Scripture: Judges 6, 7:1 – 24, 8: 22-23 or pages 192 – 196 in The Golden Children’s Bible
Target Age Group: 1st through 6th grade
Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.
Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.
If you were to fight a battle, would you want soldiers who had been in battle before and who were very brave and strong? Or would you want soldiers who were weak and timid? Would you want your army to have more soldiers, or less soldiers? Would you want them to have all of the best equipment and supplies, or just a bow and arrow? In today’s story we’re going to find out what kind of an army God gathered together…
Have the children open their Bibles to Judges 6 or page 192 in The Golden Children’s Bible.
(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)
- Why were the Israelites oppressed by the Midianites? They did evil in the eyes of the Lord.
- Where were they taking shelter from the Midianites? In caves in the mountains.
- When the people cried out to the Lord for help, who did God choose to lead them? Gideon
- Are you surprised that God would save the Israelites, when they had been worshiping idols? Yes.
- They didn’t really deserve God’s love and protection, did they. Can you think of anybody else who God saved – even though they didn’t deserve it? Yes. Us! We’re sinners, too, but God sent Jesus to save us from our sins, even though we didn’t deserve it.
- What was Gideon doing when an angel came to him? Threshing wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. ( You might show the children this video of the harvest and threshing floor so they understand what Gideon was doing. )
- How did the angel great Gideon? “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
- How did Gideon respond? They why has this happened to us? God has abandoned us.
- Do you think that God had abandoned them, or that they had abandoned God? They had abandoned God.
- But, what did the angel say? Be strong. Am I not sending you?
- Does Gideon believe the angel yet? No. He keeps asking for a sign. He says he’s the least in his family.
- What does Gideon bring to the angel? Goat stew and bread.
- What happened when the angel touched the meat and bread with his staff? Fire came out of the rock and burned it up. Then the angel disappeared.
- What did the Lord tell Gideon to do about the alter to Baal? Tear it down and build an alter in it’s place. Offer a bull to the Lord.
- When did Gideon do this? At night
- Why? He was afraid of his family and the people.
- When the people wanted to kill Gideon for doing this, how did his father defend him? If Baal is really a god, let him defend himself.
- How did Gideon test God again to be sure that He would give the Israelites the victory if he attacked the Midianites? He put fleece on the ground. If it was wet, while the ground was dry in the morning, he would know.
- The fleece was wet and the ground was dry. Did Gideon trust the Lord then? No. He wanted one more sign.
- What did he want this time? He wanted the ground to be wet and the fleece to be dry.
- Do you ever feel like Gideon?
- Why did the Lord want the army to be smaller? So that they couldn’t boast that they had won the battle on their own.
- Do you think that that might be why God choose Gideon to be the leader? He wasn’t very brave, was he. But, sometimes God chooses the very least of us to do his work, so that He gets the glory instead of us.
- How was the army reduced to 300? Anybody that was afraid was to go home. Anyone who lapped up water like a dog was to go home.
- What “weapons” did Gideon’s army use? Each had a torch in a jar and a trumpet
- When they surrounded the camp what did they do? They broke the jars, held up their torches and blew the trumpets and shouted.
- What did the Midianites do? They killed eachother with their swords and ran away
- What did Gideon say when the people wanted him to be their king? “The Lord will rule over you.”
- Let’s pray and thank the Lord for choosing us to be his very own – even when we were sinners and not very good, brave or strong on our own…
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Color page #1 from Children’s Bible Study , Color page #2 from Bible Kids, or Color page #3, and Color page #4 from The Bible Stories Library. Or have them color a color page related to the story. An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
Show a video of this story.
Video #1 by Moody
Video #2 Older kids will enjoy this one.
Video #3 from Johnny Rodgers
Video #4 by Concordia
Video #5 Show a clip from this video that shows how the torches were kept in the pitchers until the army was ready, and why the sudden blowing of the trumpets and the light from the torches would have confuse the enemy.
Gospel Hall has a cute torch and jar craft. Search for “Gideon” or “311”
Auntie’s Bible Lessons has a cute craft.
Have the children make a torch with this pattern from DTLK. Use some red, yellow or orange tissue paper tucked into the top for the flame.
Make this Gideon cube craft from Jesus Without Language.
Danielle’s place has some great activity ideas to help you teach the lesson.
Have the children do this word search from Sharon Whittaker.
Here is a great skit from Teach Them for your High School students or helpers to perform for your grade-schoolers to demonstrate that we are all a work in progress, just as Gideon was.
This lesson has a craft for younger children.
Sing “Be Strong – Joshuah 1:9” and “God’s Not Finished” by Mary Rice Hopkins or “Be Bold and Be Strong” and “I Will Give My All” and “I Will Arise and Go Forth” by the Donut Man.
For snack time, serve these torch cupcakes from Sweetology.
Evaluate what the children have learned. While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.
Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.