Gideon: Mighty Judge of Israel
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Uses a script to tell the story.
For scripture and memory verses see above post.
- Learn that when we trust in God, things that seem impossible are possible
- See that leaders (like Gideon, Moses) sometimes experience doubts
- Review Bible Background notes.
- Gather materials/props and read through script
- Any props you decide to have.
- Copies of the script.
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Wear nametag. Introduce yourself to students.
Open with a prayer.
Introduce Bible story (story of Gideon starts at Judges 6) and characters
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Distribute scripts, props and perform drama. If time allows, repeat the drama so children can experience different parts.
Scene 1: Midianites & the Israelites – and Gideon & Angel of the Lord
Scene 2: Assembling the army & the surprising victory
Characters: Narrator, Mid 1, Mid 2, Gideon, Angel/Lord
Props: black masks, food item (Midianites), picture of burning bush, picture of smoking cactus, wool, water
Teacher: The Lord walked with the people of Israel many times. Do you remember the movie “Prince of Egypt” which told the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and through the parting of the Red Sea? The Lord was with them. Do you remember the song “Joshua fought the Battle of Jericho and the walls came a’tumbling down”? The Lord was with the Israelites as he gave them more land. But even so, sometimes the people of Israel turned away from God. This made God angry.
Narrator: Our story begins in the “Bad lands”. The Midianites are not friendly neighbors of the Israelites.
(Midianites can wear black masks. Swagger in with some kind of food in hand (corn, wheat))
Midianite 1: I’m smelling food. I’m smelling mighty good food growing ‘round here.
Midianite 2: These Israelites are good farmers. I’ve never had such tasty stuff. Yummy corn. I love it. Let’s go get some more.
Midianite 1: And let’s go stampede their sheep, and rustle up some more cows.
Midianite 2: Great idea! The Israelites are yellow-bellied chickens, hiding in the caves – and we are big, bad, wolves, gobbling up their food.
Narrator: Things were getting ugly for the Israelites They needed help. They cried out to the Lord for help. An angel of the Lord appeared. ( Point) Look over there. Gideon is hiding behind a cactus.
Angel: Giddy up and go, Gideon. The Lord is with you. Go save Israel.
Gideon: What’s up, partner? Let’s talk turkey. If the Lord is with me, why is everything going wrong? My ma and pa tell tall tales about the Lord helping Moses in Egypt and protecting us in the Wilderness. Those stories are a hill of beans. The Lord has deserted us.
Angel: Whoa, cowboy. The Lord is with you always. You just trust in the Lord. You are strong. Now, giddy up! Go and save Israel from the Midian varmints. The Lord is sending you.
Gideon: Me?? Hey, you think saving Israel is like licking butter off a knife. No way. You are loco. How can I save Israel? I am just one cowboy. You need a big posse. My family is a drop in the bucket.
Angel: Hold your horses, cowboy! Moses had doubts, too. He didn’t hang up his spurs and give up. With the Lord’s help, you know what he did. The Lord will ride with you, too, Gideon. So, giddy up.
Gideon: I think you’re star gazing, partner. I’m going to need a sign. Moses saw a burning bush. How about a smokin’ cactus? (show picture, or point to a cactus prop)
No, no. Wait, I know. How about taking this scrap of wool and soaking it with morning dew. Only it will be wet, everything around it will be dry.
Narrator: The next morning, Gideon found the wool soaked with dew, and squeezed the water into a bowl. ( Have 2 kids do demo with wool and water. )
Gideon: Very cool. One more request, please. This time, how about making the ground wet with dew but keep the wool dry?
Narrator: The next morning, only the wool was dry. The ground all around it was covered with dew. Now Gideon was ready. He trusted the Lord. He knew the Lord was with him.
Teacher might choose to pause and ask a couple of questions.
How do you know you can trust God?
What signs do you see?
Have you ever doubted something you knew was true?
Characters: Narrator, Lord, Gideon, Purah, Mathwiz
Props: Mathwiz posters, bowls of water, simple trumpets (tp roll?), jar w/light
Narrator: A cowboy posse gathered to fight the Midianites, but before they could ride out the Lord spoke.
Lord: Gideon! You have too many cowpokes in your posse. If this many men ride against the Midianites, they will brag they did it all by themselves. I am in charge of things. I want Israel to know I am the boss.
MathWiz: So the Lord told Gideon to take the 32,000 cowpokes and subtract 10,000 leaving 22,000
(have some kind of flip poster to show these numbers)
Lord: Still too many cowpokes, Gideon. Remember what I’ve said. “Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Gideon: But Lord, I don’t get it! No super sizing? Everyone super-sizes. How can a heap of cowboys be wrong? We’ll ride in your name and kick those rustlers off our land.
Purah (servant): Yup! I agree. Bigger is always better. Let’s get going now!
Lord: Gideon! When I am with you, you have strength beyond belief. Take this posse down to the watering hole. Watch how they drink. Some cowboys will drink like dogs with their face in the water. Others will kneel down and scoop water to their mouths. This test will show what cowpokes to keep. Send the rest home.
(Have several containers with water in them. Ask a few kids
to demonstrate the 2 ways of drinking water without a cup.)
Mathwiz: The Lord said to send the cowboys who drank like dogs home. Gideon kept any cowboy who cupped his hands and brought the water to his mouth. Let’s figure out how many cowpokes are left: 22,000 - 21,700 = 300.
Narrator: That night, Gideon prepared the 300 men to face the Midianites. He gave each cowboy a trumpet and an empty jar with a torch in it.
Purah (Gideon’s servant): Whoa, cowboy. Our posse carries trumpets and some torches? What about some weapons?
Gideon: Horse feathers! We don’t need any weapons. The Lord is with us!
Purah: You’ve been out in the heat too long, boss. I’ve seen the Midianite bandits. I’ve checked out your water-lapping cowpokes. Let’s talk turkey Gideon, and face the facts. You’re loco. We need more dudes in the posse and we need real weapons.
Gideon: Don’t be so chicken, Purah. Everyone listen up! Watch me! Do what I do! Blow your trumpets, break your jars and raise your torches. Shout “Yee Haw!! For the Lord and for Gideon!”
Everyone: YeeHaw!! For the Lord and for Gideon!! For the Lord and for Gideon!!
Narrator: The 300 cowboys blew 300 trumpets and smashed 300 jars. The racket was like a buffalo stampede. The Midianites cried out in fear. They ran away like buckaroos. Gideon’s posse chased them out of the country. They trusted the Lord. The good guys won. There was peace and justice for all.
- Talk about trust, leadership, doubts, signs of God
- Reflect on the verse from Isaiah 42:10 “Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong.”
Dear Lord, thank you for this time together when we can learn the story in the Bible, and discover how you help us still when we are afraid. Give us strength to do what you want us to do. Amen.
A Lesson Set written by members of: Chicago Western Suburbs Rotation Roundtable
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