The text for this lesson is Judges 6:11–7:25.
- Christ, the light of the world, overcomes the darkness of sin and death, even as God overcame Israel’s enemy while the light streamed from the lamps of Gideon’s men.
- Sin darkens my heart so that I love the things of darkness and I love to hide my sin in darkness. Christ is the light of the world who exposes and overcomes the darkness of sin and grants me salvation.
- Law: Darkness is the sinner’s friend. Sinners love it, as Jesus says (John 3:19). We do things at midnight we would never dare do at midday. As we do, spiritual darkness envelops us, cutting us off from Him who is Light of Light.
- Gospel: Light is good, for it chases away the darkness, revealing and enlivening. The new Jerusalem, says St. John, never sees darkness (Revelation 22:5). Christ, the light of the world, overcomes the darkness, even as Gideon overcame the enemy with the light streaming from the lamps of his men. The Good News of Christ’s salvation, trumpeted forth, illumines our darkened hearts so that we might see Him who is life and light and love.
Context in Salvation History
Besides Samson, no other judge receives as much biblical press as Gideon does. Judges 6:1–8:35 records his achievements, as well as his idolatrous failures (Judges 8:27). Coming on the heels of the Song of Deborah (Judges 5:1–31), his story starts with a rather sour note. After a forty-year rest, Israel has once again angered the Almighty. The five r’s of rebellion, retribution, repentance, rescue, and rest start over again.
This time the second r, retribution, comes in the form of Midianites, Amalekites, and their minions who pillage the land and inhabitants of Israel for seven long years, leaving the Israelites oppressed and depressed. Following Gideon’s decisive victory over these adversaries, the land enjoys forty more years of rest (Judges 8:28). Then, the cycle of r’s begins anew, this time with a greater ferocity than before, as the heartless traiter names Abimelech, son of Gideon, begins his murderous tyrrany (Judges 9:1–57).
Discussion Points and Questions
- What’s it like in Israel as we approach the story of Gideon?
- Read Judges 6:1–6. How does God chastise Israel for doing evil? What effect does this have?
- After seven years of oppression at the hands of Midianites, God raises up for Israel a savior in the person of Gideon, the farmer. Read Judges 6:11–16. How does the Angel of the Lord describe Gideon? How does Gideon describe himself?
- Gideon’s response is to test the Lord. Read Judges 6:17–24. What can you tell about Gideon from these descriptions and his actions?
- Gideon has tested God, asking for a sign. Now we hear that God has a mission for Gideon. Read Judges 6:25–32. What does the people’s response tell us about the state of Israel’s faith? How do the words of Gideon’s father set up the rest of the story?
- Read Judges 6:33–40. What is God teaching Gideon through everything that happens in these verses?
- God has one more test for Gideon. Read Judges 7:1–8. Why does God do this?
- Read Judges 7:9–18. How does God reassure Gideon one more time? How does Gideon respond?
- Read Judges 7:19–25. What part did Gideon and Israel’s soldiers play in this victory? How did God intervene?
- How did darkness contribute to the Midianites’ defeat? How does sin affect us the same way?
- In John 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” How does Jesus conquer the darkness of sin? How do we follow Jesus?
- Read John 12:35–36. What does it mean to be a “son of the Light”?
Thank you for joining us for this week’s Sunday School podcast. We hope you will continue to listen as we work our way through the Growing in Christ lessons for this quarter, and please join us next week as we discuss Samson.
Additional CPH Resources
| Away in a Manger (35-1344)
The beloved Christmas carol, Away in a Manger, serves as the framework for helping the children and congregation discover the gifts that flow from the manger; the gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation from our heavenly Father.
The materials are simple to use and may be easily adjusted to fit the needs of your congregation. All you need is one CD-ROM for any size congregation, large or small.
A complete Early Childhood Christmas Service is also included on the CD-ROM. In this Christmas program, the children help the congregation discover what is found “away in a manger” and will lead them to discover the rich gifts that come to believers in and through Jesus Christ.
|Arch Book: God Provides Victory through Gideon (59-1587)
This book retells the story of Gideon’s victory over the Midianites (Judges 6:1—7:25).
The Arch® Book series tells popular Bible stories through fun-to-read rhymes and bright illustrations. This well-loved series captures the attention of children, telling scripturally sound stories that are enjoyable and easy to remember.
This product is part of the Accelerated Reader™ program and carries a point value of .5.
|Hurray for the Lord’s Army – Hear Me Read Level 2 (56-1698)
This book tells the story of Gideon and his army. (Judges 6:11-7:22)
Hear Me Read Level 2 builds reading confidence for more advanced readers. Humor, repetition, and colorful illustrations help bring Bible stories to life.
This study is part of the LifeLight Bible study series of in-depth studies of Bible books. The goal of LifeLight is that through a regular program of in-depth personal and group study of Scripture, more and more Christian adults may grow in their personal faith in Jesus Christ.
|People’s Bible Commentary: Judges/Ruth (12-8208)Christ-centered Bible truths unfold as you read this complete series of commentaries designed for spiritual growth and reading enjoyment. These trustworthy commentaries help you comprehend what you’ve read in Scripture as well as apply it to your life.|