Jacob and Esau Object Lesson

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Sin always hurts. It might be fun or pretty at first, but sin always hurts. It might harm you, or it might harm others. This object lesson based on the manipulation of Jacob and Esau will help children understand that choosing forgiveness and Jesus is better than choosing the ways of sin.

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Scripture Focus: Genesis 27

Materials: sunglasses

Geography: locate the land of Canaan

Background: Abraham had passed the four part covenant on to Isaac and now Isaac is prepared to pass it on to Esau. Covenants, or blessings, were passed through the generations by the father giving a blessing to the oldest son. Inheritances were passed on this way as well. This gave the oldest son legal authority over the family. Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob.

Object Lesson for Jacob and Esau:

{Put sunglasses on as kids arrive. Describe what you cannot see. Pretend you cannot read the Bible well. You can be silly with this! The kids will enjoy telling you that you have sunglasses on. Ask:}

  • How come I cannot see well? [You have sunglasses on inside.]
  • But if I can see fine outside with them on, why can’t I use them inside? [It’s too dark inside to use them.]

{Take glasses off.} I can see so much better now! Your faces were hidden and distorted. I couldn’t read very well. It was too dark and I couldn’t see things as they really were. Now that the glasses are off, I can see pretty colors and details that I was not able to see before.

This is what sin does to us. Sin distorts and deceives us into thinking we know the truth. Sin blocks our vision. If we are looking at truth through sunglasses, we are going to miss how wonderful the Truth really is. And not only can we be deceived by our own sin, but we can be deceived by the sins of others.

Bible Lesson for Jacob and Esau:

Isaac was old and he knew he didn’t have many days left to live. He was blind. Isaac knew he needed to pass on the inheritance and blessing to his oldest son, Esau. Isaac told Esau to go hunt and make Isaac’s favorite meal. Then he was to bring the meal to Isaac who would then bless him after he ate. Esau left, but someone had overheard the conversation.

Rebekah, Esau’s mother, went to Jacob, her younger son, and told him what conversation had taken place. {Put on the sunglasses, then remove them.} She wanted Jacob to have the blessing because he was her favorite son. She told Jacob to go kill a goat and fix a meal to take to Isaac. Jacob was concerned because Esau was a hunter, and was hairy. He didn’t look or smell anything like his brother. {Put on the sunglasses-take them off.} Rebekah had a plan. She took the skins of the goat and put them on Jacob and then dressed him in Esau’s clothing. Now Jacob was dressed up like his brother. {Put on the sunglasses-take them off.} He was about to go and deceive his father.

Jacob went to his father’s tent and told him that he had brought the meal for him to eat. Isaac was confused. Esau was back too soon and the voice he heard sounded like Jacob. “Is it really you?

{Put on the sunglasses-take them off.}Yes, my father!

Jacob went closer and allowed Isaac to feel the lamb’s wool on his arms and neck and smell the clothes. Isaac took the food and ate it. Afterwards, Isaac blessed Jacob.

{Put on the sunglasses-then take them off.} At this point the blessing, and inheritance went to Jacob, NOT Esau. The younger son stole the birthright and blessing from the oldest son.

Jacob left. Esau arrived. “I brought your meal, father!

What? Who are you?

Your son, Esau!{Put on the sunglasses-then take them off very slowly…} Isaac, who was the one who was blind, realized what had happened. His “eyes” were opened to the Truth. The sins of Rebekah and Jacob were found out.

I have already given the blessing to your brother!” Esau wept bitterly and begged his father for a blessing. Isaac gave him one, but it was not nearly as great of one as Jacob received.

When Esau left, he vowed to himself that once his father died that he would kill Jacob for stealing his birthright and the inheritance from him.

Rebekah was told of Esau’s rage and she had Jacob leave the country to go live with her brother Laban.

Life Application of Jacob and Esau:

{Put on the sunglasses.} Sin. Sin is why we need to know the Bible. The Bible tells us what type of behaviors and attitudes are sinful. Reading the Bible helps us to take the sunglasses off our hearts so we can see God’s Truth. The goal is to take the sunglasses off and keep them off. {Take them off.} But there are times when we CHOOSE to put the glasses on. {Put on the sunglasses-then take them off.} And that’s not pleasing to the Lord. Staying in sin and choosing to sin is not what God wants for His children. He wants us to walk in the Truth because Jesus is the Truth.

Whether we choose to sin, or we accidentally do the wrong thing, we should choose to mend the relationships with others and with God. Belief in Jesus and asking Him to forgive us when we sin is the first action we should take. Second, we need to ask the person whom we wronged to forgive us. Jacob didn’t do that and he ended up never seeing his father again. And it was years before Jacob and Esau would reconcile.

What can we learn from Jacob and Esau? Sometimes we accidentally sin. Other times we purposely choose to sin. But all sin can be forgiven through Christ Jesus.

Recommended Resources for Jacob and Esau:

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