Gideon’s Trumpets

Lesson Set

Summary of Workshops:

  • ART - Learn the acronym F.R.O.G.: "Fully Relying on God." Make a frog to take home to help students remember what they learned (Grades K-2).
  • COOKING - Snack mix "Trumpet Treats" (K-3).
  • GAMES - Students will set up dominoes and cause them to fall in sequence to demonstrate the importance of each person in God's Plan (Grades 4-6).
  • MOVIE - "Webster, the Scaredy Spider,” part of the “Hermie and Friends” series by Max Lucado (3-6).
  • STORYTELLING - Gideon's story

Scripture Reference:

Judges 6-8

Memory Verse:

Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong.” (Isaiah 41:10a, CEV)


What’s Going On Here?
After God worked through Moses to free the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt, and worked through Joshua to lead them into the Promised Land, one would think that the people would have been very appreciative and faithful to God. Unfortunately, that was not always the case. The book of Judges is filled with one story after another of the people being unfaithful to
God. God would then punish them through their enemies, Israel would repent, and God would deliver them. This story continues that pattern.

At this point in Israel’s history (about 1150 to 1050 B. C.), they are still a loose association of twelve tribes with God as their only common ruler. From time to time, as there became a need, God would raise up a person with the skills and respect needed to lead all of the people against their common foe. These temporary leaders are called “judges” in the Bible—and Gideon was one of the judges.

The people were being harassed by the Midianites, a neighboring people who would destroy the crops of the Israelites and consume it for themselves. The people became poor and even lived in caves (Judges 6:1-6). When the people cried to God for deliverance, God called Gideon to lead the battle. Gideon took some convincing (6:11-24) but finally consented. Even after the troops had rallied to Gideon’s side, though, Gideon still had some tests to double check that God would be with them (Judges 6:36-40).

What is the Story?
Gideon sent messengers throughout the land, and many young men came to fight the Midianites. God told Gideon, though, to send most of them home. God said, “The troops with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand. Israel would only take the credit away from me saying ‘My own hand has delivered me.’” First, anyone who was fearful was told to go home. Next, God told Gideon to bring the army to the river and watch how they drank the water. **Those who scooped water into their hands and then to their mouth were sent home, and only those who lapped the water like a dog were kept in the army (7:4-8).** This left only three hundred to confront a far more numerous Midianite force. Gideon divided the army into three units and equipped the men with trumpets and torches hidden in jars. At night they came at the enemy army from different directions. On a signal, every man blew their trumpet, broke their jar, and exposed their torch. The sudden noise and lights from all directions caused such a panic in the Midianite camp that they ended up largely killing each other (7:16-23). The people were in this way delivered from the Midianites. They were so grateful that they tried to get Gideon to be their king, but he declined saying, “I will not rule over you and my son will not rule over you. The Lord will rule over you” (8:23).

  • Note** Because of the variations of this story between the translations, here are the scriptures quoted from two difference sources:


Judges 7:5-7 "So he brought the troops down to the water; and the Lord said to Gideon,'All those who lap the water with their tongues, as a dog laps, you shall put to one side; all those who kneel down to drink, putting their hands to their mouths, you shall put to the other side.' The number of those that lapped was three hundred, but all the rest of the troops knelt down to drink water. Then the Lord said to Gideon, 'With three hundred that lapped I will deliver you, and give the Midianites into you hand. Let all the others go to their homes.'" NRSV

Judges 7:5-7: "Gideon took the men down to the water, and the Lord told him, 'Separate everyone who laps up the water with his tongue like a dog, from everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.' There were three hundred men who scooped up water in their hands and lapped it; all the others got down on their knees to drink. The Lord said to Gideon, 'I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites with the three hundred men who lapped the water. Tell everyone else to go home.'" TEV

Why is this Story Important?
This story shows God working in the world to save and deliver his people when they call on him. The conquest is not by overwhelming force. In fact, God specifically turned down the use of overwhelming force in order to make it clear that it was God’s hand, not military might, that would save the people. Gideon, the hero of the story, chose not to take advantage of the opportunity for his own political gain, but gave the glory to God, encouraging the people to see God as the one who would truly be their ruler.


A less set from Augustana Lutheran Church
Saint James, Minnesota

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Original Post

Gideon’s Trumpets
Art Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Learn the acronym F.R.O.G.: "Fully Relying on God." Make a frog to take home to help students remember what they learned.

 

Age Note: Depends on the complexity of the frog origami project you choose. There are many to be found online.

Scripture Reference 
Judges 6-8, especially 6:33-7:22 CEV


Supplies List:

  • Scissors and/or X-Acto knives, frog patterns, and various papers.
  • Decorating materials such as: paint, glitter, glue, salt drip, popsicle sticks.
  • Acrostic: 8 ½ x 11 construction paper (one per student), markers, and tape/glue stick.
  • The book Gladys Aylward, Daring to Trust by Renee Taft Meloche

Teacher Preparation:

  • Read and understand the Bible background.
  • Find a good children’s Bible to read or tell the story to the students.
  • Cut out and partially fold the frogs for the youngest children.
  • Write the acrostic Fully Relying On God on construction paper for each child (or make and print documents on your computer).


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.

 

Open with a prayer.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:


Lesson Plan:
Read the story of Gideon from a Children’s Bible.
Say: An angel was sent from the Lord to tell Gideon: “Gideon, you are a strong and mighty warrior. God has chosen you to lead an army against your enemies, the Midianites. Gideon felt afraid—he certainly did not feel like a brave leader. But he relied on God to help him. Can anyone tell me what it means to “rely” on God?


