IN A NUTSHELL –From Jacob’s birth (Gen. 25:26) he was either tricking people or being tricked. Passion and purpose tended to drift into competition and manipulation. Many times he was the instigator, in the later years of his life his consequences included watching his children battle it out among themselves. Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate when it’s time to give up the fight because you are actually wrestling with God. (Gen. 32:22-32) Paul learned that lesson as well. (Acts 9:1-9; 2 Cor. 12:7-10) How about you?
Texts: Gen. 32 (Jacob & Paul) Acts 9:1-9 & 2 Cor. 12:7-10
Ice Breaker: Do you recall in Jr. or Sr. High school a particular athlete that was so competitive that they were often fighting with the other athletes or even the coach of their own team? How did things end up?
CONNECTING WITH THE TEXT:
- Who all did Jacob “fight” with, in one way or another? Gen. 25:22 – 50:13
- How did Saul (Paul) fight against God before he became a believer? Acts 9:1-22
- How did Paul “wrestle” with God after becoming a believer? (2 Cor. 12:7-10)
- Who all would you say, “got the best of Jacob” at some point in Jacob’s life?
- After a life filled with a lot of competition and manipulation what was Jacob’s son Joseph able to see? (Gen. 50:20)
REFLECTING ON YOUR LIFE:
- Do you think there have been times that you have wrestled with God?
- What does it mean to say, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”? (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
- Did you ever feel your parents played favorites with you and your siblings? If so how do you think that affected your family? How did it affect your parenting or relating to others?
- How would you say God demonstrated His faithfulness to Jacob? How has God demonstrated his faithfulness to you during times that you felt you had been treated unfairly?
CONNECTING WITH YOUR CHURCH:
- If someone in your CARE group thought they sensed you were wrestling with God, or that you tended to be manipulative in handling others, how would you want them to approach you?
- Teaching the Tough Stuff (in public school) – the timeline
- Adam’s Synchronological Chart or Map of History
- HIStory for me… Jacob spent much of his life frustrating others and/or being frustrated. But he also refused to let go of God. God used Jacob and Saul in spite of their history. As with Jacob and Paul His Grace is sufficient for me.
- HIStory in me… The quicker I learn to trust his plan the less I will suffer consequences of trying to control everyone else.
- HIStory through me… God longs to use the worst of conflicts for His glory. The biggest challenge for me is to wait and refuse to let go! Countless thousands may be blessed purely because I didn’t give up.
Title “Trusting God” (Moses)
Text: Ex. 14; Heb. 11:24-29; 1 Cor. 10:1-5
Questions: “What appears to have motivated Moses to make it through each day? (He. 11:26) What did God expect to happen according to Ex. 14:4 What did happen according to Ex. 14:31? And what was the point of all this according to 1 Cor. 10:1-5
Parents with your Children: What all do you do “by faith?” Keep a running list at supper of the things your family has done during that day “by faith.” Get detailed. What do you place your faith in? (Drinking water, school buses, traffic lights, elevators, pharmacies, chairs, bridge builders, etc.) In what ways have you had to trust God this week?