Gideon Lesson for Children’s Church

bible lessonsThis free Children’s Church lesson plan was first written for elementary aged students. It covers the story of Gideon and how God used him to save his people. This material could also be used as the Bible lesson plan for children’s Sunday school. Be sure to consider your own ministry context and modify it as needed.

For younger children, you might prefer our preschool version of this Gideon Sunday School lesson.

Bible Story: The Story of Gideon
Scripture: Judges 6:1-2, 12-16 & 7:2-8, 15-22
Target Age Group: Kindergarten – 5th grade
Learning Context: Children’s Church
Target Time Frame: 40 minutes
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Items Needed:

  • Bible: Judges 6:1-2, 12-16 & 7:2-8, 15-22.
  • Basket, slips of paper with the following written on them (included in this print file folder) David – killed Goliath and became king after Saul, Moses – lead the people out of Egypt and carried the Ten Commandments, Adam – 1st man God created, Sarah – had a son when she was 90 years old, Jacob – deceived his father into thinking he was Esau, Joseph – was sold by his brothers into slavery, but ended up saving the entire country, Aaron – brother of Moses and built the golden calf, Noah – built the ark that God told him to build, Joshua & Caleb – the 2 spies that believed in God and wanted to go into the promised land, Eve – first woman God created
  • 1 lunch bag per child, red, orange and yellow construction paper, glue, crayons
  • 12 light colored balloons, black marker

Connection with the Gospel? This story, like many other in the Old Testament point to Christ in an indirect fashion. Children should understand that the promise of salvation through Abraham’s family was at risk when God’s people were dominated by other nations. The rescue God accomplishes through Gideon demonstrates the power of the LORD to use a humble warrior to overcome a strong enemy. This is a pattern for the coming Kingdom of Christ, when Jesus overcomes all nations through the witness of the church.

Teaching Plan: The Story of Gideon

Welcome Activity
Welcome activities are things to have out for the children to do as they are arriving for class. These activities will get them engaged as soon as they arrive and will help the transition from their parents.

Let the children play with the blown up balloons that will be used later during the Bible Verse Activity.

Bible Lesson Introduction

  • Have a child come up and choose a slip of paper out of the basket.
  • They must act out the person that’s on their paper while the other children try to guess who they are.
  • Talk with the children after each one about the character and what they did.

Bible Story

Review these questions as you turn to the passage in your Bible.

  • What part of the Bible is Judges in? The Old Testament
  • What book of the Old Testament is Judges? #7

Read Judges 6:1-2, 12-16 & 7:2-8, 15-22 (NIRV) aloud to the children. You can use a story Bible in place of this reading for younger children. Be sure to read with energy and good storytelling technique.

1-2 Once again the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. So for seven years he handed them over to the people of Midian. The Midianites treated the people of Israel very badly. That’s why they made hiding places for themselves. They hid in holes in the mountains. They also hid in caves and in other safe places.

12-16 The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon. He said, “Mighty warrior, the Lord is with you.”  “But sir,” Gideon replied, “you say the Lord is with us. Then why has all of this happened to us? Where are all of the wonderful things he has done? Our parents told us about them. They said, ‘Didn’t the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has deserted us. He has handed us over to Midian.” The Lord turned to Gideon. He said to him, “You are strong. Go and save Israel from the power of Midian. I am sending you.” “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I possibly save Israel? My family group is the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh. And I’m the least important member of my family.” The Lord answered, “I will be with you. So you will strike down the men of Midian all at one time.”

2-8 The Lord spoke to Gideon. He said, “I want to hand Midian over to you. But you have too many men for me to do that. I do not want Israel to brag that their own strength has saved them.  So here is what I want you to announce to your men. Tell them, ‘Those who tremble with fear can turn back. They can leave Mount Gilead.’ ” So 22,000 men left. But 10,000 remained.  The Lord spoke to Gideon again. He said, “There are still too many men. So take them down to the water. I will sort them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one will go with you,’ he will go. But if I say, ‘That one will not go with you,’ he will not go.” So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord spoke to him. He said, “Some men will drink the way dogs do. They will lap up the water with their tongues. Separate them from those who get down on their knees to drink.”  Three hundred men lapped up the water. They brought it up to their mouths with their hands. All of the rest got down on their knees to drink. The Lord spoke to Gideon. He said, “With the help of the 300 men who lapped up the water I will save you. I will hand the Midianites over to you. Let all of the other men go home.” So Gideon sent the rest of the men of Israel to their tents. But he kept the 300 men. They took over the supplies and trumpets the others had left. The Midianites had set up their camp in the valley below where Gideon was.

