May 29 2013

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Children’s Devotion: Scared Gideon Becomes a Hero

In the book of Judges we read that the Midianites, who were enemies of Israel, were raiding Israel.  They were stealing, and ruining their houses and land.  The people lived in fear, never knowing when the Midianites would strike.

Gideon was so afraid of the Midianites that he hung out in a winepress to do his work, hoping that they would not find him.  But he had a shocking experience.  An angel from God appeared to him and told him that he was to be the leader of an army of Israelites who would drive out the enemy!

Gideon argued, saying that he was no leader – in fact he was the least important dude in the whole country. He asked the angel for a sign that this was really what God was saying to him. Then Gideon brought some food out for the angel. The angel touched the food with a staff in his hand, and fire came and burned it up! The angel promised that God would be with him.

God told Gideon to knock down the idols that his family had put up. That was scary.  Gideon knew people might kill him for doing that.  But he did it anyhow, for God had said He was with him. Sometimes we are afraid to do what God wants us to do. But if we have asked Jesus to come into our lives and save us from our sins, He is with us and will help us to do what He asks us to do – just as He did for Gideon. People did come to kill Gideon, but God changed their minds. You can read how that happened in Judges 6:28-32.

Since Gideon obeyed God in a smaller thing, He was now ready to do the big stuff for God. God’s Spirit came upon him, and he called for the armies of Israel to come together to defend their country against the Midianites. But then he must have had some doubts about whether God would really help him. (Sometimes we doubt God too.) Gideon put out a fleece (the skin of a sheep) on the ground and asked God to give him a sign. He said, “God, when I get up in the morning, let this fleece be wet from the dew, but the ground around it be dry.” Sure enough, when he got up in the morning, that’s exactly what happened. In fact, the fleece was so soaked that Gideon was able to squeeze a bowlful of water out of it!

But he still wasn’t sure he was up to doing what God wanted Him to do. So he asked God to show him by switching the sign around. He said, “God, tomorrow morning have the ground be wet with dew, but the fleece be dry.” Sure enough, that’s what happened, and then he was sure that God would help him defeat the Midianites.

You can read Judges 7 to see how God showed Gideon that he could not go to war with the thousands of men that showed up to fight. God narrowed it down to only 300 men. Gideon knew that the only way he could win a war against thousands of Midianites was for God to do a miracle. The God of miracles was about to show everyone how great He is!

In the dark Gideon and his men surrounded the place where the Midianites soldiers were camped.  They had no weapons.  All they had were torches, covered with jars to hide their light and trumpets.  According to the strategy God had revealed, they waited for Gideon to blow his trumpet.  When he did, they uncovered their torches so that their lights shone all around the outside of camp.  They blew their trumpets and shouted, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”

The Midianites were scared silly, knowing they were surrounded.  They  had no clue that there were only 300 men out there.  They became confused and started killing each other.  Those who survived ran away.

God certainly received the glory for the great victory!  What was impossible for Gideon to do himself was easy for God to do!

What seems impossible for you is possible if God is calling you to do it and if you trust in Him!  God loves it when you ask Him to use you to help bring His plans to pass.  He has an adventure waiting for you if you will believe and obey Him!  He is still a God who does miracles through people who yield themselves to Him.
These kids had fun making a video about Gideon.



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