Jacob Wrestles with God


We surrender to God's Will


Bible; ice cubes, all roughly the same size (1 per child and 1 for leader); bowl; straws; salt; paper towels; a hair dryer and access to electricity


Genesis 32:22-31

Put the ice cubes in a bowl and keep them frozen until you’re ready to use them. Set out the rest of the supplies. Keep the hair dryer out of sight until you use it. You’ll need to be near an electrical outlet.

Have you ever watched a wrestling match? Wrestling is a popular sport all over the world. Wrestlers have to be strong and determined to win. Wrestling isn’t a modern invention, though. It’s one of the oldest sports in the world, and it dates back thousands of years.

Have everyone show you their best wrestler face and pose.

In today’s Bible lesson, Jacob spent an entire night wrestling with an angel of God. After an entire night of wrestling, God’s angel told Jacob to walk away. Jacob left the wrestling match with a new name and a limp from his hurt hip.

We sometimes struggle with God, too. We may want to do things our way instead of His way. When is it hard for you to obey God? (Allow time for responses.)

Give each child a paper towel. Explain that they’re in charge now. They’ll each have to choose how they think they can most quickly melt an ice cube. They can use a straw to blow hot air on it, sprinkle salt on it, or hold it to try to melt it most quickly. Pass around the supplies so kids can choose, then distribute the ice cubes.

Give kids one minute to try to melt their ice cube using their chosen method. Meanwhile, turn on the hair dryer and blow hot air on your ice cube.

Call time, then compare everyone’s efforts.

How did your way compare to my way of melting the ice cube? Why was my way more effective?

My ice cube melted much faster because I had more power. And with God’s power, we can do greater things. We can stop doing things our way. We can surrender to God’s will and trust that He knows best.

Dear God, please help us remember that You are the One who knows what’s best for us. We can surrender to Your will and trust You. In Jesus’ name, amen!