15-22 Then Gideon worshiped God. He returned to the camp of Israel. He called out, “Get up! The Lord has handed the Midianites over to you.” Gideon separated the 300 men into three companies. He put a trumpet and an empty jar into the hands of each man. And he put a torch inside each jar. “Watch me,” he told them. “Do what I do. I’ll go to the edge of the enemy camp. Then do exactly as I do. 18 I and everyone who is with me will blow our trumpets. Then blow your trumpets from your positions all around the camp. And shout the battle cry, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’ ” Gideon and the 100 men who were with him reached the edge of the enemy camp. It was about ten o’clock at night. It was just after the guard had been changed. Gideon and his men blew their trumpets. They broke the jars that were in their hands. The three companies blew their trumpets. They smashed their jars. They held their torches in their left hands. They held in their right hands the trumpets they were going to blow. Then they shouted the battle cry, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” Each man stayed in his position around the camp. But all of the Midianites ran away in fear. They were crying out as they ran. When the 300 trumpets were blown, the Lord caused all of the men in the enemy camp to start fighting each other. They attacked each other with their swords. The army ran away to Beth Shittah toward Zererah. They ran all the way to the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.

Discuss Bible Lesson

Bring out the following points from the Bible story. If possible use question and answer to allow the children to discover these themes for themselves. Use transition phrases such as, “What happens next?”

  • Israel seems to go on a roller coaster ride with God. They follow Him and then they don’t. When they didn’t, God lets them have the natural consequences of their actions – they are no longer protected by God.
  • God sends an angel down to talk to Gideon.
  • Gideon is told that he is the one being chosen to conquer their enemy.
  • God then reassures Gideon that He will be with him the entire time.

2 The Lord spoke to Gideon. He said, “I want to hand Midian over to you. But you have too many men for me to do that. I do not want Israel to brag that their own strength has saved them. 3 So here is what I want you to announce to your men. Tell them, ‘Those who tremble with fear can turn back. They can leave Mount Gilead.’ ” So 22,000 men left. But 10,000 remained.

  • Gideon gathers all of the men that he can find. Afterall, the Midianites have a lot of soldiers! It’s only natural that Gideon should have a lot of soldiers.
  • God disagrees and tells Gideon that he has too many soldiers.
  • He started with 32,000, he now has 10,000.

4 The Lord spoke to Gideon again. He said, “There are still too many men. So take them down to the water. I will sort them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one will go with you,’ he will go. But if I say, ‘That one will not go with you,’ he will not go.” 5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord spoke to him. He said, “Some men will drink the way dogs do. They will lap up the water with their tongues. Separate them from those who get down on their knees to drink.” 6 Three hundred men lapped up the water. They brought it up to their mouths with their hands. All of the rest got down on their knees to drink. 7 The Lord spoke to Gideon. He said, “With the help of the 300 men who lapped up the water I will save you. I will hand the Midianites over to you. Let all of the other men go home.”

  • God tells Gideon that 10,000 are too many.
  • God has Gideon have his men get a drink of water. If they lapped it up with their tongues, like a dog, they were not to be a part of the army.
  • Only the 300 men that kneeled down and got a drink using their hands would be Gideon’s army.
  • Men who were not afraid and who got a drink while still being on watch, were the ones who God chose to fight the enemy.

8 So Gideon sent the rest of the men of Israel to their tents. But he kept the 300 men. They took over the supplies and trumpets the others had left. The Midianites had set up their camp in the valley below where Gideon was. 15Then Gideon worshiped God. He returned to the camp of Israel. He called out, “Get up! The Lord has handed the Midianites over to you.” 16 Gideon separated the 300 men into three companies. He put a trumpet and an empty jar into the hands of each man. And he put a torch inside each jar.

  • It’s now time for battle!
  • Gideon splits up his 300 men into 3 groups – 100 in each group.
  • He arms them with torches, trumpets and an empty jar.
  • What must they have been thinking? Where is my sword?


