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Gideon
by Rev. Charles E. Posey
07/19/05
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GIDEON

This play is meant to take a comedic view of a solider who has to follow the words of God without knowing the full story.

ANNOUNCER: [Voice Over]
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; and destroyed the increase of the earth, leaving no sustenance for Israel. For they came up as a great multitude with their cattle and their tents, and their camels. And Israel was greatly impoverished be-cause of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD. It came to pass, that the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and gave you their land; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice. And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valor. Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.

And Gideon moved with the word of God and called all Israel to battle against the Midianites, Amalekites, and the children of the east. Watch now as our story unfolds.

CURTAINS

Scene: Heavily traveled roadway in Israel 500 B.C. Midday.

IMMER & LOD: [Enters]

HANAN: [Enters opposite]

IMMER: [Waving]
Brother! Where are you going?

HANAN:
Iím headed south toward Judah. Where are you going?

LOD:
North to war against the Amalekites, Midianites, and the children of the East; you should come go with us?

HANAN:
Are you nuts! The Amalekites are two hundred thousand in number, with the Midianites standing at least ten feet tall with spears twelve feet long. Iím heading South.

IMMER:
Donít be silly, nobody is ten feet tall, and I donĎt believe there are two hundred thousand Amalekites.

LOD:
And what if they were? Are you not of the children of Israel?

HANAN:
Yes, but?

LOD: [Interrupting]
Then who can stand against us, if our God is before us? Have you forgotten the stories of Egypt, Joseph, and of Abraham our father? How Moses, directed by our God, lead us through the wilderness for forty years to come to this, the promised land?

HANAN:
See, what kind of trouble they left us in.

IMMER:
My name is Immer. Tthis is my friend Lod. Come join us. Fight against our common foe.

HANAN:
My name is Hanan, but you best call me West, because I really donít want to be in any of this mess. I think I can serve all of us better in the South. You know, protect you against any enemies that might raise up there.

IMMER:
Nonsense; with Jerubbaal to lead us.

HANAN: [Interrupting]
Jerubbaal! Gideon! The man is crazy! He is a few bushels short of a full load, if you get what I mean!

LOD:
What do you mean? I heard that he is a great man of God. A Judge set over us.

HANAN:
I tell you heís crazy. He hears voices when no one else is around. And they tell me he speaks to both God and the angels.

IMMER:
What did you say?

HANAN:
Why, while I was in his city visiting my sister, he was caught destroying private property. Said an angel told him to do it.

LOD:
What did he do?

HANAN:
He pulled down and broke up a statue and then ruined a garden for no reason. I tell you he is a mad man. I tell you, fifty cent short of a dollar.

IMMER:
I heard that statue was an idol of baal and the garden you are talking about was a grove to its honor.

LOD:
Then he had the blessing of God to demolish it, because it was a curse upon the family that owned it, a curse upon the city it was in, and a curse upon all of Israel. He was more than right to tear it down.

HANAN:
Well, in my book, heís just weird.

IMMER:
So! Are you coming or not?

HANAN:
Not, Iím going!

IMMER: [Catching Hanan by the arm]
We canít let you do that brother, bringing all that shame on your family like that;
Lod?

LOD: [Catching the other arm]
Surely.

HANAN: [Being dragged off stage]
Brothers, I assure you. I shame my family all the time. Brothers?

SOUND: Cheers of Jerubbaal, off stage.

JERUBBAAL AND TWENTY FOLLOWERS MARCH ON STAGE, CHANTING ďJERUBBAALĒ.

LOD, IMMER, & HANAN [Enter]

GIDEON:
My brothers, my brothers, the Lord has blessed us this day to gather against an enemy which for over seven years has robbed, smashed, murdered, and trampled under foot the propriety of Israel. Now we have that opportunity to avenge ourselves on the Amalekites, Midianites, and the children of the East. Who will join with me?

THE CROWD: [Wild shouts of approval]
WE WILL! WE WILL!

GIDEON:
Who will fight with me?

THE CROWD: [Wild shouts of approval]
WE WILL! WE WILL!

GIDEON:
Who will follow after the Lord?
THE CROWD: [Wild shouts of approval]
WE WILL! WE WILL!! PRAISE GOD! PRAISE GOD IN THE HIGHEST!

THE CROWD & GIDEON EXIT, STAGE LEFT, STILL SHOUTING LEAVING LOD, IMMER, & HANAN CENTER STAGE

HANAN:
Well, thatís it for me. See you around!

