Here is the next two readings of the 28 required to build our Jesse Tree for Advent. We are reading through two of them each week with our families for now, and then we’ll be ready to recap them for Advent. Send along any feedback you have about the stories – I’d love to read it!
Five: Isaac and the Ram – Scripture: Genesis 22:1-19
Three special visitors came to Abraham’s house one day. One of them was the Lord, who promised Sarah and Abraham that they would have a son in about one year. Sarah laughed because she was 90 years old and never had children. She thought it was impossible, but nothing is impossible with God. They did have a son, just like God promised, and they named him Isaac. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. Many years later God gave Abraham a test to see if Abraham would obey him no matter what. God told Abraham to take Isaac up a mountain and do something that would hurt Isaac. Abraham didn’t understand why God was asking him to do this, but he always wanted to obey God. He trusted that God knew what He was doing. Abraham arrived at the mountain and got ready to do what God asked, even though it would mean hurting the son that God gave him. Suddenly Abraham heard an angel shout “Don’t hurt the boy! Now I know you will always truly obey God.” God never wanted Abraham to hurt his son at all, He just wanted to see if Abraham would trust Him and obey him no matter what.
Talk About: Would God ask us to hurt people that we love? Does God want us to love everyone?
Prayer: God, help us to always obey You and love all the people around us.
Six: Jacob’s Ladder – Scripture: Genesis 27:41-28:22
Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, had twin sons named Jacob and Esau. The oldest son was Esau and he was born just before Jacob. Oldest sons got to keep all the land and animals that belonged to their fathers after they died. But Jacob wanted all his father’s things for himself, so he tricked his father Isaac, and his brother Esau into giving them to him. Esau was very angry and planned to kill Jacob after their father died. Jacob had to run away from home to escape from Esau’s anger. He laid down to rest one night during his long journey to his uncle’s house. Jacob was going to live with his uncle until Esau’s anger settled down. That might take a long time! As Jacob was sleeping he had a dream. In his dream he saw a stairway that reached from earth to heaven. Angels were going up and down on the stairway, and the Lord stood above it. God told Jacob He would give him and his future family all the land around him. God said Jacob’s family would be too big to count and they would be blessed. Then God promised to be with Jacob and watch over him always.
Think About: Was it right for Jacob to trick his brother and his father? Isaac promised to give his belongings to Jacob even though he was tricked. Did God keep that promise too? Promises are very important!
Prayer: Thank You God for Your promises and that You always keep them. Help me to only make good promises that I can keep.