Objects Needed: sheet (laid in middle of room prior to lesson), battery operated candles, doubled paper bags
How many of you guys have ever tried to play a game with an uneven number of people? You know, you’re playing soccer out on a field and you have 15 people, which means one team is going to have an extra player, right? That’s not fair! There’s a team at a major disadvantage!
Well, today we’re going to talk about a team that was at an even more major disadvantage… and we’re going to talk about the leader who led them. It’s a pretty unlikely story…. Almost unbelievable! That is, if you didn’t know our God.
Okay, so first, I need a volunteer to play Gideon. (pick the smallest person that volunteers).
Okay, Gideon. You’re living in a time where God isn’t exactly happy. You see, the people he loves are doing evil things, even though God has delivered them from a lot of horrible situations. Have you ever heard your Mom tell you that your actions have consequences? Well, the consequence to the Israelites for doing something bad was that the Midianites ruled over them… and well, the Midianites were mean. They took their crops. They ruined their animals… The Israelites were so afraid of them that they hid in caves and prayed for God to deliver them.
So that’s where we find Gideon. Hiding in a cave and praying. (motion for the Gideon actor to pray)
An angel comes to Gideon and says, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
And you know what Gideon says? He says, “Nah, bro. There’s too much bad stuff happening.”
Ok, he didn’t say it exactly that way, but Gideon does not just accept what the angel says.
The angel isn’t having any of that. He tells Gideon to go with all the strength he has and save his people.
Now, this is where Gideon is about ready to bust out laughing. He starts to argue with the angel. He says, “my people are the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the smallest and youngest in the family!”
(Pause and look at the volunteer, then shake your head) No, you’re too big to be Gideon. Get smaller. (have the volunteer shrink down to his knees and hunch over). Ah, perfect!
The Angel tells Gideon it doesn’t matter how small he is because God will be with him, and God is big… but Gideon is still afraid. So he asks God for a sign. He prepares a meal for God and leaves it out on a rock. Suddenly, the rock is set on fire and the entire meal is burned up! Well, that was enough for Gideon. He knew it was God he was talking to.
So he goes in secret and tries to destroy all of the altars to the fake gods in his city. This is what the Israelites were really in trouble for—making up gods and praising them. But, here’s the problem… Gideon knew God was talking to him, but nobody else knew. So when Gideon went and destroyed the altars… well, people weren’t happy.
When the people weren’t happy, Gideon started to doubt again… He wanted another sign. He took a fleece, and he put it on the ground outside. And he told God, “if just the wool is wet, but not the ground, then I’ll know you’re for real.”
(Lead the Gideon actor in miming this action)
But Gideon still wasn’t satisfied! So this time, he asked for the opposite. He wanted God to give him a piece of wool that was dry, even though the ground was wet.
(Lead the Gideon actor in miming this action)
So Gideon decided that three signs was probably enough, and he prepared to fight. He gathered up an army and started out for the Midianite camp.
(Have Gideon gather all of the children to follow him).
Alright, so Gideon’s feeling pretty good. He’s got all of you, and God, on his side. He’s ready to fight. Now, tell me… How many of you would be afraid to touch a spider?
God tells anyone is afraid of spiders to go home.
Just kidding, God tells Gideon to release anyone who is afraid to fight to go home. So if you just raised your hand for being afraid of spiders, go sit down on the sheet. Now our numbers are dwindled… but this isn’t too bad, right?
But… God still thinks it’s too many men… Now, at this point, we’re headed off to go fight a pretty big army. Picture the Houston Astros. It’s like we’re going to play a baseball game against them. Our little league church league v. The World Series Champions.
But God tells them to go get a drink of water. It’s a test. Pretend you’re at the river, and you need to get a drink of water. Show me how you would do it?
(point out the kids who are drinking the water like a dog). Alright, all of you, go sit down on the sheet. God wants only the men who cupped their hands to drink, a pretty inefficient way to get some water.
So now, our numbers have dwindled even more. It’s the Houston Astros v. well, you guys.
Gideon is afraid. He felt okay when he had more men, but now he hardly has anyone. He can’t sleep. He’s tossing and turning… but God sees him and he feels badly he’s so afraid. He gives Gideon a command.
“Go down to the valley where the Midianites are staying and listen to what they’re saying, and you’ll feel better.” (send Gideon close to the sheet to pretend to listen—have the kids on the sheet pretend to be asleep)
Gideon heard a Midanite telling the other men that he had a dream they were defeated. Gideon is so excited, he runs back and gathers his men. (have Gideon the actor gather the men and pass out one battery-operated candle to each)
He hands each man a torch (the candle), a jar to put on top of it (put the paper bag on top of the candle), and a trumpet. Then, he divides the team into three groups, and they take off to surround the Midanites. (lead the small groups of kids to various sides of the sheet).
Gideon told his men, “when I blow my horn, I want you to blow your horns, break your jars, and hold up your torches”… and so the men waited, and they waited, and they waited.
And Gideon blew his horn. (have everyone start blowing their own horns, breaking their paper bags, and putting their torches to the sky).
Everyone shouted: A sword for the LORD and for Gideon! (have everyone shout that). Blow your horns again!
The Midianites were so confused, they started trying to fight themselves! Some ran away and fled! All of them either ran away, or died! (have the Midianites fall to the sheet and pretend to be dead).
(Have Gideon’s army cheer before gathering the group back together)
It didn’t matter that Gideon was small, or that he was afraid. God was with him. God showed Gideon that even though he was afraid, he would be okay. God had a plan. God made sure Gideon knew that he defeated the Midianites on God’s power, not his own strength.
Sometimes, we face big battles, and we think there’s no way we can get through them… but we can do anything with God. Just like Gideon learned, if we have God with us, we don’t need to be afraid or discouraged. There is nothing bigger than God.Share this post: