As usual, we’re starting with a challenge. Today you will need a food packaging box and some scissors.
Stand the box on the floor, and your challenge is to pick it up with your teeth. As you do this, no part of your body can touch the ground apart from your feet.
How did you find that? Not too difficult?
Well, to make it a bit tougher, take the scissors and cut off a few centimetres at the top of the box, and then try to pick it up with your teeth again.
Keep on cutting another few centimetres off each time, and see how low you can go before you are not able to pick the box up any more. You could even have a competition with someone else in your house.
Last time we thought about Moses and how God rescued his people, the Israelites, from being slaves. He was leading them to a land of their own, just as he had promised to Abraham.
In today’s story, the Israelites have made it to the promised land. In fact, they’ve been living there for a while. Unfortunately, things haven’t been going too well for them because they have struggled to follow God and obey him. Despite this, God still cared for his people, and today we are going to hear about one of the leaders he chose to help the people – a man called Gideon.
Watch this short video:
Think for a moment: what does Gideon’s story teach us about God?
How do you think Gideon felt when God kept cutting down the size of his army?
Just as the challenge you tried earlier got harder and harder as you cut more pieces off the box, it must have seemed like Gideon’s task was getting harder and harder – and much more scary!
Gideon felt weak and fearful, but God wanted him to see that it didn’t matter how brave or strong Gideon felt. What mattered was that God was with him.
The Bible tells us what he said to Gideon when he was cutting down his army:
“You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength.” (Judges 7:2 NLT)
God wanted Gideon to trust in him, not in the size of the army. He wanted Gideon and the Israelites to know that they couldn’t do it by themselves. They needed God to help them.
It’s the same for us. We all have times when we feel weak or that we can’t do something. We face challenges and we can’t do it by ourselves. The good news is we don’t have to do it by ourselves! Like Gideon, when we feel weak we can ask God to help us, and when we choose to put our trust in him and not in ourselves, we will see how strong he is.
Here’s a song you might want to listen to, or sing along with, to keep thinking about that:
If you have time for an extra challenge, this video shows you how to make a jumping paper frog, which you could use as a reminder to Fully Rely On God!
God, thank you that although we are weak, you are strong. Please help us to learn, like Gideon did, not to depend on ourselves but to put our trust in you. Thank you that when we face challenges we can ask you to help us. Amen.