Gideon’s 300 Men

Judges 7

Gideon was the least important person, in the least important family, in the least important tribe. God called this weak man to defend the Israelites against an enemy that was as numerous as locusts! The best part though is that God didn’t allow Gideon to rely on himself, nor the army he gathered. God wants us to depend on him in the same way that Gideon discovered.

Key Verse

“…God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27b


Lesson

Judges background

Explain to the kids that after the Israelites settled in the promised land and Joshua died there was nobody to lead them, and they failed to follow God or his law. They did whatever they thought was right in their own eyes. At times God called people to remind the Israelites to follow God and to defend them against their enemies. These people were called ‘judges’. Today’s story is from the book of Judges and is about a judge named Gideon.

Gideon called

Introduce Gideon to the kids in the same way that Judges 6.11-16 does. Explain to the kids that Gideon didn’t believe that he could do what God was asking him to but that God described him as a valiant warrior. Gideon would discover that God would win the battle!

Gideon’s Army Shrinks!

Props you could use: Pack of cotton balls, nerf sword, flashlight, paper bag, trumpet.

Tell the story from Judges 7

Don’t read the entire chapter, especially with the little children. Rather tell the story using the pack of cotton balls. Have the pile of cotton wool balls on a surface in front of you. Explain to the kids that Gideon needed an army to defeat the Midianites. Tell them that the cotton balls represent Gideon’s army. Explain each instance in which God reduces the size of Gideon’s army by removing cotton balls from the pile. In the end you’ll be left with just 3 cotton balls representing the 300 men. Imagine those 3 cotton balls trying to take on a huge pile of cotton balls!

For the second part of the story you can use the nerf sword, flashlight, and the paper bag (representing the ceramic jar) to explain the strategy that God gave them to defeat their enemy.

Application

All strength and power belong to God. He is more powerful than any enemy that we could ever face. When we trust him and follow him, we can see him work powerfully in us and through us. The devil wants us to think that we’re not worthy to be used by God and that we’re too weak to serve him.

We can trust Jesus to help us when we are weak. Sometimes it’s good to remember how weak we are compared to God because it reminds us that we depend on him.

Prayer: Thank God that he is powerful enough to help us through any bad situation and that he is bigger than any problem that we might face. Pray that we would trust him to give us strength when we are weak.


Review Questions

  • Why did Gideon think that God couldn’t use him?
  • What did God say to him when he got his army together?
  • How did God tell Gideon to defeat the Midianites?
  • How can we trust Jesus to be our strength?

Game

‘Tent’ pin rolling

This is a relay inspired by the dream of barley loaf crashing into the tent.

Supplies: 2 balls

How to Play: Separate the class into equal teams and have them line up facing one another. Have the kids be the pins and take turns to roll the balls across the room to try to knock down their opponents. They are not allowed to throw the balls. They have to roll! As the pins, the kids are not allowed to move. If they get hit then they fall back until the next round. The first team to have all pins down is the winner!