Our keyword in today’s segment of My Thoughts is “peace.” This word is used many times in both the Old and New Testaments. Peace translated in Hebrew is “shalom or shelem.” Depending upon the use of the word, it can mean peace offering, perfect peace, peaceful, or undisturbed.
In most of the apostle Paul’s writings, he used the phrase, “the God of peace be with you.” Since he was Jewish, he was actually saying, “Jehovah Shalom be with you.” So, we know that Jehovah Shalom means “the God of peace,” and it was first used in Judges 6:24:
“So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”
Gideon was one of the many great judges of Israel and accomplished (Judges 6:11-8:35):
- Destroying the altar of Baal (a false god worshipped by the Midianites and Amalekites).
- Making an agreement with God to save Israel from the Midianites.
- Gathered three hundred men and subdued the Midianites.
- Peace in Israel for forty years.
Gideon is the New Judge
Gideon’s story starts with the Midianites terrorizing Israel day and night. Descending upon them like a swarm of locusts and destroying their crops and pillaging their livestock. Fearful of their cruel enemies, the Israelites hid in dens and caves in the mountains.
No wonder Gideon was petrified and hid at the bottom of an abandoned winepress. To thresh the measly stalks of dry grain he had somehow managed to scavenge. Bounded by fear and overcome by all the news of terror that surrounded him.
Gideon’s Guardian Angel
In the midst of Gideon’s fear, “And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, ‘The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!’” (Judges 6:12).
When you find the expression “the Angel of the LORD” in the Old Testament, it usually refers to our Lord Jesus in His pre-incarnate state. Jesus, Himself appeared to Gideon when he was in the pit of fear and called him a mighty man of valor. Isn’t that amazing?
Are there moments when you feel overwhelmed by fear? When you hear reports of terror or exposure to some virus, do you feel fearful and anxious? Has fear driven you into hiding? The truth is, regardless of how you feel, when our Lord Jesus looks at you right now, He sees you as a mighty man or woman of courage.
Isn’t it amazing how our Lord looks at us? It’s not how we see ourselves that defines us; it is how our Lord Jesus sees us that defines us. That’s why we read His Word. We read it to discover what His Word says about us. No matter what state you are in right now and how messed up your life might be, the Lord Jesus sees the best in you.
I’m sure you want the Lord to manifest Himself as the God of peace when you are fearful. He sees your potential, your gifting, your call, and your destiny to do great things in this life! And as the ending of Gideon’s story shows, He will guide you and cause you to be a testimony of His protection as you trust in Him and see yourself and your situations through His eyes.
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I approve of this message!
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