After the Israelites have called out to the Lord again to save them, He sends his angel to call up the next judge to free the Israelites from oppression. Gideon is the son of Joash from the clan of Benjamin. The Bible tells us that he was threshing wheat in a wine press to hide it from the Midianites. Now normally one threshes out in the open, but the Midianites were constantly raiding and so he was trying to keep the food hidden. When the angel speaks to Gideon he calls him a might man of valor and tells him that the Lord is with him. Now I don’t know about you but a man doing his work in a hiding place doesn’t really seem like a mighty man of valor to me. What do you think? But we need to remember that God can see who we can be, not just who we are today. God knew that Gideon could and would lead the Israelites courageously, so addressing him as a man of valor was an encouragement.
Gideon answered the angel the way many of us would. He basically asked that if God was with him why was he (and his nation) in this fix? And God answered that He was going to send mighty Gideon to save Israel. Well Gideon wasn’t too sure about that and said that he wasn’t a very important person. But God replied that He would be with Gideon and enable him to defeat the Midianites. Gideon then basically said that if this was really true he would like God to give him some kind of sign to prove it. So Gideon went and fixed an offering of meat, bread and broth and brought it back to the angel. The angel told him to place the meat and bread on a rock and then pour out the broth on it. The angel then touched the rock with his staff and fire came out of the rock and burned up the offering. There was Gideon’s sign!! The angel disappeared and Gideon understood that God really was with him! God knew (even if Gideon didn’t) who could lead his people to victory. He only calls those He knows can do what he asks!!
Have your kids act out this story. Gideon threshing in the wine press. Placing the offering on the rock, the angel touching the rock, etc. Acting things out helps us remember them.