MEMORY VERSE: Judges 6:12 "...The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valor."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: James. Write "James" on small slips of paper and hand out to students at the end of class.
PRAYER: God has chosen anyone who obeys Him. May we always be careful in the things we do and say, making sure that we are obeying God all the time.
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: A fleece of wool (or cotton) and a bowl of water. Wring out the water at the appropriate time. Draw a picture of an oak tree and a rock with the meat and little cakes on it.
- The children of Israel enjoyed forty years of rest and peace as they obeyed God, but after that, the people again forgot God and disobeyed him. They were doing evil things and the LORD allowed the nation of Midian to rule over the Israelites for seven years. The Midianites were very cruel to the Israelites and the people ran away to the mountains and hid in dens and caves. After the Israelites had planted their crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and a few other nations came into Israel's land. They camped in their tents and let their cattle eat all of the Israelites' crops, so there was none left to grow and everything was destroyed. There were so many invaders in the land that they looked like a swarm of grasshoppers. Israel became very poor and they cried to the LORD because of the Midianites. Why did these bad things happen to the Israelites? Because they disobeyed God and did not listen to Him (Judges 6:10). This teaches us that God will always punish our disobedience.
- God loved His people and heard their cries and raised up another prophet to help the people. One day, an angel of the LORD went to the town of Ophrah and sat under an oak tree that belonged to a man named Joash who had a son named Gideon. Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress. Gideon was trying to hide the wheat from the Midianites in a winepress when the angel spoke to Gideon. The angel said, "The LORD is with you, mighty man of valor." Gideon said to the angel that if God was with him, why were all the bad things happening to the Israelites. "Now the LORD has forsaken us," he said. Do we know why all those bad things were happening to the children of Israel? YES! The people were not obeying God anymore.
- God told Gideon that he was strong and he was going to rescue Israel from the Midianites. Gideon was a little surprised! He asked God how could he save the people since he was a poor man and he was the youngest in his family. God told Gideon that He would be with him and that he COULD save the people. Gideon was not convinced and asked for a sign or something to show him that he could do this task that the LORD wanted him to do. Gideon told the angel not to go away because he wanted to give a present to him. The angel said he would stay.
- Gideon went in and killed a goat and started cooking it and made some little unleavened cakes. He brought the meat out in a basket and the broth was put in a small pot. The angel of God told him to take the meat and the unleavened cakes and put them on a rock, pouring out the broth. Gideon did what he was commanded to do. The angel of the LORD took the rod that was in his own hand and touched the meat and the cakes and flames jumped up and burned up the meat and the cakes. Then the angel was gone and Gideon built and altar there.
- That same night, God talked to Gideon again. He told him to take his father's second best young bull and pull down the altar that his father worshiped idols on, then to build an altar to the LORD on top of the rock. Gideon did what God said, but he was afraid of the men of the city and took ten servants with him and waited to do what God said at nighttime. When the men came out the next morning and saw that the idol's altar was torn down, they asked, "Who did this?" Someone finally said that Gideon did it. The men told Gideon's father to tell Gideon to come outside, and they would kill him for tearing down the idol's altar. Gideon's father told the men to let the idol take revenge on Gideon, not the men. From that day forward, Gideon's father called him by a new name, Jerubbaal.
- The Midianites and Amalekites gathered together and the Bible says that the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon and he blew a trumpet to tell the men to join his army.
- Gideon wanted God to tell him again if He really was going to help him like He said He would. Gideon took a piece of fleece of wool and put it on the floor. He said that if the fleece was wet with dew the next morning, but the ground around it was dry, then Gideon would know God was with him. He got up the next morning and there was so much dew only on the fleece that when Gideon wrung out the wool, the water filled a bowl of water! The Gideon asked God not to be mad, but if He truly was with Gideon, to do it the opposite way the next night--dew on the ground, but no water on the fleece of wool. When Gideon got up that next morning, God did just what Gideon had asked, so Gideon knew that the LORD was with him. God had chosen Gideon to deliver His people. We will study more about Gideon next time.
- Discuss what 'threshing wheat' means. A picture would be nice.
- Name other people that we have studied who had their names changed (Abram, Sarai, Jacob).
- Talk about how God makes life hard for those who do not worship Him today. (Consequences of sin, no money for food and necessities if on drugs, etc.)
Materials needed: 9" x 12" yellow construction paper, 5" x 5" orange construction paper, 4" x 12" tan construction paper, 1" x 3" scrap of dark brown paper, scrap of any color paper, scrap of blue paper, two tufts of cotton batting or cotton, black crayon or marker, glue, scissors.
- Hand out yellow paper. This is the background.
- Fold yellow paper in half.
- Glue tan paper to the bottom of yellow paper. This is the ground.
- Tear dark brown paper into a mound of dirt.
- On the right side of yellow paper, glue dark brown paper. This is the wet ground.
- Cut out a small bowl.
- Tear out a small piece of blue paper to fit inside bowl to resemble water.
- In the middle of each side of yellow paper, glue cotton.
- Inside the yellow paper, write "#1," "water from fleece," and "bowl" on the left side of paper. See picture below. Also, draw arrows from words to correct item.
- Inside the yellow paper, write "#2," "dry fleece" and "wet ground" on the right side of paper.
- Draw a black line down the middle of paper.
- Turn paper over to back.
- Write "Was God With Gideon?" on the orange paper. (See picture above.)
- Fold top edge of orange paper.
- Glue top edge ONLY of orange paper and attach to middle of right side of yellow paper.
- Lift orange paper carefully and write "YES!" under orange paper. (See picture above.)
- Write "Judges 6" below the orange paper.
- Fold the paper in half again, making a good crease in the paper.