricking Esau into selling him the birthright.
- Jacob sinned by lying to his father.
- Jacob sinned by stealing the blessing from his brother.
- But in spite of Jacob’s sin, God was still working everything together to fulfill His word in Jacob’s life.
When you grab your kids’ attention with this Introduction Activity, and then teach them the story of Esau and Jacob, you can show them that God always keeps His word. That truth has the potential to completely change your kids’ lives!
Even when we sin, God is still faithful.
I’m encouraged by Jacob’s story—because I can relate to it. I may not sin in the exact ways that Jacob did. But if I’m honest, I’m just as bad as he was.
As Romans 3:23 tells us, ALL have sinned—including me. And, like I said above, it’s incredibly discouraging to look at myself and realize just how sinful I am.
But God isn’t flustered by me and my sin. He is still perfectly capable of fulfilling His good purposes. And He not only can, but He does.
Even though I fail, God is still faithful.
And that’s why it’s important to teach the story of Esau and Jacob.
I’m a sinner. You’re a sinner. And your kids are sinners.
None of us always acts according to God’s will.
So it is reassuring to know that God is still in control. He knows how to handle the situation, even when we do wrong.
What’s more, He is totally faithful to His word. In spite of our sin, He will still do what He’s said He’ll do.
So we can trust Him. Because even though we fail, He is faithful.
Teach your kids that truth—teach them the story of Esau and Jacob. 😉
And happy teaching! 🙂
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