Gideon Obeys God
TEXT: Judges 6:11-16, 36-40; 7:1-23
Gideon could hardly believe that God wanted him to lead the Children of Israel into battle. He asked God to please show him if this was really true. So God did show him in a very special way.
That night, Gideon laid a piece of woolly sheepskin, called a fleece, on the ground. If the fleece was wet in the morning and the ground was dry, then he would know that God wanted to use him.
Early the next day, Gideon hurried out to where he had laid the fleece. He picked it up. It was full of water! But the ground all around it was dry!
Still, Gideon wanted to be extra sure that God wanted him to be the leader. He asked God not to be angry but to please give him a little more proof. He put the fleece out again that night. This time he wanted the fleece to be dry in the morning and the ground to be wet.
As Gideon went out the next morning he could see that the ground everywhere was wet. Would the fleece be dry? It was! And now he knew for sure that he was to lead the Children of Israel into battle.
There were thirty-two thousand men in Gideon's army. God told him that was too many. He said, "If there are any people who are afraid, tell them to go home." Twenty-two thousand men went home! Only ten thousand stayed. Then God said, "There are still too many. Take the men down to the water and I will test them."
When they arrived at the water, all of the men bent down to get a drink. Three hundred of them scooped up the water with their hands. The others got down on their knees and drank directly from the water. God told Gideon to use just the three hundred men who had scooped up the water and drank it from their hands.
Could they win a battle with only three hundred men against an army of thousands? Gideon knew that God could do anything.
That very night Gideon prepared his army for battle. He obeyed the strange instructions God gave him. Each man was given a trumpet, and a pitcher with a lamp inside. Quietly they surrounded the enemy camp. When Gideon gave the signal, every man blew his trumpet. Then they all broke their pitchers so the lamps inside shone very brightly. All of this scared the enemy so badly they began to fight with each other.
Gideon and the Children of Israel won the battle that night because they obeyed God's plan. Gideon knew he could always trust God.
We are starting a unit called, "People God Used." We would like your child to realize that God has a place for each of us to fill—that all of us can be used by Him if we are willing.
As you discuss this thought with your child, make a life-sized poster to reinforce it in his mind. You will need a roll of white paper (such as is used to cover tables) or end rolls of newsprint which is often available from local newspaper offices.
Cut a length of paper your child's height plus a few inches. Have him lie on the paper. Trace around him to make an outline of his body. Your child can then color in the hair, features, and clothing to match his own. When completed, have him write the words "Jesus, Use Me" across the top.