Peace can be hard to find. We get so busy, hurried, and worried in this world filled with chaos that peace may seem impossible. And the truth is, true peace is impossible without the God of peace, Yahweh Shalom.
A man in the Bible gave God this name. Just as Haggar named Him El Roi, the God Who Sees, when God met her in the desert, this man named Him YHWH Shalom, the God of Peace. He met the God of Peace while he was hiding out, threshing wheat in a wine press. His name was Gideon.
After Gideon realized the Angel-Man talking to him was God Himself, he became very afraid. That’s when he gave God this name. Here’s a portion of the story:
But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”
So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The LORD Is Peace.Judges 6: 23-24
Peace When You’re Afraid
Gideon was scared. His people had been under terrible oppression for seven years. Trying to survive, he threshed the wheat where no one would look for him–no one but God. Yet, God’s visit wasn’t simply to encourage Gideon, or strike Him down, God had come to call him. God had chosen Gideon to bring his people freedom and peace.
Depending on your personality, you either hear Gideon’s story and you get excited, thrilled at the thought of fighting for God, or you shake in your shoes hoping God will never call you to big things like this. That’s how Gideon felt. He didn’t feel qualified or able. He was afraid. First he feared being in the presence of God, then he feared the call he’d been invited to.
Yet Gideon seemed to have a huge change of heart when God spoke peace. “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” God’s promise silenced Gideon’s fears. I’m sure he needed to recall this promise when God shrunk Gideon’s army down to 300. “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” And he didn’t. Gideon’s faithful actions brought freedom and peace to his people.
Jesus brought peace
Jesus, the son of YHWH Shalom, brought peace too. His peace was not the tangible kind Gideon experienced. To many of the Jewish believers’ disappointment, the peace Jesus brought was not against fleshly forces but the spiritual kind. Still under Roman oppression, they did not understand what the Messiah had done. But many of us don’t understand either when our life seems to be full of trials and hardship. When we find ourselves in troubled times, that’s when we need His Word and His Presence more and more. That’s what He gave Gideon. The fearful farmer wasn’t perfect. He even questioned God and asked for signs. Please remember this. Despite his questions, the God of Peace used Gideon to bring peace.
God of Peace in My Life
I’ve experienced His peace a long time ago. Seven months pregnant, a young military wife whose husband had just left to fight a war, I found myself full of fear. I was worried about my man, but more importantly, I was terrified something was wrong with my baby. Elevated numbers caused concern and the demand for testing. I had to wait two weeks to find out the results.
I had no peace, but I was desperate for it. I wanted to trust God as much as I wanted my baby to be okay. And so I heard myself saying to myself, “This baby is going to be a blessing no matter what.” The instant I declared my trust of God’s blessing, I experienced a thick presence of peace. I didn’t just feel the peace within me. It was all around me.
Worship the God of peace
I believe Gideon experienced this presence of peace too. It was so powerful, he built an altar and worshiped. Worship is the key to our peace. In my experience, when we want to trust God and worship Him more than we want what we want, we will experience the peace He promises.
Gideon held on to God’s promises. God demonstrated His faithfulness time and time, question after question, fleece after fleece. The God of Peace gave him the promise of life and peace. Gideon had to finally stop asking questions and trust God’s word.
Trust the god of peace
A few years back I wrote another post about God’s peace and how to experience it. I had written about two kinds of peace, one with God in salvation and peace within your heart. This is about the second peace: “The second kind of peace is . . . A sense of calm. Anybody can have peace when everything is going as it should. When the kids are sleeping; the bills are paid; everything is good. But true peace resides even in turbulent circumstances. And that peace again is only found in Jesus. It’s not found yelling at God, or taking the wheel, or stomping our foot.” I’ve tried all of these things. They didn’t work.
You may need to pray: “Help me trust you! Help me want to trust you more than what I think I want or need.”
Peace in His Word
Beloved, He’s waiting for us to surrender. He’s waiting for us to turn toward His goodness and His Word. We can find peace in His Word. Gideon found peace in God’s word to Him. Not many of us (if any) will experience a theophany of God’s presence like Gideon or Moses or Abraham, but we have something they didn’t. Actually, we have two things they didn’t. We have the Holy Spirit and the Bible. Jesus promised,
“All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 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: 25-27
When you need peace, open up the Word. I’m praying this month’s reading plan, 31 days of scriptures about the God of Peace, YHWH Shalom, will fill you with His supernatural peace. His Shalom is even more than calm waters; it also means wholeness and prosperity. May God’s shalom bring this wholeness to you this month as you dig deep into these scriptures. Remember, these are just the starting point for the day. Use them to direct your time with the Lord. Journal, look up words He highlights to you, and write down what you find. Click on the image below for the free printable.
Instagram Faith Friday!
If you’re a grammer (Instagrammer), I hope you’ll follow me @wordsbyandylee and join us Friday mornings at 9:00 AM ET. We gather with our coffee, Bibles, and journals, and we dig into one or two of the verses from the reading plan. If you’re not able to join us, the same teaching is recorded for YouTube and put up on my channel. :) It’s my prayer to help you walk this life journey with the abundance of grace, hope, peace, and joy in your life that Jesus promised. It’s in the Word! Let’s find it together.