LOD:
Now whatís the matter?

HANAN:
Iím off to help Gideon gather up an army.

LOD:
What do you mean?

HANAN:
Do you think Gideon can take on the Amalekites and the Midianites plus the children of the East with that army? I think not! So, Iíll help him out by finding others in the South to join his army.

IMMER:
This army will do. If God be with us.

HANAN:
Now you have started hearing voices and seeing angels. There is only about 32 thousand men to follow Gideon, mostly farmers, herdsmen, and shop keepers; not a professional solider in the bunch. How can they take on this enemy? But of course, you have a crazy man as a leader.

LOD:
They have you too.

HANAN:
Not for long!

LOD:
God is with Jerubbaal. God will be with us. And God will tell us what we need to do to defeat our enemy.

HANAN:
God is with me, and he keeps telling me, go South young man, go South!

IMMER: [Grabbing Hanan]
No you donít. Youíll stay right here with us.

HANAN:
I tell you Gideon is crazy. Heíll get us all killed!

THE CROWD & GIDEON MARCH BACK ON STAGE, STILL SHOUTING

GIDEON: {Stopping center stage}
Brothers, brothers, there may be those of you who are afraid, fearful of the battle to come; apprehensive that our God will not deliver into our hands the whole host of the Amalekites and the Midianites. Let him who is afraid depart from us now, that God will prove his might and his word this day.

THE CROWD: [Begins to grumble, then slowly they begin to leave. Leaving Gideon and eight (8) followers]

GIDEON:
You that remain, walk in the fear of God and follow me. In his name we will win the battle to come. [Exit]

HANAN:
Well boys, thatís my queue to leave. Nice knowing you!

LOD: [Holding Hanan back]
Not so fast.

HANAN:
What now! Didnít he say we could go? All we had to be is afraid. Look real close, you will find FEAR written all over my face.

IMMER:
What about your brothers, your family, your friends?

HANAN:
All my brothers with good sense just left. My family wonít mind at all and if you were any friends at all you would join me. This Gideon or Jerubbaal as you call him has just snapped his last twig. Did you see what he just did? He just let go of two thirds of his men. Now how is he going to win?

LOD:
Maybe God didnít need that many of us to win this battle. You know how we are, we would have claimed victory for ourselves. This way we know when the battle is won, it will be because the hand of God was with us.

HANAN:
Yeah!, right.

IMMER: [Holding Hanan back.]
But just think of all the fun weíll have? The songs that will be sung? The prayers and the blessings; the fellowship?

HANAN:
See ya! Wouldnít want to be ya!

IMMER: [Hooking an arm of Hanan]
Get him Lod.

HANAN: [Being dragged off stage]
Not again! Brothers, please!

Scene: Oasis

GIDEON [Enters]
Brothers, come and drink.

IMMER, LOD, HANAN & THE EIGHT OTHERS ENTER APPARENTLY TIRED. THEY RUSH TO DRINK. THE EIGHT ALL KNEEL DRINKING WATER.

HANAN: [Looking into the water]
Eeew! Where are the water maidens? You canít expect me to drink from that?

LOD: [Lapping water(that is laying flat on the ground and lifting water to the mouth)]
If you want water, you better get in here and get it.

IMMER: [Begins lapping water]
Move over, Iíll join you.

HANAN: [Jumps in around the pool and laps water]

GIDEON WATCHES VERY CLOSELY, MOMENTS LATER HE BEGINS MOVING DOWN THE LINE OBSERVING.

GIDEON:
Brothers, your number is still too great for the Lord, therefore there will be those I will choose to continue on to the battle. The rest will go home. [Begins his selection, setting aside those who drank and those who lapped]

HANAN, LOD, & IMMER ARE SELECTED AND STAND SEPARATE FROM ALL THE OTHERS.

GIDEON: [Center stage]
I have separated you. On one hand is the army of the Lord, the others; those who are not called to do the Lordís bidding. Those, I say go in peace and receive the blessings of your God.

HANAN: [Exiting the stage, bowing]
Thank you! God bless you! May God keep you, and again, I say thank you! Come on boys, before he changes his mind. [Beckoning to Lod and Immer]

GIDEON:[Pointing to Hanan, Lod and Immer]
With these men, the Lord will deliver our enemy into our hands. You [pointing to the eight] may go home.

