Tag Archives: judges

The Story of Gideon

Judges 6:1-40

The Story of Gideon

It did not take long before the people forgot their promises again. Because they worshiped other gods, God could not make them strong. A terrible tribe called the Midianites conquered them. God chose a man named Gideon to help His people. He sent an angel who told Gideon he must knock down the altar and statue to other gods. God’s people were worshiping this statue on the hill.

Gideon knew the other men in the village could kill him for this. He was afraid to tear down the altar of their gods, but he did it anyway since God had asked him to.

Gideon and ten of his servants climbed the hill. They went to the place where the foreign gods were worshiped. There they smashed the stone altar and the statue to other gods.

Then they very quietly built a new altar. They killed one of the bulls they had brought with them and burned it on the altar. They prayed to God.

“Please, Lord, please take care of us. “The next morning when the men of the village found the broken altar, they said, “Who dared to do this? We’ll kill him!”

But Joash, Gideon’s father, told them, “If your god is really a god, let him punish the culprit. You stay out of it.” The men agreed. So Gideon was safe and the altar of the Lord remained.

Soon the Midianites were planning to attack Israel again. Gideon asked God, “Lord, if You are really going to help Israel win, then please show me. I will put this sheepskin on the ground for the night. If it is wet with dew, and the ground around it is dry, then I will know we should go into battle. “And it was so. The next morning the sheepskin was wet, but the ground was dry. Gideon still wanted to be sure. “Lord, forgive me, please. But may I test You yet one more time? Tonight, could You please make the ground wet with dew, but keep the sheepskin dry?”

And it was so. This way Gideon had no doubt at all that he was doing what God wanted.

Many men followed Gideon. They all wanted to fight against the Midianites. So Gideon led the people to a river. On the other side was the Midianite army.

But the Lord said, “Gideon, there are too many soldiers with you. If you win, the people might become proud. They will think they did it all b by themselves. I want to teach them to rely on Me and trust Me. Tell those who are even a little bit afraid to go home.” Gideon did so and about half the people went home.

“But there are still too many,” God said. “Take them down to the river. Those who kneel and drink will go home. Those who cup the water in their hands and drink will fight the battle.”

Gideon did what God told him. And almost all the people knelt to drink. “You,” Gideon pointed at the people on their knees, “all of you go on home.”

After the people left, Gideon counted how many remained. There were only three hundred men. “God will fight’ Gideog said.

Deborah in the Bible

Judges 4:1-16

Deborah in the Bible

Many, many years passed. The people of Israel forgot their promises to Moses and to God. They worshiped other gods. So the Lord allowed their enemies King Jabin and his General Sisera to conquer them.

At that time the Lord had sent a woman named Deborah to be a judge over Israel. God had blessed her with wisdom. She loved the Lord God very much. She often told her people to listen to God and obey Him. But most of them just laughed at her.

As a judge, Deborah listened to all the problems of the people. When Deborah held court, she sat underneath a big palm tree. Then all the people stood in line. They waited to talk with her.

One day Deborah sent for Barak, an Israelite soldier. “Barak, you are to take ten thousand men. Lead the way to Mount Tabor. When General Sisera hears you are there, he will bring his chariots and troops. We will fight a great battle and defeat him at the river.”

“Well, all right. If you say so, Deborah. But I don’t want to fight this battle unless you’re there, too.”

Deborah smiled at him. “Is your faith in God less than your faith in me?” she asked. “All right. Because you did not trust God, though, He will give the victory to a woman instead of to you.”

When the day of the battle came, Barak led his troops. Deborah raised her hands and prayed on the mountain top. God caused many things to go wrong for Sisera’s troops. Before Barak knew it, he was chasing all of Sisera’s soldiers into the hills. The people of Israel had won!

When General Sisera saw he had lost the battle, he ran away. He searched for a place to hide. He spotted the home of one of King Jabin’s friends. “Ah,” he thought, “these people will hide me.”

A woman came out to meet him. Her name was Jael. “Come right in, “she said. Sisera did not know it, but secretly, Jael hated Sisera and his army. Jael gave him some milk, then she covered him with a blanket.

General Sisera fell sound asleep. Jael tip toed over to his side. She carried a tent stake and hammer in her hands. Then Jael killed General Sisera.

Meanwhile, Barak was looking for Sisera. As he came to Jael’s tent, Jael went out to meet him. She told him what she had done.

Barak brought Jael back to Deborah and to the army. All the people of Israel cheered wildly. They called out, “Who killed Sisera?” Barak looked at Deborah. The credit for Sisera’s death must go to a woman. He held Jael’s hand up high so the crowd could see her. “This woman! Jael killed Sisera!”

All the people of Israel cheered Jael. Deborah and Barak told them, though, it was the Lord God who had won the war for them. They even sang a song about God’s victory.

Story of Samson

Judges 16:21-31

When the Philistines dragged Samson away, they were very happy. After twenty years, they had finally

captured Samson. “All we had to do was cut your hair! Now you’re as weak as a baby!”

The Philistines were very mean. They took out Samson’s eyes so that he became blind. Then they threw him into prison.

Poor Samson. He had no hope of escaping. After some time his hair started growing back again. Little by little, he felt the Lord returning his strength. He would never see again. He prayed he might some day be able to pay back the Philistines for all they had done to him.

“Lord,” he cried out, “give me back my strength.”

As the months passed, Samson became stronger and stronger. One day, the Philistines were having a huge party in a big hall. There were over three thousand people there.

“Let’s have Samson come to the party, too,” they said.

“Yes, we can laugh at him.”

The prison guard brought Samson to them. As Samson entered the hall, he heard them making fun of him. Samson asked the boy who led him to let him feel the pillars in the middle of the hall. These pillars held the big house up.

When Samson felt the rough stone beneath his fingers, he shouted, “Lord God Almighty, please give me back my strength! Just this one last time, let me hurt the Philistines. Please Lord, help me set Your people free!”

The Lord heard Samson. His Holy Spirit flooded Samson with strength. With a mighty heave, Samson pushed the pillars. He pushed and heaved and shoved and suddenly, with a mighty crash, the stones all fell in on one another!

“Let me die with the Philistines!” Samson shouted. And he bent with all his might so that the house fell down.