Gideon Part 1: 'How Can I? I Am The Least Important!'
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To tell the story of Gideon to show how we should listen to God, who will support us.
Preparation and materials
- This assembly covers a condensed version of Gideon’s story in narrative/drama form. The second part will be available in March.
- Familiarize yourself with Gideon’s story in Judges 6 and 7, especially Judges 6:11–18.
- You will need a:
– volunteer to play Gideon
– long stick or pointer and another volunteer to play the angel who uses i
– 1-kilogram weight.
Today we are going back thousands of years and travelling thousands of miles, to where some people lived in the country called Israel.
Lots of families there had farms, so there was plenty of food from the fields of grain and from the animals. Like their ancestors before them, the people worshipped the God who had given them the Ten Commandments. Recently, however, they had started to worship idols – man-made gods – as well as the Lord. They thought this didn't matter, but God had said in his Ten Commandments that it was wrong.
Have you ever felt really scared of people?
Have you ever argued when an adult told you to do something very difficult?
That happened to one of the people in our story. He was called Gideon.
Gideon worked on his father's farm in Israel and, although there used to be loads to eat and lots of wheat and barley to make flour to make bread, all that had changed.
The enemy had come! Thousands of people from the deserts all over the River Jordan invaded the land of Israel every so often, trampling the crops and stealing the animals. They rode on hundreds of camels, too, and camels have big feet! There wasn't much left standing in the fields of crops after they had passed through!
The invaders thought this was a brilliant way to get cheap and easy food supplies, but the Israeli people were angry, hungry – and frightened. They didn't know what to do.
So, they hid. They hid in the hillside caves. They crept out when they thought it was safe and sowed seed again and tried to get more crops to grow. They also prayed. They cried to God to help them.
God sent a messenger to tell them they were wrong to worship other gods instead of the Lord. They had not listened to God. Now they were suffering.
Have the volunteer playing Gideon come to the front and pretend to be threshing wheat.
One day, Gideon was getting grain from the wheat he had managed to harvest. He was in a secret place where no one could find him.
Have the other volunteer playing the angel come to the front, holding the long stick or pointer, unseen by Gideon.
So, he nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard a voice behind him say, 'The Lord is with you, brave and mighty man!' It was an angel from God.
Gideon replied, very politely, 'If the Lord is with us, why is it that all these bad things have happened?'
The angel said, 'Go with your great strength and rescue Israel from the enemy!'
Gideon argued, again very politely, 'But how can I help? My family is not big and I am the least important member of it!'
The angel – still speaking for God – said, 'You can do it because I will help you.'
Gideon still argued, very respectfully, 'If you are pleased with me, please give me some proof. Please wait here and I'll bring you a special meal.'
Gideon went home and prepared a meal. It was huge – a whole goat and over 10 kilograms of bread.
Let a child feel the 1-kilogram weight and imagine how heavy 10 of them would feel.
When he got back, the angel was still there. Gideon put all the food on a large stone and – guess what! The angel simply touched it all with the long stick in his hand and it burst into flames. Then he vanished.
Gideon and angel leave.
Gideon knew this meant that God was indeed with him and it had definitely been an angel who spoke to him. He heard the Lord say a wonderfully comforting thing: 'Peace. Don't be afraid. You will not die.'
So Gideon made the place special by giving it the name 'The Lord is peace'.
Time for reflection
Ask everyone to sit quietly and think about what they would do next if they were Gideon.
Thank you that you used Gideon, even though he was not very important.
Thank you that he listened.
Thank you that he made sure it was God's voice he heard.
Teach us to listen to what is right and not be afraid.