So when we left Gideon and his servant, Purah, they had gone down into the valley where the Midianite army was camped. Gideon was amazed when he saw how many of them there were! But God had suggested that Gideon listen to some of the Midianites. God knew that Gideon would be encouraged when he heard what they were saying.
Gideon and Purah reached one of the tents that was posted along the outside of the Midianite army camp. They could hear some men speaking, so they leaned in closer to listen. One of the men was telling his friend about a dream he had the night before. “ I had a dream that a loaf of barley bread came rolling down the hill and knocked a tent flat to the ground.” He said
His friend said, “ Your dream can only mean one thing. God has given Gideon victory over the Midianite army!”
When Gideon heard the dream and the interpretation, he thanked God and returned to his own camp.
“Wake up!” Gideon enthusiastically shouted. “The Lord has given us victory over the Midianites!”
Gideon divided his 300 men into 3 groups and gave each each man a ram’s horn and a clay jar with a torch in it. “Watch me and my group.” Gideon said. “As soon as we blow our horns, blow your horns and shout!”
When Gideon returned to the Israelites, the people began to shout to Gideon. “Be our ruler! Be our ruler!”
But Gideon declined the position. “ I will not rule over you, nor will my son. The Lord will rule over you! However, I do have one request. You have collected many treasures from the enemies after we defeated them. Can each of you give me one gold earring and toss it into this cloak that I have laid out on the ground?”
“Certainly!" They exclaimed. “Gladly!” And each person tossed a gold earring onto the cloak. When the last earring was collected, it added up to 43 pounds. Gideon took the gold, melted it down and had it made into an ephod. An ephod is a protective garment, like a chest protector that the priests wore. Gideon wanted something to remind the people about the protection of God, but the Israelites began to worship the ephod instead of God. 40 years later, Gideon died and the people went back to worshipping Baal. Remember when we first began the story of Gideon? Baal was the god that the Israelites were worshipping. Gideon led the people away from Baal and toward God. But when he died. the people went back to their old ways. They were really following the leadership and confidence of Gideon, instead of really following God.
Here is an interesting fact about the Bible that is perfect for this lesson.
- Psalm 118 is in the center of the Bible. There are 594 chapters before it and 594 chapters after it. If you add them together, it comes out to 1188. The center verse in the Bible is Psalm 118:8. Isn’t that cool? And here is what that verse says. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put your confidence in men.”
God works through people...so don’t stop listening to your pastor or learning from your Sunday school teacher. They are like signs along the road of life, pointing to God. They are not your heart’s destination. Jesus is :)