Jacob’s Ladder

Scripture: Genesis  28:10-22

Target Age Group:  1st through 6th grade

Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.

Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.

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Before starting ask them if they ever wished that they could go to heaven for a day to talk with God.  Discuss how sin has separated us from a Holy God even though we try to be good and go to church.  But, God has provided a way for us to have a relationship with Him.  What is that way?  Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins so that we can go to heaven and live with Him.  And in the mean time we have his Word – the Bible – in which He speaks to us.  And the Holy Spirit inside our hearts to guide us every day.  

Have them view the Bridge Illustration  video that talks about Jesus bridging the gap.   Here is another good one .

Bible Lesson:
Have the children open their Bibles to Genesis  28:10 – 22.

Remember Jacob from last week? He was running away from his brother who was vowing to kill him for taking his birthright and blessing.  He was all alone, running away to his uncle Laban when he stopped to sleep, and he had a dream about a Way to God… 

(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)

Genesis 28 (NIV)

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”

18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19a He called that place Bethel.

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the LORD will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”

Discuss Bible Lesson:

  • We have talked about Harran before.  Does anybody remember?  That was the place where Isaac sent his servant to find a bride for Isaac.  He found Rebekah at the well there.
  • Why was Jacob to go there?  To find a wife among the family – not a Canaanite, and  Rebekah wanted her brother, Laban, to protect him from Esau. 
  • Who specifically was Jacob looking for?  Laban, his mother’s brother.  Jacob’s uncle.
  • When it started to get dark Jacob stopped for the night.  Did he have a hotel to stay at?  No.
  • Where did he sleep?  Outside with a rock for a pillow.
  • Do you think you would have been able to sleep very well with a rock for a pillow? No.
  • Describe Jacob’s dream.  There was a stairway up to heaven and angels were going up and down on it.
  • Who was at the top of the stair?  God
  • What did God say to him?

                  1. That He would give Jacob the land that he was sleeping on. 

                 2. That his children would be like the dust of the earth in number. 

                 3. That his family would be a blessing everyone in the whole earth.  

                4. He would watch over Jacob. 

                5. He would bring him back to this promised land.  

                6. He wouldn’t leave him.

  • Do you think that Jacob was surprised to find that God loved him after what he had done to his brother?  Yes.  He probably thought that God was angry with him.
  • What does this tell you about God?  He keeps his promises.  He is quick to forgive us even when we have been very bad.
  • What did Jacob say when he woke up?  God must be in this place.  This is the gate of heaven.
  • What did Jacob do in the morning?  He made a pillar of the rock he had slept on, anointed it with oil, and called it Bethel
  • What did Jacob promise God?  That if He took care of him and brought him home safely again, that he would make Him his God, that the stone would be God’s house, and he would give him one tenth of everything he had.
  • What does this tell you about Jacob’s faith?  He hadn’t yet made a decision to follow the Lord before – even though his father, mother and grandparents loved the Lord.
  • Have you ever thought that you are a Christian just because your parents are? Or have you made your own decision to be a Christian? Everyone has to make their own decision to follow Jesus, don’t they.
  • Do you think that Jacob will be as tricky as he was after this?  Or do you think that this encounter with God will change him?  He’ll be changed.  When we meet God, He changes us.
  • The Bible tells of the way to get to heaven.  Do you know what that way is?  Jesus came to earth to provide a way to heaven. John 14:6 says Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” And John 1: 51   says “Then he said to the disciples, “What I’m about to tell you is true. You will see heaven open. You will see the angels of God going up and coming down on the Son of Man.””  Jesus is telling his disciples that he is the ladder to heaven!
  • Jesus was one of Jacob’s descendants.  Do you think that when God said that the world would be blessed by Jacob’s family that He was referring to the blessing of Jesus?  Yes.
  • Let’s pray and tell Jesus that we trust Him to be our ladder to heaven… 
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During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…

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Memorize the verse.

John 14:6  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” 

or

John 1: 51  Then he said to the disciples, “What I’m about to tell you is true. You will see heaven open. You will see the angels of God going up and coming down on the Son of Man.”

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Listen to the song “Dreaming Jacob’s Dream”  by Michael Card.  Then discuss what they think is the meaning of the song.

If you have enough preparation time this week, make an iMovie or a musical slide show using pictures and paintings of Jacob’s Ladder from the internet.  (I created one that starts with the face of a sleeping baby and ending with picture of Jesus with the children.) Have the children watch that and then discuss what they think is the meaning of the song.

This was a BIG hit with my 1st through 3rd graders.  They wanted me to play the song over and over and over while they were coloring, and they commented that the song was “addicting”.

Here are the lyrics to this beautiful song:

Dreaming Jacob’s Dream

Are you dreaming Jacob’s dream?

Could that be why you’re smiling?

Could you not be a man like he

So wily and beguiling?

Do you see a ladder there

Reaching up to heaven?

