MEMORY VERSE: Judges 7:20 "...The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!"
BOOK TO REMEMBER: 1 Peter. Write "1 Peter" on small slips of paper and hand out to students at the end of class.
PRAYER: May we be brave like Gideon, knowing that God is with us.
SPECIAL SONG: God Raised Up Fifteen Judges (see June - Lesson - Deborah, A Female Judge on this blog). Gideon (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog).
VISUAL AID: Large Torch and trumpet (see below under Activity), and maybe a nice pitcher from home if you have one (you don't need to break it!).
- Early in the morning, Gideon and all the the people who were with him camped by a well, so that the Midianites were camped north of Gideon and his people beside a hill, but down in a valley. God told Gideon that there were too many people with him. If they won the battle against the Midianites, then the people might say that they won all by themselves without any help from God and that would not be true. So Gideon told the people that whoever was afraid or fearful could go back home. 22,000 people left, leaving 10,000 people with Gideon.
- Again, God said that there were still too many people! God said to bring the people down to the water and anyone who lapped up the water like a dog or got down on his knees, to set them aside, so the number of men that cupped their hand like this (show students) and put the water up to their mouth and drank was 300. God told Gideon that He would save Gideon and give the Midianites in his hand by using those 300 men who were set aside. God said to let all the others go home.So the people took their food in their hands along with their trumpets and all the other people went home while the Midianites camped below the Israelites in that valley.
- On that same night, God told Gideon to get up and go down and fight the Midianites because God was going to give them into Gideon's hand. He said not to be afraid, but to go down the hill with his servant and listen to what the enemy was saying and afterwards Gideon's hands would be strengthened.
- Let's turn to Judges 7:12 and see how many Midianites and Amalekites Gideon and his brave 300 men were going to need to fight. (Read verse). Let's put our bookmarks right here. Wow! The enemies were just like a swarm of grasshoppers! Thousands of them! No one could count how many camels they even had! They were just like the sand at the beach!
- When Gideon got close to the enemies' camp, he heard a man tell a dream he had to another man. He said that he had dreamed a dream and a cake of barley bread had tumbled into the Midianites' camp and rolled into a tent and struck the tent so that the whole tent collapsed! His friend had said to the dreamer that that was the sword of Gideon! The man said that into Gideon's hand God had given Midian and the whole camp! When Gideon heard that, he worshiped God and went back to the camp and told the 300 men to get ready because the LORD had delivered Midian in to their hand.!
- Gideon then divided his 300 men into three groups and every one had their own trumpet, an empty pitcher, and a lamp or torch inside each pitcher. Gideon told the men to watch him and to copy him. When Gideon came outside the camp, so should they. When Gideon blew his trumpet, everyone should blow on their trumpets and shout "The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!"
- So Gideon and his brave 300 men went outside the camp, blew their trumpets, broke the pitchers, and held their lamps in their left hands and cried out, "The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!" Then they stood in their place all around the camp and the entire enemy army cried out as they ran away. When the three hundred men blew their trumpets, every Midianite soldier took out their swords and started fighting each other! The Midianites tried to run far away to escape, but Gideon sent messengers throughout Mount Ephraim asking the other Israelite tribes or families to come and help them fight the Midianites by guarding the springs, streams and the Jordan River. Gideon was truly a mighty man of valor with his brave 300 mighty soldiers won the battle that day. God can use a few people to do great things!
- Define "valor." (Great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle)
- Discuss how numbers have never been important to God. He can use anything to win a battle and the things He uses are simple. What simple things did the Israelite soldiers use to win the battle with the Midianites?
- Talk about having the LORD on your side and what that means in times of need.
ACTIVITY: Torches and Trumpets
Materials needed: 12" x 12" piece of aluminum foil, one 12" x 18" piece of brown construction paper, one large sheet of orange tissue paper, tape, marker or crayon.
- Hand out brown construction paper.
- Write "Gideon And His Brave 300" and "Judges 7" at the smaller top of the paper.
- Loosely roll brown paper. Tape to secure.
- Squeeze ONLY the lower half of the brown paper to create a "lamp" or "torch."
- Hold orange tissue paper by the middle of the paper and shake downward.
- Gently and loosely stuff inside the top of the lamp or torch, leaving edges showing to look like a torch.
- Set torch aside.
- Roll foil loosely.
- Carefully squeeze the foil into a long tube EXCEPT for the bottom of the foil.
- Flare bottom edges of foil to resemble a trumpet.
- Have all the students stand in a circle with their trumpets and torches.
- The Bible teacher pretends to break the pitcher, then the students hold their torches or lamps, blow their trumpets, and shout "The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!"
- Practice again! It's fun...and it's learning!