That’s right! Rely means to “depend on,” to “have confidence in,” or to “trust.” There is an acronym for Gideon’s complete trust in God. It is FROG: Fully Relying On God!
An acronym is a word formed from the first letters of the words in a phrase. The acronym can help you to remember the phrase. The first letters of each word in the phrase “Fully Relying on God” spell FROG. (Write the acrostic on the board, and point out how it spells FROG.) Today we will make a frog for you to take home, to remind you to Fully Rely On God.

Art Time:

 

How to Build a Paper Frog: 
Real frogs come in every color of the rainbow, so anything goes for paper frogs--bright or drab, speckled or striped. The finished paper frogs can be decorated with paint, applique, glitter, or salt drip (recipe follows.)

 

Editor's Note: There are many different kinds and levels of frog origami projects to be found online. Here's one for reference that might work with younger children.

http://www.origami-instruction...sy-origami-frog.html

 

The one used the author came from Best of Make it with Paper, Michael J. LaFosse and Paul Jackson.

 

Design tips: 
Note: there are many different online sources for instructions to make origami (paper) frogs. 

Salt drip: Mix together 3 parts flour, 1 part salt, food coloring, and enough water to make a dripping consistency, but not too runny. Use a popsicle stick to drip onto paper shapes. Will dry hard and sparkly.


Cut out, fold, and decorate the frogs.
(Note: for younger children cut out the frogs before class and do some of the more difficult folds. The students can decorate the frogs with paint, glitter, or salt drip. When they are finished decorating, let the frogs dry while you read a story to the children.)

Apply the Lesson:
Do you think God can still do amazing things through ordinary people today? (Allow some time for discussion.)
Today we will listen to the story of Gladys Aylward. Gladys was not beautiful, and she wasn’t a very good student. However, she believed that God wanted her to bring the good news about Jesus to the people in China. Gladys believed that God could work through her, and He did. Let’s learn about some wonderful ways God helped Chinese women and orphans through Gladys.

Read the story of Gladys Aylward to the students.

Journal Time:
Gladys Aylward was an ordinary woman who Fully Relied On God! (Allow the students to talk about the story, if they wish.)
Let’s take this time to practice our memory verse. It reminds us that we, too, can trust in God to help us do good things to help others. “Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong.”

  • Pass out the sheets of construction paper to the students, to make an acrostic.
  • The students can color in the outline of the letters FROG.
  • Fasten the origami paper frog to the paper with glue or tape.
  • If time allows, the children can write or draw a picture of a time when we should trust in God to help us.

Closing:

 
God of power and might, thank you for watching over us every day. Help us to remember that you are always with us to make us strong. And all God’s children said, AMEN.


References:
Best of Make it with Paper Michael J. LaFosse and Paul Jackson, Quarry Books ISBN 11-56496-428-0
Salt Drip Recipe from: http://www.dltk-holidays.com/easter/3dcross.htm
Gladys Aylward, Daring to Trust by Renee Taft Meloche ISBN 1-57658-228-0


A lessom written by Kirsten from Augustana Lutheran Church,

Saint James, MN

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Gideon’s Trumpets

Cooking Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will make Gideon’s "Trumpet Treats" from Incredible Edible Bible Fun by Nanette Goings, Group Publishing ISBN: 0764420011

 

Editor's Note: there are no instructions for cooking the snack because it is an assembled snack.

 

 

Scripture Reference: 
Judges 6-8, especially 6:33-7:22 CEV

 

Lesson Objectives: 

  • Students will learn that God can use regular people like you and me to do his important work.
  • Students will learn the story of Gideon and how God used a small number of people to defeat a large army because they listened to God and obeyed.

Leader Preparation:

  • Gather the materials.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time.

Supplies List:

  • Children’s Bible
  • water glasses: some plastic and some glass
  • straws
  • ice cubes in a bowl
  • pitchers of both water and Kool-Aid
  • Bugles (a "trumpet shaped" food snack)
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • pretzel sticks
  • Cheerios
  • paper grocery sacks
  • measuring cups
  • paper cups.
  • Three-inch squares of wax paper for each student.
  • Rubber bands
  • Cardboard tube (toilet paper) for each student.


Presentation

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introductions:
Welcome each of the students to the cooking theme room.


Say:
I would like each of you to get something to drink. You have a number of choices, you can have water or Kool-Aid and you may use any cup or straw that’s on the table. Feel free to put some ice in your drink if you like.


After the student’s have selected their drink and have begun to consume it, Say:
Please look around you and notice all the different ways that the students in your class drank their refreshment. (Describe all the different ways each chose to drink.)

 

Say:
Today you are going to hear a story about a man named Gideon. He was chosen by God to lead an army to fight the Israelite’s enemies. He was told by God to select the men who would fight in his army according to way they drank their water. **He invited them to go down to a river and drink. The men who cupped water into their hands and drank were sent home. Only the men who drank water from the river like a dog would drink (putting their faces in the water) would be allowed to fight in the army.** Let read more about Gideon and how God helped him.

  • Note** Because of the variations of this story between the translations, here are the scriptures quoted from two difference sources:

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:


Judges 7:5-7 "So he brought the troops down to the water; and the Lord said to Gideon,'All those who lap the water with their tongues, as a dog laps, you shall put to one side; all those who kneel down to drink, putting their hands to their mouths, you shall put to the other side.' The number of those that lapped was three hundred, but all the rest of the troops knelt down to drink water. Then the Lord said to Gideon, 'With three hundred that lapped I will deliver you, and give the Midianites into you hand. Let all the others go to their homes.'" NRSV

Judges 7:5-7: "Gideon took the men down to the water, and the Lord told him, 'Separate everyone who laps up the water with his tongue like a dog, from everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.' There were three hundred men who scooped up water in their hands and lapped it; all the others got down on their knees to drink. The Lord said to Gideon, 'I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites with the three hundred men who lapped the water. Tell everyone else to go home.'" TEV

Read the story from the Children’s Bible, Judges 6:33-7:22

Set out the Bugles, grated Parmesan cheese, pretzel sticks, Cheerios, paper grocery sacks, measuring cups, and paper cups.

