Trumpets, Torches and the Sword of the Lord (Part 4)
by Sophia Prinsloo
with Barbara Wilmerton Haas
Text Version | Afrikaans
A Bible Story About Gideon
(Continued from Part 3)
Helen was not sure she would be able to do it. Their church needed someone to help with Sunday school for the 3-5 year olds and Mom had asked if she would be interested in doing it. She loved little ones, but handling more than ten of them at one time would be no mean feat. She asked herself, "What if they all start crying at once, or bully each other, or won't listen to me?" But, on the other hand, she really wanted to do something for the Lord Jesus, Who had given his life for her and saved her.
Helen had until the next day to decide and, as she went to bed, she pondered and prayed about what to do. She remembered Jesus Himself had said, "Let the little ones come to Me." Surely, if Jesus loves and wants the little ones, He would help her by his Holy Spirit bring them to Him if she would ask Him in prayer before each Sunday school class. Helen also remembered the awesome power of the Rock the prophet Daniel spoke about. That Rock was cut without human help and shattered all earthly kingdoms to become a mountain so enormous that it filled the whole earth. Helen knew that Rock represented Jesus and his Kingdom. With such power behind the message of Jesus Christ, why should she be afraid of a bunch of little kids?
The next morning at home, Helen announced her decision to her family. She would take up the challenge God had given her. Later at church, she also told her pastor. They all were greatly pleased with her decision to cast all doubts aside and serve in children's ministry.
Have you ever been afraid to do something for the Lord? Have you ever been afraid to do the right thing? Let us see from the Bible how Gideon overcame his fears and was mightily used by God because he was obedient.
Gideon and his army of 300 men were expectantly waiting on the Lord's command to attack the thousands of Midianites, Amalekites and nations of the East camping in the valley of Jezreel down below.
That night the Lord said to Gideon, "Get up! Take your 300 soldiers and attack the Midianites for I am giving you a great victory! But first, if you are afraid, take your servant Purah and go down to the enemy camp. LISTEN to what they say and you will HEAR something that will give you great COURAGE for the battle."
So Gideon said to Purah, "Let us go down to the camp below, spy on the enemy and hear what the Lord wants us to know."
Then, in the shadows of the night, the two of them climbed down the mountain and bravely crept up to the enemy camp. As they reached the outpost of the armed forces, they were careful not to disturb even one of the thousands of the enemy's camels. The camels were resting, lying down and chewing the cud. Gideon and Purah sneaked from camel hump to camel hump, hiding from the guards. "Watch out!" Gideon whispered an alarm. "Don't step on that camel's tail!" Thankfully, Gideon was able to warn Purah just in time, preventing a peeved, grunting camel from revealing their presence.
Voices could be heard coming from one of the tents close by. They crept up next to the tent and LISTENED intently. The soldier inside the tent had just woken up from a nightmare. He was telling his tent-mate, "I had the strangest dream. There was this huge loaf of barley that came tumbling down into our camp. It hit our tent and knocked it down flat. I wonder what it could mean…?"
After a moment of thought, the tent-mate said fearfully, "UH-UH! That loaf of barley can only mean one thing — GIDEON, the son of Joash, the Israelite! And knocking down our tent can only mean he is coming down from the mountain to kill all of us with our allied forces camping down here in the valley."
Gideon's heart leaped with joy as he overheard the dream and its interpretation. "HALLELUJAH! Glory to the Lord God of Israel! He is faithful! He just now confirmed that we will win the battle!" Gideon was worshipping quietly as he knelt in awe before the Lord. Then he signaled to Purah for them to go back to his men.
Back in their own camp, Gideon woke the men up from their sleep and said excitedly, "Get up and get ready, oh you soldiers of light! We are going to put the enemy to flight!"
Then, as the men gathered around Gideon, he told them what he and Purah had overheard, "The enemy is SO AFRAID of us, they can't help themselves. BE BRAVE! The Lord is going to use you to conquer the vast armies of Midian. NOW you will see how great our God is!"
Gideon divided the 300 men into three groups of 100 each. He gave each man a trumpet and also a torch inside a clay jar to hide the light of the flames, while sneaking up to the enemy camp.
