Have you ever wanted to run away from home?
I ran away from home once. I got mad at my mom, left the house, and swore I’d never come back. Then I walked around the block a couple times and went home. My mom never even knew I was gone.
The Bible tells us the story of Abraham’s grandson, Jacob. Jacob ran away from home once too.
Jacob had an older twin brother named Esau. In those days the oldest son received a blessing and an inheritance from mom and dad. Do you know what an inheritance is? It is a child’s share of their mom and dad’s money and land. But God had promised Jacob that he would receive the blessings and inheritance of the oldest son. But Jacob would have to wait and trust God to make it happen.
But Jacob didn’t want to wait, and Jacob didn’t want to be patient. So Jacob decided to trick and lie and steal. He would trick his brother Esau into giving him his inheritance, and then he would lie to his father, Isaac, and steal Esau’s blessing.
Well Esau was furious. And Isaac was sad. And Jacob felt very afraid and very guilty. And so Jacob decided to run away from his family, and from the land God gave his grandfather Abraham. And Jacob even tried to run away from God.
But can anyone run away from God?
We might think that God should be so mad at Jacob that he leaves Jacob and never speaks to him again. But God doesn’t do that. Why? Because God never gives up on us. God never breaks his promises to us. God never stops loving us.
In fact, when Jacob stopped running and laid down to sleep for the night, he had an incredible dream from God. Here’s what he dreamed:
Genesis 28:12-13. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above [the ladder].
What did Jacob see?
Jacob saw a ladder that connected heaven to earth! Jacob saw angels! Jacob saw God! Wow!
But even more amazing than what Jacob saw is what Jacob heard. Listen to what God said to him:
Genesis 28:15. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Can you hear the promises that God is making to Jacob? What are they? (with you, keep you, bring you back, never leave you)
Did Jacob do anything good to deserve all these promises from God? Did Jacob earn God’s love and protection? No. And that’s called grace. Grace is when God loves us and is our friend even though we don’t deserve it.
But how can we know that God will always love us, and always be our friend? How can we know that even if we hurt our family and disobey God he will always be right there with us?
Because 2000 years after Jacob, Jesus came to earth and talked about Jacob’s dream. He talked about that ladder that Jacob saw connecting heaven to earth with angels going up and down. And do you know what he said? He said that he IS that ladder. Jesus said that he came down that ladder to get us, because we could never be good enough to climb up to him. Jesus said that if we trust in his sacrifice on the cross we will always be connected to God. No matter what. Even when we’re afraid, and even when we’ve done wrong things.
Because of Jesus God will always be with us, no matter what.
With Jesus we can talk about what makes us afraid and what we’ve done wrong.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Does your house have stairs? Use a staircase to teach this important truth to your children. Jesus doesn’t sit at the top of the stairs and we have to climb up to him by being good. Jesus is the whole staircase. So no matter where we are on the stairs, we are with Jesus, and God is with us.
Listen to this song together.
Thank you for never leaving me alone. Help me to be able to talk to you and to my family even when I’m afraid or have done something wrong.
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