Ask: Do you always obey the rules even when you don’t always understand the reasons behind the rules? Discuss.

Say: The main character in our Bible story, Gideon didn’t understand or know why God had asked him to lead the Israelites to fight their enemy. So he put the wool of a goat on the ground. He told God that in the morning when he woke up, the wool should be wet with dew and the ground dry, and then he would know he was to lead the army. What happened when Gideon woke up? (The wool was wet and the ground was dry.) But then Gideon decided to test God again. This time, he asked that when he put the wool out, the next morning the wool would be dry and the ground would be wet. What happened when he woke up the next morning? (The ground was wet and the wool was dry.) It’s not always easy to obey a teacher or a parent when we don’t understand why we need to do something. And it’s just as hard when God tells us to do something we don’t understand. Although, Gideon tested God, he obeyed him and led to Israelites to defeat the enemy army.

Say: When Gideon and his small group of soldiers defeated their enemies, it was late at night. The other army was sleeping, so they brought trumpets and jars with lights inside. At Gideon’s cue all the men blew their trumpets and broke their jars. The other army was so scared they didn’t know what to do. That is how God used Gideon to defeat the Midianites. We are going to make “Gideon’s Trumpet Treats,” to remind us of how Gideon obeyed God and defeated his foes.

Follow page 30 in the book Incredible Edible Bible Fun, to make the snacks. Let everyone help measure and shake the bags of crunchy treats. Then before the kids eat ask the questions on page 31 of the book.

Extra Fun:
Create “Gideon Trumpets” from wax paper, a rubber band, and a cardboard tube. Hum at open end of tube like a kazoo. (page 31 in book)

 

If inspired, you could make a larger trumpet and fill it with the snacks.

Journal Time:
Draw a picture about one time that you did not obey your parents and something bad happened because you didn’t listen. If time allows, tell it to the rest of the class.

Closing:

 
Dear God, you told Gideon what to do when he needed your help. Please help us listen to you and obey as Gideon did. Amen.


A lesson written by Alison from: Augustana Lutheran Church

St. James, MN

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Gideon’s Trumpets

Game Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Students will set up dominoes and cause them to fall in sequence to demonstrate the importance of each person in God's Plan.

 

Scripture Reference:

Judges 6-8.


Memory Verse:

Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong.” (Isaiah 41:10a, CEV)

 

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Students will learn that God can use regular people like you and me to do his important work.
  2. Students will learn the story of Gideon and how God used a small number of people to defeat a large army because they listened to God and obeyed.

Supplies List:

  • Children’s Bible
  • water glasses: some plastic and some glass
  • straws
  • ice cubes in a bowl
  • pitchers of water and Kool-Aid
  • Set of Dominoes

Advanced preparation:

  • Put the pitchers of water and Kool-Aid, the ice cubes and the various cups and straw on the table for the children to view.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Look over the rules of the game.


 

Presentation

Opening-Welcome and Lesson introduction:

Welcome each of the students to the games theme room.
Say:
I would like each of you to get something to drink. You have a number of choices, you can have water or Kool-Aid and you may use any cup or straw that’s on the table. Feel free to put some ice in your drink if you like.
(After the students have selected their drink and have begun to consume it.)

 

Say:
Please look around you and notice all the different ways that the students in your class drank their refreshment. (Describe all the different ways each chose to drink.)

 

Say:
Today you are going to hear a story about a man named Gideon. He was chosen by God to lead an army to fight the Israelite’s enemies. He was told by God to select the men who would fight in his army according to way they drank their water. He invited them to go down to a river and drink. **The men who cupped water into their hands and drank were sent home. Only the men who drank water from the river like a dog would drink (putting their faces in the water) would be allowed to fight in the army.** Let's read more about Gideon and how God helped him.

  • Note** Because of the variations of this story between the translations, here are the scriptures quoted from two difference sources:

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:


Judges 7:5-7 "So he brought the troops down to the water; and the Lord said to Gideon,'All those who lap the water with their tongues, as a dog laps, you shall put to one side; all those who kneel down to drink, putting their hands to their mouths, you shall put to the other side.' The number of those that lapped was three hundred, but all the rest of the troops knelt down to drink water. Then the Lord said to Gideon, 'With three hundred that lapped I will deliver you, and give the Midianites into you hand. Let all the others go to their homes.'" NRSV

Judges 7:5-7: "Gideon took the men down to the water, and the Lord told him, 'Separate everyone who laps up the water with his tongue like a dog, from everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.' There were three hundred men who scooped up water in their hands and lapped it; all the others got down on their knees to drink. The Lord said to Gideon, 'I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites with the three hundred men who lapped the water. Tell everyone else to go home.'" TEV

Take turns reading the story from the Bibles, Judges 6:33-7:22


Game One-Chain Gang
Overview- The students will use the things they brought to your class to make a huge chain.


How to Play- Have the kids form two groups. If there are a small number of students, have them in one group and try to get the longest chain possible.


Say: Gideon had a very large number of men who volunteered to fight the Midianites. God, however, didn’t want such a large group, because then the men could brag about their strength and battle skills and not give credit to God. God told Gideon to first tell all the men to go home that were afraid. Twenty-two thousand men went home. But there was still too many, so God separated the men by how they drank. Finally only three hundred men remained. Using trumpets, jars and lights, God allowed the Israelites to scare the Midianites into thinking that a larger group was attacking them.


Say: Using items the members of your group brought to class, make the longest chain possible. It may not seem that you have many items, but if you are creative, you may be surprised at what you can do. God used Gideon and only 300 men to defeat the large Midianite Army. You can use a small number of items and creative something greater as well. The only rules are that you must keep on the clothes covering your shoulders to your knees and that every item in the chain must be connected to the items on either side. For example you can add your shoelaces, belt, hair ribbon, socks, sandals, etc. Be creative and let’s see who comes up with the longest chain.