"What about our SWORDS?" the men asked.
"Don't expect OUR swords to give us victory. This time it will be the invisible, but audible Sword of the LORD giving a mighty victory! Watch and see! God will make the demon forces flee," Gideon replied.
"Now, listen carefully," he said as the men listened attentively. "Here is the plan: When we get to the outpost of the enemy camp, follow my lead and do as I do. When I and the men in my group blow our trumpets, you all must do the same and then yell as hard as you can: 'The Sword of the Lord and of Gideon!' But we MUST do it TOGETHER."
So just after midnight, three groups of 100 men carefully climbed down the mountain and ever so quietly sneaked up to the outposts of the enemy camp. They watched as the guards of the enemy changed shifts. The camels were still restfully chewing the cud. Neither the enemy nor their camels had noticed that trouble was brewing.
Then suddenly, Gideon and his group of men loudly BLEW their trumpets and BROKE their clay jars, causing their torches to BLAZE into the night! The other two groups did the same, blowing their trumpets with their right hands and holding their torches with their left hands, SHOUTING as loudly as they could, "THE SWORD OF THE LORD AND OF GIDEON!"
All that noise rudely awakened the enemy soldiers from their sleep. When they heard the NAMES of the Lord and of Gideon being shouted, it sent chills down their spines. They were surrounded with blazing lights coming from torches in all directions. They thought surely they were outnumbered with THOUSANDS of Gideon's soldiers attacking them.
The NOISE and the LIGHTS gave the enemy soldiers such a huge FRIGHT that, in a state of panic, they began rushing around in every direction, shouting and trying to flee from Gideon and his men. Even the camels got to their feet stricken with fear and began kicking, bucking and spitting. The camels began rolling their eyes and making thundering groans, while running around, joining the crazy commotion. What utter CONFUSION and CHAOS!
In all the confusion, the Lord caused the enemy troops to begin fighting and killing each other from one end of the camp to the other. The rest of them fled into the night to places as far away as Beth-Shittah near Zererah, and to the border of Abel-meholah near Tabbah.
That night, Gideon knew that the Lord God, Who brought their ancestors out of Egypt by doing many miracles, was really with them again. The Lord was fighting for them because, although there were so few set against so many, they courageously trusted Him without fear. God was giving them victory because they were obedient to Him. He was pleased with them because they worked together as one.
Just as Gideon and his men broke those clay jars, we must shatter our fears with trust in the Lord. Just as the torches shone brightly in the night, we must be aflame with the Holy Spirit to allow the light of Jesus to shine brightly through us in this wicked world. Just like Gideon and his men blew their trumpets and shouted, "THE SWORD OF THE LORD AND OF GIDEON!" we must proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in unison and God will, by His mighty power, make his enemies flee.
Oh, Praise the Lord for his great VICTORY!
God wants to make you brave. The Holy Spirit will help you be obedient to his Word and cause enemies to flee.
1. How did God help Gideon know beyond a doubt that they would win the battle?
2. What did Gideon do when he heard what the enemy soldier said?
3. What items did Gideon give to each of the 300 men?
4. What did the men do with those items?
5. What did the men shout?
6. What is the Sword of the Lord?
7. What happened to the enemy?
8. How can you let Jesus' light shine through you?
A VERSE TO LEARN
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).
AN ALTERNATIVE VERSE TO LEARN
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
Heavenly Father, help me courageously do your will.
Give me the power of the Holy Spirit to become
obedient to your Word and make your enemies flee.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
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Early Reader's Bible
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Bible on the Go Vol. 13: The Stories of Gideon and Samson (Judges 6-8, 13, 16) - Unabridged Audiobook [Download]
Gideon: Tuba Warrior, VeggieTales DVD
God Loves You Very Much, DVD
Jacob's Ladder, Episodes 1 & 2: Gideon, DVD
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Scare Tactics (Gideon), Bugtime Adventures DVD
Superbook: Gideon, DVD
The Bible Comes Alive, Your Story Hour Volume 2, Audiobook on CD
The Call of Gideon Animated Children's Bible Story (watch online)
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Last updated July 30, 2018.
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