To Remember: God provides all the proof we need to believe in
Gideon Defeats the Midianites
judge: (in lesson context) a leader God provided to free
Israel from danger and keep the peace
sign: proof from
Judges 6-8'Gideon thought the Lord had forgotten them. At
that very moment he was secretly threshing grain down in the
winepress instead of out in the open air where the Midianites
could see him..." Read the full lesson
The Midianites stole all Israel's food, and were so dangerous the
Israelites had to live in caves.
An angel appeared to Gideon and told him to destroy the false altar to
Baal. The people were angry, but it proved to them that Baal was so
helpless, he couldn't defend his own altar.
Gideon raised an army to free Israel. He asked God for signs that this
was His will. The first sign was that a fleece left out overnight
gathered dew, but the ground around it was dry. The next night he asked
that the fleece be dry, and the ground dewy.
God had Gideon dismiss most of his army. He kept only 300 good soldiers
(the men who lapped water from their hands rather than bent down to
drink). God wanted everyone to know that He, not the army, had defeated
Gideon overheard a Midianite soldier explain a prophetic dream. This was
another sign to Gideon that God was with them.
That night, Gideon gave each soldier a pitcher with a lamp (or torch) in
it. They all took ram's horns (trumpets) and surrounded the camp. At one
time, they broke the jugs, blew on the horns and shouted: "The sword of
the Lord and Gideon!" The Midianites were so startled and confused, they
fought each other, then ran.
||Judges 1:11-13; 3:7-11
||(used a dagger to kill Ehud)
||Moabites (King Eglon)
oxgoad to kill 600)
||(prophesied re: Barak and
||King Jabin of Hazor
(used 300 men with torches)
||(Gideon's corrupt son)
||(civil war in Israel)
||(had 30 sons and 30 towns)
his daughter's life)
||(had 40 sons, 30 grandsons)
||1 Samuel 1:1-4:1
priest, anoints kings)
||1 Samuel 4:1-7:17
Object Lesson: bring a flashlight and an opaque container that
it will fit in. Show how the sudden breaking of the jug and the
appearance of the light would be frightening to the sleeping
Before the lesson, place a bowl of water in front
of each child. Begin telling the lesson. When you come to the part
in the lesson when God tells Gideon to watch the men as they drink
water from the river, have the children drink the water in front of
them. Tell them to pretend that they are at the river getting a
drink, so they can't pick up the bowl. After they start drinking,
point out those children that would have been eliminated to go to
war with Gideon and those who would have been chosen to go to war.
Continue with lesson. (Thanks to Nancy Wright)
Gideon's Army Prepares for War
Discussion: Compare Barak's need for Deborah to Gideon's
need for signs. God does not reprimand Gideon's requests, instead He
fulfills them. What is the difference? Barak refused to trust in
God's help, even though he was hearing God's will from a prophetess.
Instead he put his trust in Deborah. Gideon wasn't questioning God's
ability to save Israel. Gideon wanted to be certain that God was
with him. Since God had withdrawn from Israel for a long time, it's
not unusual that Gideon would want to be sure of God's will. God
rewards those who strive to be sure they are truly pleasing to Him.
He provides all the evidence we need to believe in Him. God never
asks for blind faith, but for an obedient response to the truth when
we hear it. Are we striving to know God's will?
Memory Work: Judges
"And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you,
neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you."
in the Lord's army"
Review Questions for
- What is a sign? proof of God's will
- What does a judge do? makes decisions between right
- Spell pitcher.
- Act out blowing a ram's horn.
- Locate Midian's territory on a map.
- Draw a jug with a lamp inside.
- What emotion led Gideon to ask God for signs?
uncertainty, caution, some fear
- What emotion led the Midianites to fight each
other? confusion, fear
- How did Israel feel after the Midianites were
gone? happy, releived, loyal to Gideon and God
What signs has God offered us? the resurrection of Christ, all
the miracles of the Bible, recorded by witnesses
Does God require blind faith from us? no
How can we seek out God's true will? study the Bible, pray
- After Deborah died, the people gradually turned to: God,
idols or Kings
- The Midianites made the Israelites: rulers, friends,
- What did Gideon's army take with them into battle? horn
and a lamp in a jug
Why had God abandoned Israel? they worshipped dead objects instead of Him
Why couldn't Baal defend his own altar? because he had no power
Why didn't God allow all 32,000 men fight? because Israel would believe
their numbers won the battle, not God
Why was it better for a soldier to lap water from his hands than to bend
over the river? he could still be on the look-out for the enemy