 

  • Allow the groups a few minutes to work. Then see how long each of the chains is. The longest chain is the winner.
  • After a winner has been declared untie the chain and return the items to their owners.


Game Two-The Domino Effect
Directions- All the students will help to set up the dominoes in the shape of a “G” for Gideon. Encourage the group to work together to get all the dominoes to stand up before any are accidentally knocked over. This may take a few tries. Then as a group, shout out loud- and set the first domino in motion and watch.


Say: God used one ordinary man, Gideon, and only 300 men to defeat the very large Midianite army. The Bible says that when the Israelites blew their trumpets and broke their jars, it threw the enemy camp into confusion and they started to attack each other with their swords. Then they began to run away. You are going to use dominoes to symbolize the enemy army. You are going to set them up in the figure of a capitol letter G. When they are all in position the group will yell and one person will set the enemy dominoes in motion to fall and be defeated. Start building!

Journal Time:
Write about a time when you were on an “underdog” team who wasn’t expected to win, but did. You can also write about a professional sports team who wasn’t favored to win, but did. How did it make you or the team members feel? Did you attribute your win to God?


Closing:


Dear God, we thank you for using even ordinary, sinful people to do your amazing work. Help us to always obey you and give you all the glory! Amen!


A lesson written by Alison from: Augustana Lutheran Church

St. James, MN

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Gideon’s Trumpets

Movie Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Uses the DVD, “Webster, the Scaredy Spider,” part of the “Hermie and Friends” series by Max Lucado, 31 minutes for main feature and introduction

 

Scripture Reference:

Judges 6-8.


Memory Verse:
“Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong.” (Isaiah 41:10a, CEV)

Lesson Objectives: Students will:

  • Discover why the people of Israel were afraid of the Midianites
  • Consider Gideon’s nervousness in being told to lead the battle—especially after God sent home most of the soldiers.
  • Consider things that made Webster (and the students) afraid
  • Learn that the promise of God’s presence and help can give us strength and comfort.

 

Materials Needed:

  • Bibles (one for each student)
  • The DVD, “Webster, the Scaredy Spider,” part of the “Hermie and Friends” series by Max Lucado, 31 minutes for main feature and introduction
  • TV and DVD player
  • Popcorn and water/juice
  • Pencils/journals for each student

Leader Preparation:

  • Gather the materials.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Preview the video.


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Welcome all the students warmly as they arrive. When they have all gathered, ask, “Do you ever feel afraid? Everybody does at times, although the things that worry us change as we get older. You probably don’t imagine that there are monsters under your bed, although you maybe did when you were little. And now you maybe worry about what other people think of you, even though when you were younger you didn’t much care. Some of our worries and fears are based on real, legitimate threats and other times we worry about things much more than we need to. Do you ever wonder if God knows that you are worried and afraid?
Our Bible story this month tells about a time that the people of Israel were legitimately afraid of their neighboring group of people, the Midianites. God called an ordinary man, named Gideon, to rescue them in a very unusual and surprising way, but first he had to deal with his own fears. We’re going to hear that story in a little bit, then watch a fun—and kind of silly—movie about some bugs dealing their fear! First, though, let’s begin with prayer.


“Holy God, we know that you are all-powerful. Help us to trust you and your will when we are afraid, and to listen to the people that you send to help us. Let all of God’s people say…AMEN.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:


Bible Study
In order to have time for the movie, we won’t be reading the whole story of Gideon, but I’d like everyone to turn to the Bible lesson in the book of Judges. That is in the Old Testament, right after the book of Joshua. The story starts at Judges, chapter 6. I would like someone to read Judges 6:1-10.


Why were the people afraid of the Midianites? (Midianites were stronger, they would attack and steal their crops and possessions) Good! Next, we’ll hear the story of God calling Gideon to save the people. Will someone please read Judges 6:11-15:


How did Gideon feel about being the leader? (Afraid, didn’t think he was the right guy). Next, let’s read Judges 6:33-35 and hear about the Midianites getting ready for battle


How do you think Gideon and the people of Israel felt as they saw the huge army of Midianites and Amalekites gathering together? (frightened) How did Gideon respond? (Tried to gather an army of comparable size) Gideon wanted to be sure that God was going to help him. Let’s hear about how Gideon tried to test God. Read Judges 6:36-40.


Gideon must have been feeling more comfortable after those tests, but then God told him that he had too many soldiers! Let’s read Judges 7:2-8.


How do you think Gideon felt going against the huge army of the Midianites with only 300 soldiers? (allow students to respond). Before we hear the rest of the story, let’s watch the movie, “Webster, the Scaredy Spider.”

Show the Movie


(Before class, cue it up to the Main Menu) When you are ready to start, select “Play,“ then, “Play Feature with Max Lucado Introduction.” The movie will last 30 minutes.)


Review/Bible Study
What were some of the things that Webster was afraid of? What finally brought Webster comfort and peace? (Knowing that God was always with him, and would give him the strength to face his fears and to use the special talents that he had).

Now let’s see how that worked for Gideon. Will someone please read Judges 6:15-16.
That sounds like the promise that Webster received in the movie, didn’t it? Now let’s read about the way God defeated the Midianites with only 300 soldiers. Read Judges 7:16-22.
God enabled Gideon and the people of Israel to overcome their fears, and to overcome the people who had oppressed them.


Journal Time:
Today in your journal I would ask you to write about some of the things that you worry about, or are afraid of. Write also a prayer asking God to give you strength to get through your fears, and to know God’s presence and help.


