Title: God Gives Gideon Victory
Scripture: Judges 6:36-7:25
Target Age Group: 3rd-5th grade
Main Point: God alone saves His people
Supplies:Picture printouts from www.bricktestatment.com, marker board and marker
- Ask: How have you been helped or encouraged by someone else this week?
- Say: In our story we’ll hear how God encouraged Gideon to go out and fight Israel’s enemies.
- Say: Our main point today is: God alone saves His people. We’ll learn that God is the only one who deserves credit for Israel’s victory over the Midianites.
- Pray for our lesson today and that God would speak to us through the story.
Tell the Story
Ask: Have anyone ever bragged about something? Maybe you did really well on a test at school, or scored the winning goal for your sports team. (Allow kids to respond.)
Say: When we succeed at something we naturally want to take the credit for it. But it’s God who blesses us with talents and gifts, so even when we do something well we can still give glory to God. Apart from God we can’t do anything. Without Him our hearts wouldn’t even keep beating! We must rely on God for everything, and that’s exactly what we will hear in our story today. We’ll learn that God alone saves His people.
Say: Who remembers what book our story last week was from? That’s right, Judges. It’s the 7th book in the Bible. Can you name the first 7 books? (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges.)
Say: Last week we learned that God called upon Gideon to lead the Israelite army into battle to defeat their enemies. Gideon wasn’t so sure that he was the right man for the job, but the Lord reminded him that God overcomes our weaknesses.
Tell the Story: Gideon still wasn’t sure that God was going to keep His promise to defeat Israel’s enemies. So Gideon put God to the test. Gideon laid out a fleece (a sheep’s skin) and told God that he would believe Him if in the morning the fleece was wet with dew but the ground around it was dry.
Ask: Do you think it was right for Gideon to test God?
Say: Gideon’s faith was small but God showed him grace. In the morning, Gideon wrung out a whole bowlful of water from the fleece. But that still wasn’t good enough for Gideon! He put God to the test a second time asking that in the morning the fleece be dry while the ground around it wet with dew. Yet again, God showed Gideon grace and did as he asked.
Tell the Story: The signs that God gave Gideon helped him believe that God would keep His promise to give the Israelites victory, so Gideon gathered an army of 32,000 men to fight the Midianites. But God wanted to show the people that God alones saves His people so He said…
Read Judges 7:2: “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave.’ So 22,000 men left while 10,000 remained.”
Ask: Why did God say that there were too many people in the army? (Allow kids to respond.) He wanted to teach them that God alone saves His people. God didn’t want Israel to think that the reason they had won the battle was because they were so strong. He wanted them to know that it was God Himself who gave them victory over Midian!
Tell the Story: There were 10,000 men left but God said that was still too many. So he told Gideon to let the men go down to the water to drink. Gideon was to watch how the men drank, and anyone who drank from their hands was to go home but anyone who lapped up water like a dog was to stay and fight. After that only 300 men were left!
God wanted to encourage Gideon so He spoke to him that night telling him to sneak into the Midianite camp to hear what the enemy soliders were saying. Gideon took his servant Purah with him and they overheard a solider telling another solider of a dream he’d had. The solider interpreted the dream saying that the God of Israel would give Israel victory over them, and He would use a man named Gideon to do it. Gideon remembered that God alone saves His people.
Ask: How do you think Gideon felt when he heard this?
Tell the Story: Encouraged by what he had just heard in the enemy camp, Gideon returned to his own army and instructed the men to go down and fight because God would give them victory. He gave each man a trumpet and a clay jar with a torch inside. Then they surrounded the Midianite camp. At Gideon’s signal the men blew their trumpets, broke the jars, and shouted “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” Then they attacked the army. God confused the Midianites so that they even started killing each other! Gideon’s army had only 300 men but they defeated the Midianite army of over 120,000 soldiers! It was clear that God alone saves His people.
Ask: Has God ever done something in your life that you knew you couldn’t have done on your own?
Say: In some ways we are just like the people of Israel. God alone saves His people today just like in Gideon’s day. We might not go out against a huge army to fight, but God still saves us in ways that we can’t save ourselves.
Ask: What is our greatest enemy? (Sin)
Say: We don’t have the power to fight sin on our own. We are too weak! But God alone saves His people by sending His Only Son Jesus to rescue us from sin. We are weak but Jesus is strong enough to save us, and God deserves all the glory!
Say: In the New Testament we read this…
Read Ephesian 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Ask: Can we take credit for our own salvation?
Say: No way! God says in His Word that we shouldn’t boast or brag about our salvation because God alones saves His people. It’s by grace alone that our sins are forgiven, not because of anything we do to deserve it. Let’s pray and thank God for this incredible truth!
Pray Dear God thank you for this story that reminds us that you alone save your people. Thank you for showing us your grace in forgiving our sins. We praise you because you alone are worthy of our worship. We don’t deserve your love and kindness that you show us everyday, but we pray that you would give us hearts that love you and desire to serve you. Amen.
- What was the main point from our lesson?
- How did Gideon test God? (He put out the fleece and told God to make the fleece wet with dew while the ground around it is dry. The next day he asked for the opposite to happen.)
- How did God make the army smaller? (Gideon told the men who were scared to go home. Then only the men who lapped water like a dog stayed to fight.)
- How many men were in the army to fight? (300)
- Why did God want so few men to go against the Midianites? (God wanted them to know the He was the one to give them victory.)
Learning Activity 1: Story Picture Sequencing
Supplies: Printouts from www.BrickTestament.com
- Give each child a picture from the story. (There are pictures from last week’s story as well. This activity will review the whole story of Gideon.)
- Have the kids work together to put the story in the correct order.
Learning Activity 2 : What’s so Hard About That?
Supplies: Marker board and marker
- Ask the kids to think about things that are difficult for them to do, and create a list on the board.
- Ask what kind of help they would need to accomplish the tasks listed.
- Explain that Gideon thought it was impossible for God to give them victory over their enemies. He tested God two times to prove that He would keep His promise to help His people. We can trust God to help us when we step out in faith.