17 “Watch me,” he told them. “Do what I do. I’ll go to the edge of the enemy camp. Then do exactly as I do. 18 I and everyone who is with me will blow our trumpets. Then blow your trumpets from your positions all around the camp. And shout the battle cry, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’ ” 19 Gideon and the 100 men who were with him reached the edge of the enemy camp. It was about ten o’clock at night. It was just after the guard had been changed. Gideon and his men blew their trumpets. They broke the jars that were in their hands.
20 The three companies blew their trumpets. They smashed their jars. They held their torches in their left hands. They held in their right hands the trumpets they were going to blow. Then they shouted the battle cry, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”

  • Gideon breaks his jar and blows his trumpet.
  • All of the men do the same.

21 Each man stayed in his position around the camp. But all of the Midianites ran away in fear. They were crying out as they ran.
22 When the 300 trumpets were blown, the Lord caused all of the men in the enemy camp to start fighting each other. They attacked each other with their swords. The army ran away to Beth Shittah toward Zererah. They ran all the way to the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.

  • The Midianites didn’t know what happened.
  • They ran away in fear!
  • Then they starting fighting and killing each other.
  • The battle was won by breaking jars, blowing trumpets and yelling! Only God can do that!

Bible Lesson Activities

Activity: Gideon’s Torch

“What happened in our Bible Story today? (allow for responses) Gideon and his small army beat the Midianites’ large army. They only used torches and jars instead of swords. Let’s make our own torches to help us remember that God will always be with us if we follow Him and what He wants us to do.”

  • Have each child cut out some flames from the construction paper.
  • Give each child a lunch bag.
  • Let the children glue the flames to the inside of their bag – make sure that the flames are sticking out of the bag.
  • Let the children color their lunch bag.
  • Make sure that each child writes their name on the bottom of their bag.
  • Have the children twist their lunch bag so that it looks like a torch.

Activity: Bible Verse Memorization
“The Midianites treated the people of Israel very badly. That’s why they made hiding places for themselves.” Judges 6:2 (NIRV)

Have the children do the following hand motions along with repeating the words after you, to help them learn the Bible Verse:

The Midianites: make a mean face
Treated the people of Israel: smile
Very badly: shake your finger as though someone was in trouble
That’s why they made hiding places: cover face with hands
For themselves: point to self
Judges 6: hold up 6 fingers
2: hold up 2 fingers

Do this a few times with the children. Make it fun for them to do the motions and say the words. Involving them in active learning is essential for memorization.

Activity: Balloon Blow Up

Before class:

  • Blow up the balloons
  • Write one of the 12 phrases on each of the balloons

The Midianites / treated / the people / of Israel / very badly / that’s why / they made / hiding places / for themselves / Judges / 6 / 2

  • Hand out the balloons to 12 children and have them put themselves in order.
  • Have the entire class say the verse.
  • Have a child pop their balloon, but stay standing in their spot.
  • Have the entire class say the verse – including the missing phrase.
  • Continue until all of the balloons are popped.

Evaluation: Have the children answer the following questions.

  • Who did God choose to conquer the Midianites? Gideon
  • How many soldiers did Gideon start off with? 32,000
  • How many soldiers did God actually let Gideon use? 300
  • Why did God not want Gideon to have a lot of soldiers? So they wouldn’t brag about the win – they had to know that God did it – not them
  • What did they use to win the battle? Torches, trumpets, empty jars and yelling


Comments

  1. suzanne says

    This was very informative, and very helpful in teaching my Royal Rangers @ Crossroads Church in OKC, we have about 30 little 1st and 2nd grade boys. I will definitely be using your website more often. Thank you so much

    Suzanne

    • Yvonne Beasley says

      There is a mistake in your lesson. God told Gideon, By the 300 men that lapped like a dog, will I save you. Judges 7:7

  2. Georgeann says

    I used your torch activity for our craft this morning in my 1st grade Bible Fellowship at FBC Carrollton. The kids (and the teachers) loved it! One kid (who is very bright) even commented, “This is the best craft we have ever done!” It was simple, but fun and the kids (and adults alike) were amazed at the outcome once they twisted the brown paper bags. I went a step further and had a slip of paper with Philippians 4:13 printed out with a hole punched in the corner. Our kids had to fill in the blanks of some of the smaller key words in the passage, then they tied them to their torches with jute string (that I called Biblical string!). Thank you, thank you for such a creative, darling craft!!! I look forward to using your website for future craft ideas for our 1st graders!

  3. Emily Wright says

    We are starting a Gideon series at “Big” church. The kids have a simplified version in Kid’s Worship.

    Thank you for this!

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