Judges 6:16, 23-24 – The Lord Our Peace

Judges 6:16, 23-24
 And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
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 Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

-In the course of a few verses in Judges 16, God speaks peace to Gideon and then proceeds to send him to war against the Midianites.  At first glance proclaiming peace while declaring war may seem to be a contradiction, but in reality, this further illustrates a principle that the Bible stresses time and again.  Namely, that trial and difficulty will come our way and our peace MUST be independent of our circumstances; otherwise, we will never have peace.  Gideon realized this because he named the altar Jehovah-Shalom which is Hebrew for “The Lord our Peace”.  Gideon understood, just as we must, that peace will not be found in our circumstances or our actions; peace can only be found in the Lord.  We don’t need the promise of an end to hostilities, we only need the promise of the Lord’s abiding presence- just as He offered in v16.  “Surely, I will be with thee…

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