So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The-LORD-is-Peace (Jehovah-shalom). Judges 6:24 NKJV
Peace. It can be hard to grasp when the world seems to spin out of control. Reading the news is more distressing than it is hopeful. Stress, troubles, and difficulties with other people cause an emotional and sometimes physical upheaval. Fear and turmoil often become the norm. When my focus is on problems I feel anything but peace.
Gideon certainly did not have peace when he is first introduced in the Old Testament book of Judges, chapter six. He threshed wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites who oppressed Israel. Gideon was fearful and discouraged.
I love how the LORD does not leave Gideon in his fears, but comes to him. In the time they are talking, Gideon questioned why bad things were happening and stated, “The LORD has abandoned us.” Then he gave excuses of why he couldn’t be the one the LORD was sending to deliver Israel. The LORD assured Gideon of His presence. “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”
Gideon’s response grows from fear to bringing an offering. When the Angel of the LORD touched the offering with His staff and fire from the rock consumed the offering, Gideon feared for his life. “Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face.” The LORD said to him, “Peace be to you: do not fear, you shall not die.”
So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The-LORD-is-Peace (Jehovah-shalom).
Gideon’s circumstances did not change, yet he found that The-LORD-is-Peace. The Midianites still were the oppressors of his people, but now Gideon had peace because he was listening to the LORD. In his obedience to do what the LORD instructed him, he tore down his father’s idol, he called 32,000 people to arms against their oppressors, and after dismissing all but 300 of them, he led the remaining small army to victory. Gideon became the sixth judge of Israel, and Israel had forty years rest from their enemies. (Judges 6-8)
Picture of Gideon from Kidfrugal Free Bible images
We also can find rest from our enemies and from our own distress if we rely on the LORD. Our circumstances may remain unchanged, but if we turn to the LORD, He will be our peace in the midst of the storm.
Jesus told His disciples, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace by which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1, 2 NIV (emphasis mine here and in Philippians).
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 NKJV. Paul wrote to the Philippians while he was Nero’s prisoner in Rome, and yet the apostle is triumphant, writing of joy and peace.
Let’s look to God as our source of peace. Let’s share that peace with others. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Romans 14:19 NIV
Jehovah-shalom, thank you for being the LORD of peace. Help me to not be anxious, but to rest in the peace You provide.
Top photo by Disha Sheta on Pexels.com
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