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.
And the Lord said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.
Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. ~~ Judges 6:22-24 (KJV)
Shalom – Peace – a thing to be greatly desired. We live in world which is much in need of peace. We see riots and violence all around us. Clenched fists and raised voices punctuate many public gatherings. Terrorists plot destruction at random. Anger and dissension seem to rule our public conversations. Where is our peace?
Look at Gideon. He was living essentially in hiding. When the angel of the Lord came to him, he was threshing wheat under the cover of the wine press to hide it from the Midianites. His father had even built an altar to Baal, the god of the Midianites. Talk about appeasement and living in fear!
But Gideon saw the angel of the Lord face to face and was given peace.
We, too, can see the Lord’s peace in the midst of adversity. When you know who God really is, when you have done all you have been instructed to make a situation right, you can safely leave it in God’s hands and quit worrying about it.
If we look further at Gideon’s story, we notice what appear to be contradictions. Gideon is threshing wheat in hiding because of his fear of the Midianites. But the angel of the Lord addresses him as “Mighty Man of Valor.”
Going even further, as Gideon sets out to do battle with the Midianites under the Lord’s orders, God reduces his army strength from 23,000 to 300. What! You are going out to do battle and send the bulk of your army home. What kind of strategy is this?
It is the same strategy with which David slew Goliath:
And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands. ~~ I Samuel 17:47 (KJV)
If you are marching under the Lord’s orders, you are responsible only for your own obedience. The results of that battle are left to the Lord. He is in charge.
Help us to understand our limitations. Grant that we may see Your power through the lens of our weaknesses. Give us the peace to rest in you, even when things seem all wrong.
In Jesus’ most precious name,