Jehovah-shalom Unto This Day

Hope was reborn on resurrection morn. The Old Testament underscores the New Testament. We see this clearly in the passage.

Judges 6: 22 “And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. 23 And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. 24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”

Gideon recognized the name of God. God provided for Abraham in sparing Isaac’s life. Abraham called the place Jehovah-jireh, God will provide. Gideon called his altar Jehovah-shalom. The names of God are used through out the Old Testament. They were not given to God by man. They were names of God.  Verse 24 doesn’t say Gideon named the altar Jehovah-shalom; it says he called it by that name. Even to this day God is Jehovah-shalom, God our Peace. There is the failure in all of us to really comprehend the God in whom we trust. People of God from Adam to now know the magnitude of God only by learning him.

Verse 1 says “the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian.” Israel departed from the Lord. Because of their sin, he let Midian take them over. Why did this happen? Times were good. Health and finances were good. They, like we, forget about God in the good times. We lean on our own resources and strengths. We think we can provide our own peace and assurance.  God warns against trusting in our own means. We must maintain our recognition of who God is, and many times we learn this through hardships. We’ll face our own Midian, our own Satan, and our own problems of life. We won’t handle it very long. The devil will turn up the heat, and we’ll find out just how much we need the Lord.

Israel considered God in light measures and began not to live for him. It was inevitable that they were overtaken. God will allow us to handle our own problems. Then we’ll recognize only HE can make peace; only HE can bring peace because HE IS PEACE!  To have lasting peace we must keep focused on God even in good times. We need the full measure of God. We get it by learning about him. Without God, full reality will take place in our lives as to how little our confidence is.

Israel had been strong and confident in who and what they were, God’s children. They could overtake anyone and anything. Yet due to their disobedience, Midian, a country of many more soldiers, came and overtook them. We need to realize that without God we are grossly outnumbered.  God must be more than a Sunday-to-think-about-thing. We don’t get part of God. We get the totality of God; we have his completeness. What size God do you think we have? He is all seeing and all knowing. Our life’s goal should be to know him in his fullness. We can handle anything with him. He is the person for every phase of our life. We are not the person. It’s not our brains or our ability. It is in God. It’s his ability to provide. It’s his ability to give peace. It’s his ability to give victory, and it’s all because HE IS THE PROVIDER. HE IS PEACE. HE IS VICTORY. In order to have these things, we must have HIM.

Gideon was threshing wheat to help his people deal with the effects of the enemy. The angel of God, the Lord came to him. Gideon didn’t know who he was.  He told Gideon “The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.” He took that opportunity to complain. Too many times we see the Lord as only someone to complain to. Why? Why? Why? Our prayer life is a mixture of blah, blah, blah. We need to realize who we are before. It’s a wonder God didn’t tell Gideon to “cry me a river.”

The Lord revealed himself and told Gideon to “go in this thy might.” Go with God’s might. He saw God who can handle all things.  God is not  just somebody to talk to. He’s not just someone we come to worship. He’s not just someone we pray to. He’s not a form floating above us on a cloud. He is I AM THAT I AM.  PERIOD!  It’s God, not you and me, that handles things and fights our enemies. Gideon had to learn this. He had to realize that God could work it out; he needed to see how mighty the Lord is. Gideon had a problem. There was one mightier than his problem. It was God.

Gideon’s response was two-fold.  He wanted to give God a present. He went home and baked a cake and killed and dressed a goat. When we are willing to present ourselves to the Lord, we will begin to receive comprehension of God. Gideon then built an altar; he built it to last. At the Lord’s direction he put the food on the altar as an offering. The altar is where God meets with us. It’s where we present ourselves to him. It’s not as much where we make peace with God. Moreover, it’s where God makes peace with us. Only then will we comprehend God is Jehovah-shalom. As long as we keep ourselves on the altar God’s peace will remain. If we retain and maintain the altar we will know GOD OUR PEACE, not just peace.

We could bring a long list to the Lord, but all it is should say is “Lord, I need YOU.” He is Peace. He is our Jehovah-shalom…unto this very day.