Lessons in Faith – Gideon

Day 1: Judges 6:25-32 – Gideon

Background: 

At different times of the OT, God called different leaders (prophets, priests, judges, and kings). Gideon was a judge that led the Israelites during a war time.
Story: 
The Lord’s angel had told Gideon that God would use him to rescue the Israelites from their enemies. That evening, the angel told him to take two bulls and go and destroy his father’s altar to the heathen god, Baal. The Lord also told him to build an altar on the exact same spot and burn one of the bulls on it using the wood from the Asherah pole (which was also an idol).
That night, while everybody was sleeping, he and ten of his servants took the two bulls and tore down the altar. In the morning, when the people of the town got up and found that their altar had been torn down, they asked each other, “Who did this?” When they found out that Gideon had done it, they said to his father Joash, “Bring Gideon here so we can put him to death.”
But Joash said, “Are you trying to defend Baal? It is his altar that was torn down; let Baal defend himself!”
 
Discuss: 
How can I openly honor God?
People usually talk and write about the things that fill their minds. David wrote many beautiful songs and poems about the Lord because he thought about God all the time (Psalm 63:6).
Those who watch and listen to horrible things, fill their minds (and hearts) with wrong things. The evil that litters their minds starts to spill out in different ways that can be seen and heard by those around them.
So if, for example, someone at school has scribbled bad words somewhere, or written something dishonoring about the Lord, you could ask your teacher if you may clean it off or blot it out. God will honor your bold step when you, like Gideon, do the right thing.
 
Memory Verse for the day: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8 

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Day 2: Judges 6:36-40 – Gideon

Background:

Gideon had been called to stand up for God. First, he destroyed the pagan towers. Now he had to decide if he should keep following God.
Story: 
Gideon wanted to make very sure that God wanted him to rescue the Israelites from their enemies. He said to the Lord, “I will put a sheep skin on the ground outside tonight. In the morning, if there is only dew on the fleece and not on the ground, I will know that You are going to use me to rescue Israel.”
When Gideon got up the next morning, the fleece was so wet that he filled a bowl with the water he squeezed from it even though the ground around the fleece was dry. Then Gideon said to God, “Don’t be angry with me. Please just let me ask one more thing. This time, let the fleece be dry and the ground wet.” The next morning when Gideon woke up, the fleece was completely dry, yet the ground around the fleece was wet!
 
Discuss: 
Is it wrong to ask God for a sign?
In most cases, you won’t need a special sign to show you whether or not to do something that is right and good. You don’t need the Lord to give you a sign to be kind to someone or to listen to your parents. These are things the Bible says are good and right. The Bible also tells us that we should not test the Lord or expect Him to answer a silly request (
Luke 4:12). Some people ask for a special sign from God because of their unbelief (Mark 8:11-12
), and some because they don’t want to do what God has already told them to do.
However, Gideon may have put the lives of many Israelites in danger if he had not made sure that he understood God’s message clearly. God will also show you what to do if you earnestly ask Him to lead you.
 
Memory Verse for the day: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God. James 1:5

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Day 3: Judges 7:1-8 – Gideon

Now that God had given Gideon a clear sign that He would give him victory over the Midianites, Gideon and his men got up early the next day and camped next to a little river. 
The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. Your men might boast that they won the battle all by themselves. Let those who are afraid go back home.” After thousands had gone back home, the Lord said to Gideon, “You still have too many men. Take the men down to the river and I will show you who to choose.” 
Then the Lord showed Gideon that the men who scooped up the water with their hands and lapped it should go with him, while those who got down on their knees to drink were to go back home. So Gideon was left with only three hundred men.
 
Discuss:  How can fewer be better?
How would you feel if your team coach decided to halve the number of players just before the team runs onto the field? You would probably hear comments from both sides about the slaughter about to take place. You would wonder if the coach even cared that you would be facing one of the strongest teams out there.
Yet, how would you feel afterwards if your half-sized team beat the strongest team so badly that the scorekeeper couldn’t keep up? Wouldn’t you be proud to have a coach who knows what he is doing and who knows what his team can do?
Our Lord gets all the glory when the odds are against us—when victory seems impossible. Let us never boast in our own strength but in the strength of the Lord our God (1 Corinthians 1:28-29).

Memory Verse for the day: It is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s… 1 Samuel 17:47

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Day 4: Judges 7:9-10, 15-22 – Gideon

The Lord had told Gideon to send back most of the men in the Israelite army. He was left with only three hundred men. That night the Lord told Gideon to get up and attack the Midianite camp. Then He said, “If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant and you will hear what they are saying.”
So Gideon and his servant Purah went down to the edge of the camp. There they heard a man telling someone else about a dream he’d had. “I dreamt that a loaf of barley bread rolled into our camp and flattened a tent.”
The other person replied, “It is the sword of the Israelite, Gideon.”
When Gideon heard about the man’s dream and what the other person said, he worshiped and praised God.
 
Discuss:  Does being afraid mean that I don’t trust God?
God made us with a natural fear that keeps us from doing dangerous things and taking unnecessary risks. If we were scared of nothing at all, we would walk across a road without looking, jump off buildings and tease crocodiles!
Fear is only good when it keeps us from doing daring things that could harm us. Fear is not good when it keeps us from enjoying life; when it keeps us from being the best we can be, and when it keeps us from doing what God has planned for us to do.
The Lord called Gideon a brave man even though he was afraid (Judges 6:12). Being brave is when we trust God enough to step out in faith and obey Him, even when our fear tells us that the situation is not safe.
 
Memory Verse for the day: When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? Psalm 56:3-4

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Day 5: Judges 7:15-22 – Gideon

When Gideon got back from spying on the enemy camp, he divided his three hundred men into three groups. He gave each man a trumpet and an empty jar with a flaming torch inside. He told his men, “When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly what I do.”
Just before midnight, Gideon and his men got to the edge of the enemy camp. All at once, they blew their trumpets and smashed their jars. They held their torches high and shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon.”
The enemy troops panicked. In the confusion they started attacking each other and fled. So Gideon sent a message to the tribe of Ephraim to stop the Midianites from crossing the Jordan River.
 
Discuss:  Does the devil know what God is planning?
No one knows what God has got planned or how He will work things out. Only God is all-knowing and eternal. He does not have to wait for His plan to happen in order to see how it will work out. He already lives in the future! That means, even though God makes a decision now, He can already see His plan happening.
As believers, we have the Spirit of Jesus living in us. Because we are God’s children, He lets us know as much as we need to know about His plan (1 Corinthians 2:16). God shows His children things that His enemy knows nothing about. God had worked out a plan; Gideon was told about the plan; and guess what—the enemy knew nothing!
The devil doesn’t have a clue about God’s plans. So when the devil tries to mess up what God is doing, God just goes ahead and uses the devil’s little schemes for His own glory!
 
Memory Verse for the day: 
In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11b