Closing:


Holy God, we thank you that you are always with us, and that you invite us to come to us in prayer with all our concerns. Help us when we are afraid. Give us strength, as you gave Gideon the strength, to do what you want us to do in order to serve you. Let all of God’s people say…AMEN.

Supplement:
You probably will not have extra time, but it you do, the students might enjoy the bonus feature on the video, “The Actors’ Fears.” They can see the people behind the voices as they try to identify different types of fears (such as What is arachnophobia?
Get to this by going to the Main Menu, then choosing, “Bonus Material,” then, “The Stars’ Fears.”


 

A lesson written by Pastor Ted Kunze from: Augustana Lutheran Church

St. James, MN

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Gideon's Story Script

 

I adapted Augustana's story script so I could tell it in the third person.

 

I also added an element of IMPROV. (idea adapted from a lesson by Neil MacQueen)

The kids don't speak, they just act out the key words bolded in the script as they hear them.

 

For example, in the first paragraph, when I say,  "counting" the kids do that. If you have a lot of kids, you can assign roles.  I pause my narration for them to do it, then continue on.  This form of storytelling creates a sense of anticipation and promotes careful listening.

 

The first time around they are figuring it out. Read the story a SECOND TIME, and see how fast they can hit their cues to act out the key ideas. 

 

I've BOLDED the key idea in the script which could be acted out.

 


GIDEON'S STORY


Hello, boys and girls. I’d like to tell you a story about a man named Gideon. It is an important story that happened a long time ago. The story is so important that it is written in the OLD TESTAMENT book of Judges. That is in the Bible--maybe we could look it up. The first books of the Old Testament are Genesis starting with Creation, Exodus with Moses, Leviticus with its laws, Numbers with the counting of the tribes, Deuteronomy a speech by Moses, Joshua leading the battle of Jericho, and--there it is--Judges chapters 6-8.

Now when you hear the word “Judges” you probably think about people that work in courtrooms and decide whether or not someone broke the law, and how to punish them if they did. In ancient Israel, though, the “judges” were very different. You see, back then they didn’t have any king or president, or any other human in charge of the country. The Israelites were God’s people, and they wanted God to be their king. God told us in the First Commandment, “You shall have no other gods!.” Once in a while, though, you still need someone on earth to lead people and get them organized. That’s kind of what the Judges in the Bible were—people that were respected enough that others would follow them, so God could work through them at a time of trouble.

At the time that Gideon lived in the land of Israel there definitely was some trouble! The Israelites had some neighbors that became very bad enemies. They might have been called terrorists or gangs today but back then, 3500 years ago they were called Midianites. Groups of Midianites would come at night and steal their food, cattle, and even their tents! This had been going on for about seven years. The people became so poor that they were living in caves, and were very hungry. The whole country was crying to GOD to save them.

At that time, Gideon was a farmer, and one day as he was out in the fields cutting his wheat something very surprising happened. He was trying to hurry to get the wheat harvested before the Midianites could steal it. Suddenly, Gideon felt as though someone was near him, and as he looked around, there was an Angel of the Lord! The angel said, “The Lord is with you Mighty warrior.” He looked around to see if there was someone else that he might have been talking to. Gideon didn’t consider himself to be a mighty warrior. He was a farmer! Since no one else was around, though, he figured he must have been speaking to Gideon. So, he replied, “If God is with me why are all these bad things happening to God’s people?” I suppose that wasn’t a very polite thing to say to an angel, but that’s the way that Gideon felt!

The angel said that God wanted Gideon to use the strength that he had, in order to save Israel. Gideon questioned him, “But how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest one in the area, and everyone else in my family is more important than I am.” “Gideon,” the angel said, “you can rescue Israel because God is going to help you! Defeating the Midianites will be as easy as roughing up one man.”

By this time Gideon was beginning to think that he was imagining this whole conversation. He told the angel to stay there while he went to bring an offering. The angel said he would wait. Gideon went and killed his best goat, and brought the meat, along with some broth and some bread to the place where he had seen the angel. The angel was still there! He told Gideon to put the meat and bread and broth on a stone nearby. As GideonI stepped away, he touched the things with a stick, and they burst into flame! It was then that Gideon knew he was not imagining things! He really was in the presence of one of God’s angels! He was very afraid and thought that the angel was going to kill him. The angel said, though, “Calm down! There’s nothing to be afraid of. You are not going to die. God wants you to lead his people!”

That night, God spoke to Gideon again. The first thing that God asked him to do was to obey the first commandment.(What was that commandment?)

Gideon knew that his family wasn’t very good about that. They had many idols—statues and poles, and other things that they thought were gods and brought them good luck. God wanted him to destroy them all, so that people would put all their trust in him as the only true God. When Gideon destroyed those things, though, his family and the whole village turned against him. In fact the crowds wanted to put him to death. He told them, though, that if those gods were real they should be able to defend themselves—and nothing had happened to him.

Pretty soon all of their enemies—the Midianites and some of their evil friends--joined together and prepared to attack the Israelites. They camped out in the Jezreel Valley, which was part of the land of Israel! As far as the eye could see there were enemy soldiers! It seemed pretty clear that they intended to invade the whole country and make the Israelites be their slaves.

Gideon knew that God wanted him to lead the people of Israel against them, but he was pretty frightened. He had to be sure that God was really going to help him so he decided to put God to the test. Gideon told God that he would put a piece of wooly fleece from his lambs on the ground at night. If, in the morning, the fleece was wet from dew but the rest of the ground was dry, that would help him to believe. Well, what do you think happened? (Let the children answer) That’s right! The next morning the fleece was wet—so wet he could squeeze a whole bowl of water out of it--and the ground was dry. Still, though, he wasn’t sure. He wanted one more test. Gideon told God that he would put some fleece out again. This time, if the fleece was dry and the ground around it was wet the next morning then he would know that God was really helping him. That was exactly what happened. And he became a real believer.

