Long Story Short: Jacob and Esau/Jacob’s Lie

Over the last couple weeks, our devotions in Long Story Short by Marty Machowski have been about Jacob and Esau.  These are some of those stories where the Bible just tells us what happened without passing judgment on the main characters, which leaves us with a bit of explaining to do when it comes to teaching our children.  The stories are found in Genesis 25 and 27, and in them you’ll find multiple instances of lying, parents playing favorites with their children, and a mother encouraging her child to deceive his father at the expense of another child.  What do we make of all this? I think the answer comes in the chapters still ahead of us.  Jacob was the one through whom God would keep His promise of a Savior, but he wasn’t chosen because of his own righteousness..  Jacob may have been deceitful in this story, but as he gets older, God works in his life and changes him (though he too plays favorites with his children, and that brings plenty of drama of its own).

Since there are only five devotions for each week in Long Story Short, we spent one of our extra nights reading the story in The Gospel Story Bible (also by Machowski) and the other going through Bible verses about honesty (which Eric looked up easily in Parenting With Scripture by Kara Durbin–see my review from last year).

Go-Along Books

We spent a lot of time focusing on how not to follow Jacob and Esau’s example.  Two books I love are We’re Very Good Friends, My Brother and I  and Brothers Forever by P.K. Hallinan.  They’re very similar, so I wouldn’t recommend getting both, but I think every family with two or more boys should read at least one of these.  (I think the first one is my favorite.  I actually bought a second copy after our first got a bit of damage because it’s one I really want to keep around.)  Reading these led to some good discussions on how brothers should treat each other, which then led to a discussion of our memory verse (the “Golden Rule”): “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Matthew 7:12.

Bible Notebook

For our notebook page on this story, I adapted this idea for making a painting/print of the twins.  Then instead of coloring the men, we just glued hair onto Esau (which we had saved from the boys’ haircuts the night before).  It was messy(!) but the boys really got a kick out of using their own hair.



I was surprised by how many activities flowed naturally out of these stories.

The first week (Genesis 25:19-34) we compared the descriptions of Jacob and Esau (physical appearance, occupations, personalities, etc.), looked at the difference between Daddy’s “hairy” arm and Mommy’s “smooth” one, and fixed lentils to go with dinner like the stew Jacob traded for Esau’s birthright.

The second week (Genesis 27) we talked about the “5 Senses” and looked for the part each played in the story.

  • Sight (Isaac’s eyes are “dim” and he can’t see well enough to know who’s who.)
  • Hearing (Isaac remarks that “the voice is Jacob’s,” which confuses him because of what his other senses tell him.)
  • Taste (Rebekah prepares goat meat with special spices so it will taste like Esau’s hunting catch.)
  • Smell (Jacob wears Esau’s robe, which leads Isaac to comment, “See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed.”
  • Touch (Rebekah covers the smooth skin of Jacob’s hands and neck with the goatskin so he will feel hairy like Esau.)

In addition to discussion, here are some of the 5 senses activities I found: trace and color pages at Making Learning Fun, a mini-book at Kidzone, page at Homeschool Share.

There are some activity pages at DLTK-Bible related to the story as well.

We also used spent time in prayer during Bible time blessing each child.


Both boys enjoyed reading/listening to The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule Kindle edition (also available in paperback).

Our “Listening Lesson” was a big hit this week (though I’m not sure why).  Ian requested it at least once a day:


Posted on January 25, 2013, in Bible lessons, Long Story Short, Preschool, The Gospel Story and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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