Choices That Determine Destiny - Lesson 13

By Dudley Chancey

Choosing to question-Here's your sign

Text: Judges 6-8

Background Information for the Teacher


  1. The student can explain that God can use people that are searching for answers
  2. The student will take action once they have good answers

Preparation: (Some items are for extra work if time allows)

  1. Bible for every student (NIV is used for quotes and handouts in this series)
  2. Copies of student handout
  3. Bible concordances or Bible computer program
  4. Chalk or markers for board work


Gideon is a young man when God approaches him. He is constantly asking for a sign from God-God is constantly giving him signs. When Gideon gets his sign, he acts on it. Gideon goes down in history as one of Israel's great leaders. The choices that he made throughout his time as a judge proved to be pleasing and acceptable to God.

Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class

Introduction: (5 minutes)

  1. Prayer time (ask for requests, ask for answered prayers)
  2. Check calendar of events coming up
  3. Connect any students visiting, to individual students and the youth group

Review from Lesson #12: (5 minutes)

  1. Go over the answers to the handouts. Take these up if you are using them for some type of reward (mission trip credit).
  2. Give a one-minute summary of a Jonah's choices in last week's lesson.

Learning Experiences: (20 minutes)

  1. Remember the two general points that provide a background or our story (see Lesson #1 for a more detailed description).
    1. First, we will be studying a method of making godly choices in our everyday living
      1. The 4 C's. Consider the choice. Compare our attitudes and actions to God. Commit to God's ways. Count on God's protections and provision.
      2. We are studying principles rather than rules.
    2. Second, we will see how much the people we hangout with influence our lives.
  2. The Bible study today comes from the book of Judges. Israel once again slips into idolatry, and God allows them to be punished by foreign armies. The people eventually get enough of the punishment and cry out to the Lord for help.God will raise up a leader to deliver the people from the oppression. God chooses Gideon to take care of the Israelites and deliver them from the Midianites. Gideon asks a lot of questions and asks for several signs along the way, as he contemplates choices that affect him and the Israelite nation.
    1. Gideon's first choice. Gideon asks the angel of the Lord some questions upon meeting the first time. Gideon wanted to know if the Lord was with them, then why are the Israelites being punished. He even throws a little history at the angel and reminds him that his fathers had told him about the great God that delivered them from Egypt. "Where is he now?" Gideon asks. The angel tells Gideon that he will save Israel and Gideon reminds the angel that he is small and weak (does this sound familiar-revisit Moses and the burning bush-Exodus3-4). He doesn't understand how he can save Israel.The angel reminds him after each question that theLord is sending him and will be with him. Gideon asks for a sign (see More Background) and gets it when he offers a sacrifice to the angel of the Lord.
    2. Gideon's second choice. God tells Gideon to tear down an altar of Baal. This is a dangerous task. In fact, Gideon chooses to obeyGod, but he doesn't quite trust him all the way yet and ends up doing it at night so no one will see him tear it down. Sure enough, when the men of the town see that the altar is torn down and they find outGideon tore it down, they want his head. This act may have been a test from God to see if Gideon would choose to obey. Notice here that Gideon's choice to tear down the altar affects the whole town-not just him.
    3. Gideon's third choice. Gideon has to choose to trust God. The time has come for battle. Gideon asks for the dew signs. God provides. Then God tells Gideon to send most of his army home. He wants Israel to know that it was God's power that delivered them and not the might of Israel's army. This move would have scared even the greatest commander. Gideon chooses to trust God, and the battle is won. Not all that glitters is gold-unless you count ephod's. We're not told why Gideon makes the golden ephod (see More Background) after the battle. It later becomes a snare as the people of Israel end up worshipping it-instead of God (how soon they forget).

Applications: (10 minutes)

The point here is that you not only want them to know about the Bible text, but you want them to take action on it. It took Gideon awhile, but after all the questions and the signs, he chose to take action.

  1. Some people grew up being told to never ask questions- just do as you are told. There are times when it is good to ask questions. Gideon seemed to be a person that was slowly building his trust up in God. Or maybe he was constantly doubting God. What about you? Have you ever asked God fora sign? Did he give you one? What is it right now that you do not trust in God for? Do you trust God in some areas of your life? What are those areas? Why don't you trust him with every part of your life? (Use this opportunity to point out that we have the greatest "sign" of all, and that is the Bible. It has everything we need to know about our lives in it. Most people don't need a sign, they need to read the Bible and pray. We have the answers.)
  2. Using the concordances, look up several Bible verses on some of today's discussion. For example, students could lookup the following: Midianites, Gideon, ephod, angel of the Lord, altar, Baal, Asherah pole, etc. Ask students to discuss the definitions and descriptions of these different words and names and give some of the Bible contexts in which they are used.

Assignment: (2 minutes)

  1. Pass out the handouts to take home. Encourage the students to fill in the answers to the questions about Gideon sometime during the next week and bring these back to class with them. The "fill in the blanks" section is straight out of the text for today's lesson. This assignment will give students time to "be in the Word." The following may help you next week as you go over the thought questions:
    1. When you consider that God has given us HisWords in the Bible and they are all sufficient for us (2 Timothy 3:16-17) to sit around and ask fora sign-having not spent any time in the Bible-might be a little presumptuous. We have been so blessed in this country. Each generation seems to want the next to have more than they had. The next generation seems to think that the previous generation "owes them" all that they want. When students are let down with reality, they may look at that as God not taking care of them. They may doubt God based on what their parents and others can or cannot provide for them. Encourage them to be students of the Word. Encourage students to seek God and answers to life's questions through Bible study and prayer.
    2. 4C's. This is not a perfect process, but it is better than nothing, and that is what most students are using to make choices. Take advantage of this and share with students how they can walkthrough this process for every important decision in their lives.
  2. Review for a test with all the questions from each of the 13lessons.

Evaluation: (5 minutes)

  1. Ask students to explain the providence of God in Gideon's life.
  2. Ask students to name one principle from the lesson today.
  3. (After class) Have an intern or another adult evaluate your teaching. Occasionally, ask some students to blind review the class. Ask questions like, "What was the main goal of the class tonight?" "What really made an impression on you tonight about the lesson?"

Further Resources:

(You do not have to have these to make these lessons work)

More Background:

Ephod — Priestly garment connected with seeking a word from God and used in a wrong way as an idol. The exact meaning and derivation of the term "ephod" are not clear. (See 1 Samuel 14:3; 1 Samuel22:18; 1 Samuel 2:18; 2 Samuel 6:14; 1 Samuel 23:9-12; 1 Samuel30:7-8; Exodus 28:30; Exodus 28:31-34; Judges 8:27; Judges 17:5-6).Old Testament Signs and WondersThe two Hebrew words most frequently used for "miracle" are translated "sign" and "wonder" (See Exodus 7:3; Deut. 4:34; Deut.6:22; Deut. 7:19; Deut. 13:1; Deut. 26:8; Deut. 28:46; Deut. 34:11;

Nehemiah. 9:10; Psalm 105:27; Isaiah 8:18; Jeremiah 32:20; Daniel6:27).

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