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God raises up Gideon

Gideon asks for a sign before fighting the Midianites.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Hindi, Simplified Chinese
Once again, God’s people turned their backs on Him to worship idols so God allowed the Midianites to treat them badly for seven years. – Slide 1
Whenever the Israelites were ready for harvest, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east would attack Israel and destroy their crops. – Slide 2
They arrived on camels and they stayed until the land was stripped bare. The Midianites were so cruel the Israelites hid in mountains, caves, and strongholds. God’s people were reduced to starvation. – Slide 3
Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help. God sent prophets to tell them not to worship idols but they did not listen. Then an angel of God went and sat under the great tree at Ophrah belonging to Joash. – Slide 4
Joash’s son Gideon was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress. The angel greeted him, ‘Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!’ Gideon replied, ‘If the Lord were with us why have we been handed over to the Midianites? The Lord’s angel said, ‘Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!’ Gideon retorted, ‘My clan is the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my family!’ The Lord replied, ‘I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.’ Disbelieving Gideon asked for a sign. – Slide 5
Gideon asked the stranger to stay while he went to prepare food. When he brought fresh bread, broth and freshly cooked goat’s meat the stranger asked him to put the meat and bread on a rock then pour the broth over it. – Slide 6
Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and bread with the tip of the staff in his hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and consumed the meat and bread. Then the angel of the Lord disappeared. – Slide 7
Gideon exclaimed, ‘I’m doomed! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!’ The Lord replied, ‘Do not be afraid. You will not die.’ That night the Lord gave Gideon instructions to carry out. – Slide 8
With the help of 10 servants Gideon took one of his father’s bulls and pulled down his father’s idol of Baal. They cut down the pole his family used to worship the idol Asherah. – Slide 9
Then he made an altar to God, placed the wood of the Asherah pole on it and sacrificed the bull to God. – Slide 10
The next morning the people of the town were furious to find the idols had been destroyed. When they discovered Gideon had done this, a mob gathered outside Joash’s house demanding Gideon’s death. Joash confronted the mob, ‘Why are you defending Baal? If Baal truly is a god, let him defend himself and destroy the one who broke down his altar!’  From then on Gideon was called Jerub-baal, which means ‘Let Baal defend himself’. – Slide 11
 Soon afterward the armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east formed an alliance against Israel and crossed the Jordan, camping in the valley of Jezreel. – Slide 12
The Spirit of the Lord took possession of Gideon. He blew a ram’s horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him.  – Slide 13
He also sent messengers throughout Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, summoning their warriors, and all of them responded. – Slide 14
Gideon still had doubts about taking on the might army in the valley. So he said to God, ‘Prove you are going to use me to rescue Israel in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me.’ – Slide 15
The next morning the ground was dry but the fleece was wet with dew. But Gideon still had doubts. ‘Please don’t be angry with me,’ he begged the Lord, ‘Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.’ – Slide 16
The next morning there was heavy dew on the ground but the fleece was dry. – Slide 17
Gideon knew the Lord had chosen him and his small army to deliver the Israelites from the 135,000 enemy soldiers camped in the valley of Jezreel. – Slide 18
To continue this story download, ‘Gideon defeats the Midianites’ from freebibleimages.org – Slide 19