Do the angels fill the air?

Could you reach out and touch them?

Jacob dreamed about Someone

The Way to heaven, God, the Son

Someday it’s my prayer for you

That in your heart his dream comes true.

Jacob dreamed about Someone

The Way to heaven, God, the Son

Someday it’s my prayer for you

That in your heart his dream comes true.

You do not sleep upon a stone.

You have a bed to lay in.

But, you and Jacob aren’t alone.

We all need dreams to seek Him.

Are you dreaming Jacob’s dream?

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Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of Jacob’s Ladder on a sketch pad page.  We used black scrap-booking paper with Crayola glitter crayons and Crayola Extreme Colors Twistables for a magical night time effect.  They loved it.

You could also have them color a color page related to the story.

Color page #1 from Bible Wise.

Color page #2 from Crafting the Word of God.

Color page #3 from sermons4kids

 An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles.  The pages are reproducible.

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Show a video of this story:

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3  Movie Jacob (Start at 25:00)

Video #4

Video #5   (Paintings put to music.)

Video #6   Song “Dreaming Jacob’s Dream”

Video #7 The Bridge Illustration

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Read the story “Jacob’s Amazing Dream” by Paul Dallgas Frey.

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This is a darling craft for younger children from Our Country Road.   The link to the free download is way down at the bottom of the page.

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Have the children make this craft from Auntie’s Bible Lessons.

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There are two craft ideas at Bible Class Creations.  Idea #1   Idea #2

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Bible Fun for Kids has some great printable crafts and ideas for this lesson.

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Have the children fill out this puzzle page  or this page for older kids from Bible Wise.   Younger children may enjoy this maze.

Or have them do this Stairway to Heaven puzzle from Bible Wise.

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Show younger children where Jacob went on this map.  Have older children do the map activities.

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Have the children fill out these worksheets from Calvary Curriculum.

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Have the children make this craft from Crafting the Word of God.

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Share this object lesson from Flame Creative Children’s Ministry.   Talk about how Jacob’s life is changed by this encounter with God, and how theirs can be transformed too!

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Here is a page of angels from Lambsongs that you may need for a Jacob’s Ladder craft that you have designed on your own.

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Mission Bible Class has a great introduction idea for this story.

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Share this children’s sermon from Sermons4Kids.   Don’t forget the activities at the bottom of the page!

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 Sing “We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder”, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”, or “God Will Take Care of You”
Or  sing “You Come in a Hurry” by Crossroads Kids’ Club.

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Evaluate what the children have learned.  While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.

Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.

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Creation Parents’ Page

Use the parents’ page as a way to keep in touch with parents, to keep them informed of what you are teaching, and to encourage them to continue reinforcing the lesson at home. Use this template as a starting point. Make it your own by telling them how the children responded to the lesson or something funny that happened.  You could substitute any activity suggestions that you think would be appropriate for parents to do with their children at home.

 

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Dear Parents,

Today we learned that God created the heavens and the earth, and man in his image.   Help to reinforce the lesson to your child this week by talking to him or her about the lesson and helping him or her learn the memory verse.

Here are a few activity ideas…

  • Help your child memorize the verse.

              “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”                                        Genesis 1:1

  • Read the story as told by Paul Dallgas-Frey “And It Was Real Good”.  You can find it on the web here http://www.essex1.com/people/paul/bible1.html  Paul has a delightful way of telling Bible Stories that you and your child will enjoy.
  • Have your child cut out pictures of animals, flowers, trees, etc. from old magazines and paste them on a piece of construction paper to make a collage of God’s creation. Hang it where everyone can admire it.

Homemade Play Dough

This is the recipe for play dough that I made for my children when they were little.  It’s easy to make, and it stores for a long time in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The Kool-Aid gives it a pretty color and a sweet scent.

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Mix together :

1 cup flour

3 Tablespoons salt

1 1/2 Tablespoons cream of tartar

1 envelope unsweetened Kool-Aid

Add:

1 cup water

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Stir well.  Heat and stir in a pan over medium heat until it forms into a ball.  While it’s still warm, knead the ball with a little flour until it is smooth.  Allow to cool before giving it to children.  

Creation

 

Scripture: Genesis 1:1-31, 2:1-2

Ages: 1st through 3rd grade

Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week while they gather around the table.

Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.

Bible Lesson:
Have the children open their Bibles to Genesis 1.

Read the story to the children and have them read along silently. (At this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.) Tell them to pay close attention to what God created on each day.  Stop to discuss what you have read.

Another way of sharing this story is with The Word and Song Bible and CD set.  This is a beautifully illustrated Bible with an accompanying CD soundtrack narration that really captures their attention.

Genesis 1 (NIV)

The Beginning

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

  • Who created the heaven and the earth? God
  • What did it look like at first? formless, empty, dark
  • What did God create the first day? light and darkness
  • How did He create light? He said, “Let there be light.”  He spoke it into existence out of nothing. He made it with his words.

