8. Jacob – Compelling Faith

It is Jacob, who becomes Israel and father’s/grandfather’s children who represent the tribes of Israel. God deals with deception and brings out his passion and drive for the right things.

In this journey...


  • Understand Jacob’s strong driving forces
  • Attempt to achieve clarity on our purpose and direction


  • Jacob’s story – snapshot
  • Jacob’s driving forces
  • What to fight for
  • When to make peace
  • Who to cling to
  • Where he belonged
  • How to maintain his legacy
  • Why he was working
  • Discussion
  • Reflection

Note: Reference Material is available in the notes section of this presentation

Jacob’s Story

Fighter Spirit

  • Fights in the womb
  • Fights for birthright
  • Fights for blessing (of father)


  • Works for Rachel
  • Works for Rachel again
  • Works for possessions

Returns and reconciles

  • Fights with God
  • Fights for blessing (of God)
  • Fathers the tribes of Israel

Settles in Egypt

Jacob’s Driving Forces

Jacob knew:

  • What to fight for
  • When to make peace
  • Who to cling to
  • Where he belonged
  • How to maintain his legacy
  • Why he was working

Knew what to Fight for


  • Fights for birthright (Genesis 25:31,32)
  • Fights for blessing (of Father) (Genisis 27)
  • Fights for blessing (of God) (Genesis 32:26)

Knew what to Fight for

Jacob crosses the line and twists his father’s arm in the aspect of his blessing.

What are the consequences of Jacob cheating Esau of blessing?

What are the consequences of Esau despising his birthright?

Knew when to Make Peace

In spite of major differences, he makes peace:

  • With Esau
  • With Laban

Knew Who to Cling To

Read Gen 32:22-32

  • Jacob clung to God
  • Sought his name
  • Sought his blessing
  • Why did God fight with Jacob and injure him?
  • Why does He fight with us?

God battles Jacob so that he can surrender and be a beneficiary of huge blessing.

Knew where he Belonged

He flees from Canaan but returns to the land of his legacy

Gen 31:Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.’

He leaves for Egypt but insists that his bones are buried in the promised land

Gen 49:29 Then he gave them these instructions: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers 

Knew how to Maintain the Legacy

His children are taught well.  Joseph maintains his faith in Egypt. Jacob is aligned to God and God’s promises even in his old age (Gen 48:13).

Note: Jacob falls into the pit of favoritism. What are the consequences?

Knew why he was Working

  • For the woman he loved
  • Gen 28:6,7 In line with his mother’s desire to marry within the community

Gen 29:20 “His purpose drove him and made his long years appear short”


  1. What do you believe is the ideal trust model – clinging to God to do what we want- or “letting go and letting God” do what He wills?
  2. What are the pro’s and cons of each model? How do we strike a balance?
  3. In Ruth 4:11 Rachel and Leah are set up as role models. “… May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah.”
  4. What would Jacob’s family  life have been like? What can we learn?

Reflection – What drives us?

  • What do we fight for?
  • When do we make peace?
  • Who do we cling to?
  • Where do we belong?
  • How do we maintain legacy?
  • Why do we work?


  • Divide into two groups
  • Ask one group to perform a mime in today’s scenario of a person who accepts Christ but gets lured by other attractions of the world.
  • Ask the second group to mime a life with Christ, rejecting other attractions of world and surrendering to Christ

(Note for leader: As aids, provide blank placards and pens for groups to write words and use as flashcards)

Reiterate importance of giving in to Lordship of Christ

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