And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day. Judges 6:24
Peace is such an interesting word. It is something that many people are searching for amidst the chaos of this world. We want peace in our own lives, in the lives of those we love, across the world. We often search for things that will bring temporary peace. This peace may be nice at the moment, but the peace is fleeting. We are looking for peace in the wrong place. We learn in the Bible that true peace, the peace that goes with us through the best and worst times, is from God. The Bible teaches that God Himself is peace.
When God called Gideon to rescue Israel from the Midianites in Judges 6, Gideon wanted a sign that he was really hearing from the Lord. Then, Gideon went and prepared an offering to bring to Him. The angel of the Lord, who was delivering this message, told Gideon to place the meat and bread he brought to sacrifice and place it on a rock. The angel was carrying a staff because it put its staff on the meat and bread. When this happened, a fire came up and consumed all of the food that had been on the rock, and the angel of the Lord disappeared. It was then that Gideon was confident God was speaking to him. Suddenly, Gideon was fearful, saying, "Oh, Sovereign Lord, I'm doomed! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!" (verse 22). The Lord comforted Gideon, telling him that he would not die, which is what he had been fearful of. After this happened, Gideon built an altar to God, naming it "the Lord is peace" (verse 24).
Gideon discovered something through his encounter with God that day. God brings peace. Not only does He bring peace, He is peace. Peace is a part of His very nature. What comfort this truth brings through everything that you and I face. When we walk with God, we can live with His peace every step of the way.
Moving Toward Action
How incredible is it that our God describes Himself as peace? How does this understanding shape your relationship with Him and give you hope? Spend some time praying to Him, thanking Him for peace. Ask Him to provide you with His peace today, with whatever you face.
Read Judges 6:17-24 (NLT)
Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me. Don’t go away until I come back and bring my offering to you.”
He answered, “I will stay here until you return.”
Gideon hurried home. He cooked a young goat, and with a basket of flour he baked some bread without yeast. Then, carrying the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, he brought them out and presented them to the angel, who was under the great tree.
The angel of God said to him, “Place the meat and the unleavened bread on this rock, and pour the broth over it.” And Gideon did as he was told. Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and bread with the tip of the staff in his hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and consumed all he had brought. And the angel of the Lord disappeared.
When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he cried out, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, I’m doomed! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”
“It is all right,” the Lord replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die.” And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day.
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