6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

  • What did God do the second day?  He separated the water on the land from the water that is in the sky.
  • What is the water in the sky?  Clouds.  Humidity.

9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

  • What did He create on the third day?  He gathered the waters into seas and made dry land.  Then he made plants and trees on the land.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

  • What did He create on the fourth day? The sun, moon, and stars. Day and night.
  • Why did He create the sun, moon and stars?  (Remember, He had already created light for the trees and plants.)  To mark the days, years and sacred times.
  • Is it confusing that God created the sun, moon, and stars after He made light already? In Revelations there is a description of the heavenly city.  Revelations 21:23 says  The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”  This verse helps us to understand that God was able to make light shine before the sun, moon and stars were created.
  • Did God like what He had made so far?  Yes.  He said that it was “good”.
  • Have you ever drawn a picture and then stood back to look at it for a little bit to see if you liked it before you continued to finish it?  Can you imagine that God did that too when He was creating the earth and the universe?

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

  • What did God create on the fifth day?  All the sea creatures and birds.
  • What did God tell the sea creatures and birds to do? Be fruitful and increase in number.
  • What does it mean to be fruitful and increase in number?  Have babies!

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

  • What did God create on the sixth day?  Animals that live on the land, and mankind.
  • How was mankind different than the other creatures?  He was made in God’s image.
  • What do you think “in his image” means?  We look like Him.
  • What did God tell mankind to do?  Be fruitful and increase in number (have babies).  Fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over all the animals.
  • What did God give man to eat?  Plants and fruit.
  • What did He give animals to eat? Plants.
  • Did God like what he had made after the 6th day?  Yes.  He said that it was “good”.

Genesis 2

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

  • What did God do on the 7th day?  He rested.
  • Do you think that that means that He went to sleep?  Or that He stopped creating new things and stood back to admire and enjoy what He had made? Psalm 21:3 says  “He who watches over you will not slumber”
  • Let’s pray and thank God for making us and such a beautiful creation for us to live in…

During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned.  Here are some suggestions…

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Memorize the verse.

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”    

 If the weather is nice go outside to play Scripture Jump-rope.  The child that jumps through the verse the most times wins.

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Share a video of this story:

Watch the youtube video “Creation Calls”.  This video is stunning, and the kids will love it.

Show this video and discussion starter from The Gospel Project.

Share the story “The Story and the Song” and “The Beginning: A Perfect Home” from “The Jesus Story Book Bible”   (Make sure that you order the collector’s edition, which has the DVD with the stories animated and narrated.  It’s wonderful.)

Crossroads Kids Club also has a good video of this story here. And another one here.

Older kids will enjoy this video series   from  Answers in Genesis.  Scroll down to “Six Short Days” parts 1 – 5

Older kids will also enjoy this video  and this video from Answers in Genesis.

Younger kids will enjoy this video series   from Answers in Genesis.  Scroll down to “The Animal Kinds, parts 1-2

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Have the children make a book called “In the Very Beginning” by Jill Kemp from Lambs Songs. (Scroll down.)

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Have the children make this craft from Auntie’s Bible Lessons.

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Here are several craft ideas from Crafting the Word of God.

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Share this children’s sermon from Sermons4kids. Don’t forget the activities at the bottom of the page!

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This lesson from Free Sunday School Curriculum has some worksheets, a craft and a color page. (It loads slowly, but it is worth the wait.)

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Bible Class Creations has a great idea for a creation Peek a Boo Box activity.  This site also has a creation game and a Creation Cups craft.

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Play this game from Children’s Ministry.

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Take a nature walk if the weather is nice.  Give the children each a plastic bag or a plastic container and lid to collect pretty rocks, leaves, flowers, etc. Talk about how creative God was to think of such beautiful things.

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Sing:

“God of Creation” , “God Made a Great Big World” or “Oh What a Variety” by Mary Rice Hopkins.  Get them at itunes.

 “Round and Round” from Crossroads Kids’ Club.

If your kids like action songs they may like the Hippo Song from Mission Bible Class.

Sing “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, or “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands”, or “Books of the Old Testament” by Wee Sing. Or sing “This Is My Father’s World” or  “Barnyard Praise” or “I’m So Wonderfully Made” by The Donut Man.

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Have the children color a color page related to the story.

Ministry to Children has several coloring pages to illustrate the whole week of creation.

An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles.  The pages are reproducible.

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Give each child a piece of play dough and have them make an animal.  Talk about the difference between “creating” and “making”.

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Show the children a real flower and an artificial flower, pointing out that though the artificial flower is pretty, it can’t compare to the beauty of the real flower that God created.  You might also give them each a flower to take home as a reminder of God’s handiwork.

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Have the children fill out these worksheets from Calvary Curriculum.

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Make tiger bookmarks from Answers in Genesis.

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Evaluate what the children have learned.  When they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.

Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.

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