THE EIGHT SLOWLY BEGIN TO MOVE OFF STAGE

HANAN: [Shocked]
What?! What kind of fool are you? [Trying to count] Thereís only three hundred men here including me!

GIDEON:
More than enough. Make camp while I spy on the enemy. [Exit]

HANAN:
This is all your fault! [Pointing at Immer] and your fault too,[Pointing at Lod] I was on my way home, but no you wanted to go to war, battle for your country, you said. Battle for your family, and friends, you said. Well, Iím going to be battling for my life, and weíre all going to die! Being lead by a mad man!

LOD:
I have faith in Jerubbaal and I have faith in God.

IMMER:
Have faith little brother, show some courage and confidence in God.

HANAN:
You better be glad, I believe in something! Or right now it would be just you and me! But, I need you later to keep those Amalikites off me!

LOD: [Showing Hanan and Immer off the stage]
Come on and help us set up camp, we will need the time to rest and get ready for the battle.

IMMER, HANAN, AND LOD EXIT

SCENE: Camp sight late at night. [Immer, Hanan, & Lod sit around as if around a fire]

LOD:
Jerubbaal has sure been gone a long time?

IMMER:
Itís nearly midnight.

LOD:
You donít think something could have happened to him, do you?

HANAN:
Gideon?! No, no way. Crazy people have the luck of the devil about them. Canít anything bad happen to them.

LOD:
You mean blessing of God about them.

HANAN:
Yeah, yeah what ever. But you know nothing bad can ever happen to these people. They are special.

IMMER:
They are blessed by God to do what they do. We may not understand it, we donít even know what God has told them, or how he told them, yet we believe. And because we believe we must also trust.

LOD:
That is the whole foundation of faith. The Lord gives us a spirit which communes with God, to let us know the desires of His heart. He gives us the word that we might hear and understand the desires of His heart. And He gives us leaders to follow after the desires of His heart.

HANAN:
But how do we know when our leader is one potato short of a happy meal?

IMMER:
Trust in God. Read and believe His word.

LOD:
But most of all Trust in the Lord.

HANAN: [Watching stage]
Here comes our fearless leader now.

GIDEON QUICKLY COMES ON STAGE

HANAN, IMMER, & LOD ALL STAND UP

GIDEON:
Men make yourselves ready for we battle in the name of the Lord tonight.

HANAN:
Iím ready right now! [Runs off, stage and immediately returns carrying and wearing an oversize helmet, oversize breast plate, two shields, several swords, and a bundle of spears.]

GIDEON:
You wonít need all of that.

HANAN: [Dropping the spears and pulling out a large sword]
What? Just sword and shield?

GIDEON:
No, no, you wonít need any of these at all.

HANAN:
None of these at all? What youíve got a real big secret weapon that will obliterate the enemy?!

GIDEON:
No, no. What I want you to do is gather up pitchers and lamps and trumpets. With these will the Lord deliver our enemy into our hands.

HANAN:
With pitchers and lamps and trumpets?

GIDEON:
Right, hurry now, gather up all that you can, that every solider has a trumpet and a pitcher, then put a lamp into the pitchers. [Exits]

IMMER: [Padding Hanan on the shoulder]
Remember, trust in God. [Exits]

LOD: [Padding Hanan on the shoulder]
Have faith, little brother that He can and will deliver you from your enemies. [Exits]

HANAN: [Alone, falls to his knees clinching his hands in prayer]
Oh, God of my fathers, Lord, most merciful God. Please I pray thy deliver me in my hour of greatest need. Delivery me from these nuts which have fallen far from their tree. Save me dear Master from those who wish me dead for their name sake. Grant me the strength to overcome my fear so that I might get away from these people as quickly as possible. Bless me dear Master with feet that wonít stop running till sunrise, with eyes that will never look back, and a mind that will forget everything Iíve seen today. But, but just in case Gideon is your chosen leader for your people bless him one good time for me that I might see another day. I ask. I pray. Amen. [Slowly stands, exits]

ANNOUNCER:[Voice Over]
And Gideon divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every manís hand, with the pitchers that contained the lamps. So Gideon directed that at the given time all his men were to blow the trumpets and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. And all the host ran, and cried, and fled. And the LORD set every manís sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and thus the Amalekites, Midianites, and the children of the East were destroyed. And there was peace in the days of Gideon forty years.

CURTAINS

THE END


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