Today, I am grateful that God is the Lord of Peace.
The Israelites, God’s chosen people, had disobeyed God. Again. As a consequence, God delivered them to the Midianites for seven years (Judges 6:1). The Midianites ate what the Israelites sowed, took their livestock, and destroyed their lands, leaving the Israelites with next to nothing. When the Israelites turned back to God and cried out for deliverance, God sent an angel to Gideon, telling him to bring an army against the Midianites. Gideon, who was hiding from the Midianites when the angel came to him, responded with fear and objection. Gideon tested the message of God several times before committing to follow God’s direction.
‘Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites. ‘ (Judges 6:24)
Gideon declared, “The Lord is Peace.”
“Peace” is a concept we strive hard to obtain, yet often do not understand what it means. Peace is defined as “freedom from disturbance” or “the absence of war”. These definitions don’t line up with Gideon’s declaration that the Lord is Peace, though. God was literally calling Gideon into battle because of Israel’s oppression. Rather than a promise that we will experience peace in this physical world, we see another characteristic of God. God is the ultimate source and provider of peace. As we trust in Him rather than ourselves, we experience this peace in our lives.
“‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)
Even when the physical world around us is raging with discord, war, and chaos, God continues to be the source of unity, order, and harmony.