If you needed to get the attention of a lot of people, and get information out to them, how would you do that now? (Let children suggest answers—maybe yelling, using the internet, or putting information on TV). 


Those are all good ideas, but in Gideon's day, the best way to get attention seemed to be playing a trumpet real loudly. So, he blew a trumpet real loudly, calling his family and all Israel to come and fight for their country. He was very pleased with how many people came. He thought that they were sick and tired of putting up with the attacks of the Midianites, and were ready to fight against them.

The Lord told him, though, that he had too many soldiers! He said that when they won the battle they would think it was because their army was so great--not because God was helping us. God told Gideon to announce that if anyone was afraid, they could go home. Do you think anyone went home?


22,000 men went home, and we were left with only 10,000 soldiers. Still the Lord said that was too many. God told Gideon, “Take them down to the spring and I’ll test them. I’ll tell you which ones can go along with you and which ones must go back home.”

When they got to the water, God said, “Notice how each man gets a drink.” Some put their face down to the water and lapped it up like a dog does. Only three hundred cupped their hands and brought the water to their face to drink. God told Gideon, “Gideon, your army will be made up of everyone who drank the water from their hands. Send the others home. I’m going to rescue Israel by helping you and your army of 300 to defeat all the Midianites.”

It was hard to imagine that the Israelites could defeat the huge army of Midianites with only 300 soldiers, but that’s what God had promised. Gideon told those who were going to head home to leave their trumpets and their food and other provisions behind.

 

That night, God told him that it was soon time to attack the Midianites. God must have known that Gideon was still pretty nervous because God said, “If you are still afraid, you and your servant Purah should sneak down to their camp. When you hear what the Midianites are saying, you’ll be brave enough to attack.”

The Midianites were still in the valley, and they had been watching all that was going on in the camp. Gideon and his servant went down, then, as God suggested, and snuck around the edges of their camp. They found out that their enemies were frightened of them. One of their leaders had had a dream that warned them that God was going to use the sword of Gideon to defeat the Midianites. When he heard that he bowed down and worshiped because he knew that God would give them victory.

Gideon divided the men into three groups with one hundred men each. Every soldier got a trumpet and a large clay jar with a burning torch inside. He told them that when they got to the enemy camp they should spread out and surround it. Then they should wait for a signal from him on his trumpet. When they heard the trumpet they should smash their pots, hold up their torches, blow their trumpets and shout, “Fight with your swords for the Lord and for Gideon!”

They snuck up to the outskirts of the enemy camp in the middle of the night, when most of the soldiers were sleeping hard. When he gave the signal, everyone blew their trumpets, broke their jars, held up their torches and shouted “Fight with your swords for the Lord and for Gideon.” The enemy soldiers woke up from their deep sleep surprised and scared by all the noise. They saw the torches all around them, and heard all the trumpets and shouting and thought that they were being attacked by an army of many thousands of soldiers. They were so frightened that they picked up their swords and started swinging, killing mostly each other! Others started running away and the Israelites chased them all the way to the Jordan River.

All Israel was happy and wanted Gideon to rule over them. Gideon knew he could never rule over them and told them that God would continue to rule over them, and lead them with his love.

That is the story Boys and Girls. I hope that you too will believe God and follow in God’s ways, because he has a wonderful plan for your life.

Gideon Trusts God When He is Afraid

Games Workshop 

 Summary of Lesson Activities: Games reinforce the notion that God helps make us brave when we are afraid.

 Scripture Reference: Judges 6-8

Memory Verses:

Don’t be afraid; I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear; I am your God. I will make you strong and help you.” (Isaiah 41:10a, CEV)

Rotation Objectives --at the end of the Rotation, children should be know:

  • About God: God is patient with our weaknesses. He helps us do what he wants us to do.
  • About Us: We can rely on God’s promised help.
  • To Do and to Share: When I am afraid, I can remember God’s promise to be with me, and ask him for help.

 Main Point:

God will help us be brave enough to do what he wants us to do.

 Leader Preparation:

  • Read Judges 6-8
  • Review Bible Background notes
  • Read lesson and gather the materials.

 Supplies List:

  • White board and markers
  • Whistle
  • Hat or scarf to mark who the Scary Thing(s) in the game of Fear Tag
  • Dominoes (lots)
  • Playmobil or Lego people to act out the Gideon story: Gideon, 2 soldiers who were afraid, 2 soldiers who kneeled to drink, 2 soldiers who stayed with Gideon, a few Midianites and camels, other Israelite soldiers from other tribes
  • Blocks, coloured paper, scarves etc. to make a valley with hills on 3 sides and water on one side but not the other.

 

Advance Preparation:

  • Write memory verse on white board
  • Set up the Gideon battlefield with the blocks where the children can gather around. Make a desert, a farming area, a valley with hills on 3 sides and some water on the other side of the hills.
  • Make sure there is an open space to play the Fear Tag game

 

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Make sure you have your nametag on. Introduce yourself and welcome the students. Take attendance.

 Ask/remind the kids what story they heard last week. (Gideon)

Was Gideon a brave man? (discuss: he was afraid a lot, but he became brave when he relied on God)

 Bible Story

Tell the children they are going to act out the battle part of Gideon’s story. There are other parts of the story, but they won’t do them today. Decide which children will control which pieces. They should move their pieces as the story goes on.

NOTE: This will work best with a small class size. If your class is large, you can control all the props, or invite a small # of children up to help while you review the story. In either case, try to guide them into telling you the story. The main points are outlined below.

