Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach children about the Judge Gideon and why we should always thank God for His promises.
Needed: soft ball, building blocks or cushions
Intro Game: The Moraboofus
This is a game to help kids see why it’s silly to be afraid of certain things. You’ll give kids a series of tasks that they have to add to one another until it’s impossible to do them all. Tell them that if they don’t complete this task, the Moraboofus will come.
For the task, they add each of these steps onto the next:
First, have children touch their nose.
Then, have them stand on one foot.
Then, have them put both arms straight up.
Then, have them bend over and touch their toes that are on the ground.
If they can do that, have them hop on one foot while bending over and touching their toes.
When none of them can do it, say that the Moraboofus is coming. Wait a few seconds, and say, Oh, I guess it’s not coming. We didn’t have to be afraid of that, after all! We get afraid of a lot of things that don’t ever happen. Some things, like the Moraboofus, don’t even exist, so we shouldn’t be afraid of them!
Ask students, Have you ever thanked someone for doing something for you?
Who did you thank and why?
(You should also tell about someone you thanked.)
Today, we’re going to talk about a man who thanked God. What are some things that you can thank God for?
What are some ways that You can thank God besides saying it?
(Summarize Judges 6:1-32 with the following story, asking the included questions as you read.)
The people of Israel sinned against God again.
How does it make God feel when we sin and do things that are wrong? (It makes God feel sad and angry when we do wrong things.)
So, because the Israelites sinned against God, God punished the Israelites by letting the Midianites conquer them for seven years. The Midianites stole all of the Israelites’ food and took over all their houses so that the Israelites had to go live in caves. The Israelites were so upset about everything that the Midianites were doing to them that they cried out and asked God for help.
Then, God sent the Israelites a prophet and God told the prophet to say, “I am the one who brought you up out Egypt where you were slaves. I am the one who saved you from all your enemies and gave you this country of Israel. I told you that you were supposed to worship Me and not any of the fake gods, but you have not listened to Me. You have sinned and done what is wrong.”
Then, God sent His angel to talk to a man named Gideon. Gideon was out in his field, and the angel said, “God is with you, mighty warrior.”
But Gideon said, “Excuse me, but if God is with us, then why has He let Midian do all this bad stuff to us? Why doesn’t God help us like He did when He brought our grandparents out of Egypt?”
The angel said to Gideon, “Go fight the Midianites. God is sending you to do it.”
What would you do if God told you to go fight the Midianites?
Would you be afraid to go fight the Midianites?
Gideon said, “I can’t go fight the Midianites. I’m not strong enough.”
Then, the angel said, “God will be with you and will help you. He will make it so that you will win the battle.”
Did you know that God can help us do anything? We might not feel like we’re good enough or strong enough to do something, but if God is with us, then He can help us do anything.
Then, Gideon said, “I want to be sure that this is really an angel of God talking to me. Stay here until I come back and bring you an offering.”
Why did Gideon want to give the angel an offering? (Gideon wanted to give an offering to the angel to thank God. When God promises us something or when God does something for us, we should always remember to thank Him for it.)
“I’ll stay here and wait for you,” the angel said.
Then, Gideon ran to his house and made some food for the angel. He brought it back and set the food down on a rock. Then, the angel touched the food with his staff and made fire come out of the rock and burn up all the food. Then, the angel disappeared, and Gideon knew that it really was an angel who had been talking to him.
Gideon’s own father was one of the Israelites who was sinning against God and worshipping fake gods. That night, God told Gideon to go break down his father’s statues of the fake gods and to build a place for worshipping the real God.
Gideon was afraid to do it when everyone would see him, so he went at night and broke his father’s statues to the fake gods and built a place for worshipping the real God. In the morning, everyone woke up and saw what Gideon had done.
They knew it was Gideon and they were about to kill him, but his father said, “Wait! Gideon broke the statues of the fake gods. Let the fake gods punish him if they can. If they can’t, then we’ll know that they’re not real. Then, all the people agreed and decided to wait to see if the fake gods would punish Gideon for breaking down their statues.
Do you think the fake gods will punish Gideon for breaking down their statues? (No, the fake gods can’t punish Gideon because they’re not real. They don’t exist, just like the Moraboofus doesn’t exist. Fake gods can’t do anything if they’re not real.)
So, remember, 1) God can help us do anything, 2) we should always thank God when He does something for us, and 3) God is the only real God. There are no other gods.
We’ll learn next week about how God helped Gideon win the battle against the Midianites.
But let’s go back to Gideon bringing the angel an offering to thank God. What was Gideon thanking God for? (He was thanking God for promising to help him defeat the Midianites.)
How could Gideon thank God for something that God hadn’t done yet? Shouldn’t Gideon have waited until after God helped him to thank Him?
We can thank God for things He says He’s going to do because we know He’ll do it. God always keeps His promises. When Gideon thanked God, he was showing his faith that he believed God would do what He said.
We can thank God ahead of time, too, to show our faith. What are some things God has said He will do but hasn’t done yet? (God said He would Jesus back to get us, that He would raise us from the dead, that He would make a new world, etc.)
We can thank God for those things because we have faith that He will do them.
Game: Thanks Toss
Students stand in a circle and randomly toss a ball back and forth. Whenever someone catches the ball, they have to name one thing they’re thankful for, but it can’t be anything anyone else has said.
Game: Sneak Smash
Divide kids into two teams. One team will spread out around the playing area with a stack of blocks or cushions in the middle. They’ll close their eyes and pretend to be the sleeping villagers. The other team will pretend to be Gideon coming up to smash the statues of the fake gods at night. If the “sleeping” team hears them, they stop and switch roles.
Play as long as time permits. The team who successfully smashes the tower the most times wins.
Father, give us the faith to know that You’ll do what You promise, just like Gideon knew that You would help him when You said You would. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Judges and Ruth Children Sunday School Lessons.