So Gideon gathered up an army and started out for the Midianite camp. Gideon was probably feeling pretty good about things. He had lots of men to help him fight and God promised he would help them win.
God had something a little different in mind. He told Gideon he had too many men in his army. He knew that Israel would think they defeated the Midianites on their own without God’s help.
So God said to Gideon, “Announce to the people, ‘Anyone whose afraid may go home now’.” Amazingly twenty-two thousand of the men left! That’s a lot of people! More than half of the whole army went home. Only ten thousand stayed.
Gideon still felt alright. At least they had ten thousand men, right? Not for long. The Lord told Gideon he still had too many men.
When they went down to the water for a drink the Lord told him, “Separate the men that drink the water like a dog and the ones that get on their knees and drink from their cupped hands.”
I’m thinking this took quite a while with all those men but Gideon did it. It’s surprising, but only three hundred men got on their knees and drank from their hands. All the rest looked silly drinking like dogs!
God told Gideon that he only wanted the three hundred men and the rest were supposed to go home. This way when they won, the Israelites would know that God was in control with only three hundred men left.
Gideon didn’t know how God was going to help them win. There were so many Midianites against just three hundred of them so he worried and wasn’t getting any sleep. So, God decided to help Gideon and make him feel better about things.
During the night the Lord spoke to Gideon, “If you are still afraid that I’m going to help you win, go down in the valley with your servant Purah where the Midianites are staying and listen to what they’re saying. You’ll feel much better after that.”
Guess what Gideon did? He was still afraid and took Purah and snuck down to the Midinaite camp. Just as he arrived he heard one of them talking to his friend about a dream he had. He was saying, “I dreamt that a round loaf of bread came rolling into our camp. It came so fast that it ran right into one of our tents and made it fall over.”
His friend responded, “This must mean the sword of Gideon and that God will help him defeat the Midianites.”
As soon as Gideon heard this he worshiped God and ran back to the camp. He returned and called out, “Get up, the Lord has given us the Midianite camp!”
Children’s version bible stories: GideonHe divided all the men in three groups and gave them all trumpets and empty jars with torches inside.
Gideon and the men surrounded the camp in the three groups (remember they were up high looking down into the valley). When Gideon started to blow his trumpet the rest followed.
They blew their trumpets and yelled, “For the Lord and for Gideon!” Then they broke the jars they were carrying, holding onto the torches with one hand and the trumpet in the other hand shouting, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”
When the Midianites heard this they started yelling and running around. Then when all the trumpets started again the Lord caused the Midianites to start freaking out and they started to turn on each other with their swords.
The rest that got away were captured by the men of Ephraim by the Jordan because Gideon sent messengers ahead of them to let them know they were coming.
That was the day God saved Gideon and defeated the Midianites. Without God none of this was possible. I hope that after this Gideon learned his lesson and stopped worrying. With God nothing is impossible!
Next time you’re in a tough situation know that God can give you strength and he wants to help you. Just ask and He will!