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We live in a world of chaos. In the world culture and on the world’s terms, there is little hope, little joy and very little peace.  Such was the time of the Judges, and of Gideon. Gideon was the least likely member, of the least likely family of Israel–to lead an army and win a battle for the people of Israel. He was living in a time when, because they failed to follow God, Israel had lost  all their protection, and were in complete confusion.  The Midianites had run them off their lands, stole or ruined their crops and drove them into caves and cliffs to live. 

The people called out to God, he heard them and sent the angel of God to meet this very unlikely member of a very unlikely family to bring back order in the midst of the chaos. In the midst of his calling, Gideon realized he was talking to God face-to-face and thought himself doomed.  In the midst of that reality, God said–be at peace, you will be fine!!!!! In that moment, Gideon built an alter and called it Jehovah Shalom–I AM is Peace!

The story is great–Gideon led an Army that dwindled from 25,000 to 300 and defeated the 30,000 Midianites without Israel raising a sword. Peace and victory–all at God’s control.

Of the lessons that impact us as a community; Christians should be excited to grab this truth more than most.  We live in a time and world that despises God and all things that point to him. The church is berated, belittled and condemned–as out of touch, and out of step with life. Wars, natural disasters, crime and a sense that there is no hope–continues to dominate our thoughts and spirits. Fortunately, this is when God does his best work.

As with Gideon, God tells us, “Go in peace, for the Lord (Jehovah Shalom) is with you–mighty warrior!” That promise and that name brings order to chaos as well as peace and rest to confusion and hopelessness. Just as God cared for Gideon and his people; God will execute his plan and protect and provide for us! What’s more, He will do so through the least likely means imaginable. God is peace, brings peace and protects peace for His chosen people. Thanks, Father for being Jehovah Shalom!

God Bless You!

Judges 6

The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrahthat belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”…

 The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. 21 Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lorddisappeared. 22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lordface to face!”

23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”

24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Chapter 7

The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others