  1. Background: Gideon’s story is found in the Old Testament, in the time before Jesus was born and after God led the Israelites to the Promised Land. When there was a problem, God assigned one of the Israelites to help. He called them Judges. Gideon was one of the these judges and his story is found in the book of (guess?) Judges.
  2. Opening: In those days, the Israelites were farmers. (Place them in the farmland) Other people in the area were nomads, who roamed all over the desert with their camels. One group of nomads was called the Midianites. (Place the Midianites and camels in the desert outside the hills) Every year when the Israelites’ crops were ready, the Midianites would come in from the desert and camp all over the crops. (Move them in) There were so many men and camels that they looked like sand on the seashore. The Midianites would take some of the crops and ruin the rest, and the Israelites went hungry. Some of them were so afraid that they started to live in caves. (Judges 6:1-6) After 7 years of this, the Israelites called on God to help, and God called Gideon.
  3. God calls Gideon and Gideon is Very Afraid: Gideon was a farmer, not a soldier. When God sent his own angel to tell Gideon to go and fight against the Midianites, Gideon was very afraid, even though God said he would be with Gideon. (Have the kids show you how they look when they are very afraid, or how Gideon might have looked – shaking knees, hiding face etc.)

 

  1. 3 Tests: So Gideon asked the angel and then God to give him a 3 signs that God was really with him. What were they? 1. Gideon brought an offering like he would bring for God and it burned up on a rock. 2. Gideon put out fleece (a sheepskin) outside on the ground and asked God to make it wet in the morning and the ground dry. 3. Opposite of #2. God gave Gideon all these signs. Gideon was still afraid, but the angel told him that he would not die. Then he felt better.
  2. Calling the Armies: The Midianites started to come in from the desert and camp nearby. (Move the Midianites and camels closer to the farmland) So Gideon blew his trumpet to call all the warriors in his tribe to come to fight. He also sent messengers to some of the other far away tribes of Israel to ask them to come and fight too. (Have the kids pretend to blow trumpets. Move a soldier down to the other parts of Israel and then bring them back.) 32,000 soldiers came to help Gideon. (Put Gideon’s army with him) Finally Gideon didn’t feel afraid. He had a big army and he knew God was with him. They all went to camp by the spring of Harod. (Move them to the water) Because Gideon’s army was already at the spring, the Midianites had to camp in a valley where there was no water. (Put the Midianites and the camels in the valley) Things were going well for Gideon.
  3. Culling the Armies: What did God say to Gideon about his army? (It was too big) Why did God not want Gideon to have a big army? (So when they won, they would know God had helped them) How did God make the army smaller? Hint: 2 ways. 1. He said everyone who was afraid could go home. 22,000 men went home, leaving only 10,000. (Take away scared soldiers) 2. Everyone who knelt to drink from the water should go home. Only 300 stayed. (Take away other soldiers) How many Midianites were there? (Too many to count. Like sand on the seashore) (Add extra soldiers to them)
  4. The Battle: Finally God said Gideon was ready to fight. So God gave Gideon a good idea. When it was dark, he divided his little army of 300 men into 3 groups of 100 each. He gave each man a trumpet and a burning torch inside a jar to hide the flame. (Give Gideon and his 2 soldiers each a torch and a trumpet) The men snuck down the hill and spread out around the camp. (Position them on 3 sides of the Midianites) When he gave the signal, they all blew on their horns and once and shone their torches. (Everyone pretends to blow a trumpet and wave a torch) The Midianites woke up. They were very surprised. They heard all the horns and saw the burning torches all around their camp, and they thought they were surrounded by a gigantic army they couldn’t see. They panicked and started fighting with each other. (Have the Midianites fight each other) Lots of them ran away, Gideon’s army chased them. (Do this. Midianites should go toward the other tribes) But the armies from the other tribes that Gideon had called earlier were coming from that direction. They caught the Midianites and defeated them. (End the battle)
  5. God is Ruler: The Israelites were so happy that they wanted to make Gideon their ruler. But Gideon didn’t want to rule over them. He said “I won’t be your ruler, and neither will my son when he grows up. Only the Lord is your ruler.” He went home to his farm, and the Midianites didn’t come back for 40 years, as long as Gideon lived. (Put Gideon and the other Israelites back on the farmland and the Midianites in the desert. Kids leave toys and sit down)

  

Game 1: Fear Tag (Note: games can be done in either order.)

 Read the memory verse with the children. This is God telling us not to be afraid. Tell them they should memorize the whole thing, but for this game they only need to remember one part: “Don’t be afraid; I am with you.” Repeat this several times.

 Take the children to an open space where they can run around. Explain the rules for Fear Tag:

  1. One person at a time is the Scary Thing. The Scary Thing tags people.
  2. When you are tagged, you freeze with fear. To get unfrozen, you must call for help like the Israelites did. "Help me!"
  3. To get unfrozen (not afraid any more), someone else who is not frozen with fear must tag you and say the memory verse: "Don't be afraid; I am with you." Then you can run again.
  4. If you are outside, you must stay inside the boundaries (lawn, edge markers, etc.)
  5. The game starts when you blow the whistle. It ends when everyone except the Scary Thing is frozen or in 2 minutes, whichever comes first. If it is the 2 minutes, you will blow your whistle again. The whistle means to stop running.
  6. After the game ends, you can choose a different Scary Thing and play again. Note: if your space is large or your Scary Thing slow, you can can have more than one Scary Thing. That's life, right?

 

Choose one (or more) person to be the Scary Thing(s). The Scary Thing stands at one end and everyone else spreads out. Start the timer and say "Go!"  When the time is up, blow the whistle. And so on. When they're done, return to the classroom.

 Game 2: Dominoes

 Say: Gideon was afraid because he had to fight a very large and scary army. But God helped him not be afraid, and then gave him a way to win the battle. We are going to make a very large army out of dominos, then say the memory verse, blow our pretend trumpets, and watch it fall down.

