In Judges 6 we read the story of Gideon and we learn the name for God, Jehovah Shalom, meaning the Lord is Peace (v. 24). Peace is something we all long for in our world, our nation, our churches, our communities, our hearts, and our homes. There will never be peace in each of these places if everyone does what is right in their own eyes. Peace can only be found in:
The God Who Saves
Israel’s story is much like our own story. It’s an endless cycle of doing right and doing wrong. In verse 1 we see that Israel once again “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” The bad news is man sins. The good news is God saves! Regardless of what you have done, if you are willing to cry out to God, He will save. Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved! Israel cried out to God and He once again moved on their behalf. Salvation is all the work of God! In verses 8-10, the Lord said, “I brought you up… I rescued you… I delivered you… I drove them out before you… I said to you…” The gods of this world are false gods, with false promises. They cannot save or bring peace. Only the one True and Living God can!
God knows where you are! He went to Gideon in a winepress and addressed him as a “mighty warrior.” God sees not just what we are, but what we can be! Gideon did not “feel” like a mighty man of valor. Gideon asked, “Why is this happening to us?” and “Where are the miracles?” Ever been there? Do you have more questions than answers? God can handle your questions! Cry out to the God who saves.
The Holy Spirit will remind you of who you will be. The Devil reminds you of what you have been.
The God Who Sends
Judges 6:14 says, “The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.” Gideon said, “My clan is the weakest… I am the least…” but the Lord said, “I will be with you” (v. 15-16). The Holy Spirit will remind you of who you will be. The Devil reminds you of what you have been. Gideon was not the first to be reluctant. Remember Moses? Stop making excuses! God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. See yourself as God sees you in Jesus. Your sins are under the blood. You were bought with a price. The same God who saved Gideon saves us. The same God who sent Gideon sends us!
God told Gideon, “Go and I will give you the victory.” God promised us victory too – “I build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). In Matthew 28:19-20, God told us to go and promised to be with us always, even to the end of the age. God’s answer to everything is “I will be with you!”
The God Who Speaks
In verse 17, Gideon asks God for a sign that it is really Him talking. After seeing God’s response, Gideon builds an altar and calls it “The Lord is Peace,” Jehovah Shalom. Again, towards the end of the chapter, Gideon asks God for another sign. The Lord responds, making a fleece wet and then dry. You may be thinking, “I wish God would give me a sign and speak to me like he did Gideon.” You have something that Gideon did not have; you have the complete Bible. Confirmation is sweet, but it not the starting place. Gideon already knew what God wanted him to do, he just had doubts and fears.
The cross is our fleece, the ultimate demonstration from God that He is our Peace. The cross was wet! Jesus sweat drops of blood and was beaten and bloody. They thrust a spear in His side and water and blood poured out. Jesus took the cup, the bowl of God’s wrath. The cross was also dry. Jesus said, “I thirst.” As He hung between heaven and earth saying, “Father forgive them” and “It is finished,” the final word was spoken. The cross and resurrection declare sin and death no longer have any hold. True peace is only found in the Prince of Peace, the ultimate Judge and Deliverer, Jesus Christ!