 Put out the dominoes. Show the kids how to stand them on their ends, side by side. Have them line up all the dominoes in the shape of a large G for "Gideon" and "God". If the G doesn't look like a G, that's okay. This might take a while. Be careful and be quiet so the army doesn't hear you. When it is all set up, say the memory verse together (older kids can try to say it without looking) and make trumpet sounds. Knock down one end domino and see if the whole thing will fall down. Fiddle until it does if you have time. While you are setting them up, discuss the following questions.  NOTE: It might work better to have several groups making smaller rows of dominoes.

 Discussion:

 Gideon was often very afraid. What helped him not be afraid? (Praying and asking God to reassure him. God always answered and let him know that he was there with Gideon.)

  • What are some ways God reassures us that he is with us? (through Bible promises and stories, through people, by touching our hearts when we pray…)
  • When we are afraid to do what we need to do, what should we do? (Ask God to help us be strong and brave, read the Bible to remind ourselves of his love and promises, read books about Christians who had strong faith…)
  • What if we feel like we don’t deserve God’s help? (ask anyway, say we’re sorry if we need to.)
  • Should we give God tests like Gideon did? Actually, the Bible and Jesus both say we shouldn’t put God to the test like Gideon did. We should read our Bible and ask God for faith to believe.
  • Discuss: It’s a funny thing, but not everyone in the Bible, even the heroes, always does things we should do—especially the Judges, if you read more of those stories. That’s because no human is perfect. Only God is perfect. But God knows that, and he still helps us. God did give Gideon signs, but he wants us to have faith in his promises, not like Gideon.
  • Who is the one person in the Bible we can always imitate in everything? (Jesus)

 Closing:

 Say a prayer, thanking God that he is with us so we don't have to be afraid. Ask him to help us remember to ask him for help when we do feel afraid. Amen.

 


 

Sources:

Domino game was adapted from https://www.rotation.org/topic/...son-set---judges-6-8 .

Here is a short set of multiple choice questions we used to review the ways Gideon Fully Relied On God. We used it as the introduction to making the origami frogs (hence the FROG acronym).

Gideon had to Fully Rely on God. Tell the children you will ask them some questions about how Gideon Fully Relied on God, and give them 3 choices of answers. They should choose which one is correct. (answers in bold)

 

·         When the Angel of God told Gideon to go and fight the Midianites, Gideon was afraid because they were mighty and he wasn't. What did he say?

  1.      Okay, I trust God to help me.
  2.       I can't help you. Go and find someone else.
  3.       Prove to me that you are coming from God, and then I will. (How did the angel prove it? He burned up Gideon's rather wet offering on a rock)

 

·         When the Angel of God told Gideon to break down the altar to Baal, Gideon was afraid of the people who worshiped Baal. What did he do?

  1. Send someone else to break it.
  2. Break it down at night so no one would see him.  (What happened? The people were angry, but his father said that if Baal was really God, he could punish Gideon. And he wasn't, so he didn't.)
  3. Get on his biggest horse and smash it to bits.

 

·         When the Midianites were coming and it was time to fight, Gideon was afraid. What did he do?

  1. Blow his trumpet and lead his men into battle.
  2. Run away to Egypt.
  3. Ask God for two more signs that he was really going to help. (What were they? 1. Put a fleece (sheepskin) on the ground and ask God to make it wet when the ground was dry. 2. The opposite)

 

·         When God made most of Gideon's army go home and only left him 300 men against so many they couldn't be counted, Gideon was afraid. What did God do to help Gideon believe God would help him win?

  1. Send the Midianite soldiers a dream that Gideon's army would win, and let Gideon hear about it. (The dream was that a loaf of unleavened bread came down the hill and smashed a Midianite tent. The Midianites knew it was about Gideon's army since the Israelites ate unleavened bread.)
  2. Make Gideon's torch burn even inside a jar.  (He did that, but not to make Gideon feel less afraid)
  3. Part the water of the river so Gideon's men could walk across.  (Nope—that was Joshua)

 

·         When it was time to attack the Midianites with his small army of 300, Gideon was afraid. What good idea did God give Gideon?

  1. Put his soldiers inside a wooden horse to trick the Midianites. (Nope—that was the Trojans)
  2. Sneak around the Midianite camp and fool them into thinking the Israelites had a huge army. (Yup. They fooled them by blowing lots of trumpets and waving lots of torches)
  3. Use Tie-fighters to blow them away. (Oops, wrong planet. That's Star Wars and the Death Star)

 

·         When Gideon's army blew their trumpets, the Midianites were fooled. But the Israelites were probably still afraid. If the Midianites found out they'd been tricked, Gideon's army didn't have enough soldiers to fight them. What did God do so they didn't have to fight?

  1. Send a ghost army so it looked like there were more. (Nope—that's Lord of the Rings)
  2. Confuse the Midianites so they fought each other and ran away. (Yup. Right into the path of the other Israelite soldiers who were coming to help Gideon. Lots of them.)
  3. Send the Minions in to help. (No, but it would be fun to see.)

 

Say: Gideon Fully Relied on God.

·      What does it mean to "Rely" on someone or something? (depend on, have confidence in, trust.)

·      What is something you rely on? (accept all answers: the bus that takes me to school, my parents,…)

·      We can also Fully Rely On God, and his promise to help us. Read the Memory Verse together.

 

Add Reply

Likes and Bookmarks (0)
Post Your Question, Comment, Idea, or Resource

Rotation.org Inc. is a volunteer-run, 100% member supported, 501(c)3 non-profit Sunday School lesson ministry. All content here is the copyrighted property of its listed author. You are welcome to borrow and adapt content here for non-commercial teaching purposes --as long as both the site and author is referenced. Posting here implies permission for others to use your content for non-commercial purposes. Rotation.org Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service. Google Ad Note: Serving the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, and more!

Rotation.org is rated 5 stars on Google based on 55 reviews.
×
×
×
×
×